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Superintendent Search: Finalist Candidates

After gathering significant public input on what to look for in the Eugene School District’s next superintendent and conducting a nationwide search, on March 2, 2015, the Eugene School Board announced three finalist candidates, all of whom have backgrounds in classroom teaching and strong ties to Oregon:

  • Dr. Gustavo Balderas, Superintendent at Ocean View School District in Huntington Beach, Calif. (selected
  • Dr. Sloan Presidio, Assistant Superintendent at Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia
  • Dr. Heather Cordie, Superintendent at Sherwood School District in Sherwood, Ore. (withdrawn)

Parents, students, staff and community members heard from and provided input on the finalist candidates at a community forum on Thursday, March 5 (listen to audio recording). Each of the candidates shared information about themselves, then responded to questions submitted by audience members. Participants shared brief input about the candidates on written comment forms and were invited to share additional thoughts with the school board by sending email to board_2016@4j.lane.edu. One of the candidates, Dr. Cordie, later withdrew her candidacy.

On March 12, 2015, the board named Dr. Gustavo Balderas as their top candidate to become the next superintendent of Eugene School District 4J, and on March 18 voted unanimously to offer him the position.

For more information about the superintendent search process, please visit www.4j.lane.edu/supersearch.


About the candidates 

4J_SuperSearch_Finalists_BalderasDr. Gustavo Balderas

Dr. Balderas is in his 25th year as an educator, currently serving as superintendent in the Ocean View School District in Huntington Beach, Calif. Prior to that he served as superintendent of the Madera Unified School District (Calif.). Dr. Balderas has served in elementary and middle school administrative roles and has served as a high school teacher and counselor in the Hillsboro School District (Ore.). His central office experience includes being an area executive director overseeing a cluster of K–12 schools and coordinating district curriculum as well as serving as an assistant superintendent of support services, also all in the Hillsboro School District.

Some of his career highlights include his work around equity and cultural proficiency through the state-level work of the Oregon Leadership Network and the State Action for Educational Leadership Project, and with district work in developing equity systems around instruction, student behavior and hiring practices.

Dr. Balderas graduated from Western Oregon State College with a secondary education degree, received his master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Portland State University, and completed his doctoral degree in educational leadership at the University of Oregon.

Dr. Balderas currently serves on the Huntington Valley Boys and Girls Club Board and the Encuentros of Orange County Board, and is the Southern California Board representative for the California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators. Dr. Balderas focuses his volunteer time on working with non-profit organizations that focus on underserved students. He is the co-founder and past president of the Oregon Association of Latino Administrators.

The board named Dr. Balderas its finalist candidate on March 12.

Gustavo Balderas’ résumé

4J_SuperSearch_Finalists_CordieDr. Heather Cordie (withdrawn)

Dr. Cordie is in her fifth year as superintendent of the Sherwood School District. Prior to becoming superintendent in Sherwood, she was assistant superintendent in the Redmond School District. Additionally she served in a teacher on special assignment role, assistant director and then director of instructional services, and assistant superintendent/director of human resources in Eastern Oregon.

Dr. Cordie began her education career as an elementary music teacher in Weston and Stanfield, Oregon, before becoming a high school business teacher in Echo, Oregon. She returned to the Athena-Weston School District to teach business education at Weston-McEwen High School and worked for two years at Blue Mountain Community College as an articulation coordinator and part-time instructor.

Dr. Cordie is a life-long Oregonian who grew up on her family’s century wheat farm, attended Blue Mountain Community College during her senior year in high school, and graduated from Eastern Oregon University. She earned a Master of Teacher Education degree at Eastern Oregon University and her Doctorate of Education degree at George Fox University. She is active in various professional, community and civic organizations.

Dr. Cordie withdrew as a candidate on March 8.

Heather Cordie’s résumé

4J_SuperSearch_Finalists_PresidioDr. Sloan Presidio

Dr. Presidio joined Fairfax County Public Schools in July 2012 as the assistant superintendent for the instructional services department where he leads the development of curriculum, assessment, and professional development for the nation’s tenth largest school system.

Dr. Presidio has 20 years of experience in education including an extensive background in instructional administration. He began his career as an elementary teacher in California and then Alaska. He spent seven years in the Eugene School District as a technology teacher and high school administrator. Dr. Presidio also served as principal at Hillsboro High School for four years. In July 2010, he was named director of educational programs in the Tigard-Tualatin School District where he oversaw programs for middle and high schools, English language learners, talented and gifted students, Title I reading and math.

Dr. Presidio earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and his master’s degree in educational administration and policy from the University of Oregon.He received a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Oregon School of Law and a doctorate of education in educational policy and leadership from the University of Oregon College of Education.

Dr. Presidio has made numerous professional presentations, including workshops on establishing professional learning communities, responsive instruction, standards-based grading and instructional coaching.

Sloan Presidio’s résumé


Listen to the recording of the candidate forum 
Learn more about the superintendent search