Home » News

Schools Welcome New Principals for 2019–20

New leaders selected to replace outgoing administrators

Several 4J schools and departments will have new leadership in 2019–20.

Sheldon High School Principal: Mike Ingman
Mike Ingman will be principal of Sheldon High School next year, replacing Bob Bolden who is moving to a district administration position at the 4J Education Center after 17 years at Sheldon. Mr. Ingman has extensive experience as a high school educator, including time as a high school social studies and alt ed teacher and football coach before becoming a school administrator. He is currently principal of Cottage Grove High School south of Eugene, and previously served as principal of Al Kennedy Alternative High School in Cottage Grove, and of Albany Options School to the north. He also has served as an assistant principal at South Albany High School and dean of students at Cottage Grove High School. While Mr. Ingman has worked in other districts, Eugene School District 4J is his home—where he grew up, attended school and raised his family. He is excited to return home to 4J. 

River Road/El Camino del Río Elementary School Principal: Karen Ramirez Gutierrez
Karen Ramirez Gutierrez will be principal of River Road/El Camino del Río Elementary School next year, replacing Joel Lavin who is moving to the high school level. Ms. Ramirez, a skilled and experienced bilingual/bicultural educator, is excited to return to Camino del Río and to dual immersion. Ms. Ramirez has served as assistant principal of Kennedy Middle School and as a summer school administrator in 4J. Before becoming a school administrator, she previously taught at Camino del Río and Buena Vista Spanish immersion elementary schools in Eugene, and as a bilingual teacher at a school near Salem where about 50% of students were English language learners. More recently she served as essential skills coordinator and bilingual coach at Camino del Río. She is committed to nurturing and developing bilingual, biliterate and bicultural instruction and supporting student and family success.

Alternative Education Administrator: Paula Nolan
Paula Nolan will be 4J’s new Alternative Education Administrator in 2019–20, overseeing the ECCO alternative high school program and other Eugene Education Options programs. Ms. Nolan is replacing Molly Gillett, who will head to Arizona this summer with her family to become the principal of a preK–8 school. Ms. Nolan has served as the principal and assistant principal of Redmond High School, where she oversaw Redmond’s alternative education and high school credit recovery programs. She has also taught at the high school and middle school level in Pendleton. Ms. Nolan is enthusiastic about joining the Eugene school community and furthering the development of 4J’s alternative education options. 

Spencer Butte Middle School Assistant Principal: Tracy Ross
Tracy Ross will be the assistant principal at Spencer Butte Middle School next school year, replacing George Gillett whose family is moving out-of-state. Ms. Ross has close to a quarter century of education experience. She has served as assistant principal at Sheldon High School since 2017 and previously at North Eugene High School for 3 years. Before becoming a school administrator, she taught music for many years and also served as an essential skills coordinator, high school instructional coach, and districtwide lead teacher on special assignment (TOSA) for music.

Sheldon High School Assistant Principal: Joel Lavin
Joel Lavin, currently principal of River Road/ El Camino del Río Elementary School, will move into the world of high school as the new assistant principal at Sheldon in 2019–20. Mr. Lavin has been the principal at the Spanish dual immersion elementary school for the past 5 years and previously was the principal of Awbrey Park Elementary School. Mr. Lavin also served as assistant principal at Roosevelt Middle School for three years. He is fluent in Spanish, has a background in science and education and brings a consistent equity lens to the table. 

Director of PreK–8 Education: Jeff Johnson
Jeff Johnson will be a Director of PreK–8 Education in 2019–20, serving alongside Brooke Wagner. Mr. Johnson has been an educator in 4J for more than 20 years and has a strong background in elementary and middle school education. He has been a teacher and administrator at both the elementary and secondary level, including serving as principal of Coburg Elementary School and then launching the Arts & Technology Academy and serving as its principal for 10 years. In recent years he has worked with multiple schools in a district-level role as the district’s Federal Programs Administrator. In all of these roles, Mr. Johnson has been committed to changing beliefs about students in historically underserved groups, increasing expectations about what students can achieve, developing systems with a focus on rigorous instruction, and increasing the instructional and leadership capacity of staff.

Fox Hollow Campus Administrator: Leila Schuck
Leila Schuck will take the helm of the Fox Hollow Campus in 2019–20, replacing Joyce Smith-Johnson who served as the campus administrator in an interim capacity this year. Ms. Schuck has served as a special education administrator since 2015 and has taken on many complex assignments for special education services in 4J over several years. She previously was an elementary and middle school behavior teacher, elementary learning center teacher, and a special education consultant working with K–12 day treatment programs, building outstanding experience and expertise in special education programs.

Student Services Administrator: Joyce Smith-Johnson
Joyce Smith-Johnson will support special education students, families and staff as a student services administrator next year, moving to the district office after stepping in for a year as the interim administrator of the Fox Hollow Campus. Ms. Smith-Johnson previously served as principal of Holt Elementary School for 5 years, and before that worked as a special education teacher and a staff development specialist in 4J. She brings to her new role an extensive knowledge and understanding of special education best practices along with her quarter-century of education experience, leadership skills, persistence and tenacity.

Director of Student Services: Kat Lange
Kat Lange, currently serving as one of the district’s student services administrators, will transition this summer to become 4J’s new Director of Student Services. In her current role, Ms. Lange has been responsible for supporting and guiding special education services at the high school level. She previously worked in Colorado as a special education director, college adjunct professor, principal, assistant principal, and special education teacher. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Colorado State University. Ms. Lange will take over for Cheryl Linder, who is retiring after more than 40 years in special education in 4J, including involvement as a parent, volunteer, educational assistant, substitute teacher, special education teacher, administrator and director. 

Welcome to these education leaders and all others who are beginning or changing positions with 4J next year.

Posted in Featured, News | Comments closed

Thank You, Voters!

Voters approve renewing school funding

Voters in Eugene School District 4J have overwhelmingly passed Measure 20-301, renewing the local option levy that helps fund the day-to-day operations of our schools. This support makes a tremendous difference for every 4J school and student.

This is not a new tax or a tax increase, but a continuation of the local option levy that has been supporting 4J school operations since 2000. The levy’s renewal will provide another 5 years of local funding to help maintain school days, school programs, staffing levels and class sizes to the extent possible.

The levy currently provides about $17 million per year, equivalent to about 27 school days or 161 teaching positions. Without this levy, the district would have needed to reduce its operating budget by about $17 million per year (about 9 percent) beginning in fall 2020.

This is terrific news for students, schools, and our community. Thanks to voters and other community members for your ongoing support of our public schools!

Posted in Featured, News | Comments closed

2017–18 State Special Education Report

The annual special education reports for school districts across Oregon are available online.

Eugene School District 4J provides a continuum of services to meet the needs of students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs). The district works to ensure that all students have access to the general education curriculum, meet or exceed grade level standards, and develop the skills necessary to ensure success in post-secondary education, in a chosen career, and as actively participating citizens.

4J is strongly committed to increasing achievement for all students, to closing the achievement gap and to increasing graduation rates.

4J Report: English / Spanish 
All Oregon School Districts 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Have You Turned In Your Ballot?

Bring your ballot to an official ballot box—it’s too late to mail it

May election ballots are in voters’ hands. The May 21 election includes four positions on the Eugene School District board of directors and a ballot measure to renew the local option levy for school operations.

Measure 20-301 asks 4J residents whether to renew local funding for schools without changing the property tax rate. It is not a new tax or a tax increase, but a five-year renewal of the local option levy that has provided funding for 4J school operations since 2000. The levy currently provides about $17 million per year, equivalent to about 161 teaching positions or 27 school days.

Registered voters who live within Eugene School District 4J may vote on the levy renewal measure and all four 4J school board positions on the ballot.

To be counted, ballots must be received by the elections office no later than Tuesday, May 21, at 8 p.m.

Ballot Measure: 
Measure 20-301: Eugene School District 4J
Five-year renewal of current local option tax for general operations

Position 1: Alicia Hays (current board member) 
Position 4: Gordon Lafer
Position 5: Jim Torrey (current board member), Martina Shabram
Position 7: Mary Walston (current board member), Deanna Chappell Belcher


More information:
Local option levy renewal measure
About the Eugene School Board
Lane County Voters Pamphlet
Where to return your ballot
Additional election information

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

2019–20 School Calendars Approved

All schools now follow district calendar

Elementary School Calendar 
Middle & High School Calendar

The school board has approved the school year calendars for next year, 2019–20.

Key dates for 2019–20 include:

  • Transition & orientation day for 9th graders: Tuesday, September 3
  • First day of school for most students: Wednesday, September 4
  • First day of school for grades 7 and 8: Thursday, September 5
  • Winter break for students: Dec. 21–Jan. 6 (Jan. 6 is a staff work day and possible weather makeup day)
  • Spring break: March 21–29
  • Last day of school: Thursday, June 11 (unless school closure make-up days are needed)

Consistent school calendars: Starting with the 2018–19 school year and continuing forward, dates for grading, planning and professional development have been better aligned between elementary and secondary schools, so most no-school days will be the same for students at different levels. No-school days have been specified for parent conferences, where previously these days were different for each school. All schools now follow the district calendar and do not have additional school-specific no-school days and half-days throughout the year.

Elementary School Calendar 
Middle & High School Calendar

More Annual Calendar Information
More School Schedule Information

Posted in Featured, News | Comments closed

Classified Benefits & Wellness Newsletter May 2019 Issue #7

Published by:

Arthur Hart, Classified Benefits Coordinator

Phone: 541-790-7679 e-mail: hart_a@4j.lane.edu


Wellness Clinic Summer Promotion

With the end of the school year on the horizon, now is the perfect time to focus on your health and wellness. The 4J Wellness Clinic invites you to let them help you with your wellness goals, and they’re offering a summer promotion as an incentive!

The Prize: one of four Lane County Parks day-use passes (worth $40). The pass is good at any of the 56 Lane County Park day-use areas for a full year (valid September 2019 – August 2020). The parks range from the coast to the mountains, including Richardson Park at Fern Ridge, the Howard Buford Recreation area at Mt. Pisgah, Baker Bay on Dorena Reservoir, Heceta Beach, Armitage Park, Bohemia Saddle, and many more! Four winners will be selected at random on September 3, 2019, and notified that afternoon. Only one entry per person is allowed. 

How to Enter: Attend an appointment at the 4J Wellness Clinic between June 1 and August 31, 2019, for one of the following types of visits:

  • New patient visit to the clinic;
  • Insurance-eligible physicals, including women’s annual exams;
  • Follow-up appointments for pre-existing diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.

There is no out-of-pocket cost for 4J Wellness Clinic services – not just for this special promotion period, but all the time. There is no out-of-pocket cost for eligible employees, retirees and dependents who seek care at the 4J Wellness Clinic! Please note: a $20 fee will be assessed for missed appointments.

Who is eligible? Insurance-eligible 4J employees, retirees and their insurance-eligible dependents (age 4 and above) are eligible to access the 4J Wellness Clinic. 4J employees and retirees who enroll in 4J/OEBB Kaiser Health as their primary health insurance coverage are not eligible to use the clinic.

Clinic Hours: Monday through Friday all summer from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., except holidays. The clinic is closed for lunch 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.  To make a clinic appointment call 541-686-1427.



For people using the Monarch Medical Weight Loss Center, you may wish to review your recent Monarch statements.  Some users have reported that Monarch has recently changed the way they bill insurance, and that has led to some unexpected costs.


May Is Enrollment Month For

Classified Sick Leave Bank 2019-20

Classified sick leave bank enrollments forms will be emailed on May 1, 2019. Only benefits eligible employees (.50 FTE or greater) are eligible to participate.  Paper forms may be sent in the interoffice mail to Arthur Hart/Ed Center/SLB.  Scanned forms may be emailed to hart_a @4j.lane.edu.  All enrollment forms must be received no later than May 31st.

For contributing members, the classified sick leave bank is intended to extend, additional sick leave days, should, a long-term illness or injury exhaust the employee’s own paid leave.

Participation in the sick leave bank is voluntary. Employees are only eligible for use of sick leave bank days after they have exhausted all their available sick leave, vacation leave, personal leave, and compensatory time. Sick leave bank days will begin after an employee has been on unpaid leave for five (5) consecutive days.


May Webinar

RBH is offering the webinar You Are Not the Target on Wednesday, May 8th, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.  This free webinar will provide participants with a road map for navigating the unique challenges that come with providing customer service as part of their workplace role. The presenter Gary Barnes, MSW, LCSW, CEAP, will discuss skill builders and tips for effectively handling workplace demands, developing detached concern, building control, and making healthier choices for a more balanced work-life. To register for this webinar click here.

For more information, or to register for other webinars, go to www.myrbh.com and use access code OEBB.


2019 Business Commute Challenge

There is still time to sign up for the Business Commute Challenge.  The BCC is an annual event where Eugene-Springfield businesses compete to see who can get the most employees to walk, bike, ride transit, carpool, or telework the week of May 11-17.  There are many fabulous prizes for participation, and lots of interesting events to enjoy.  Sign up and represent your site today. 4J has many teams to choose from, but if your site doesn’t yet have a team, you can start one!


Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.

 -H. G. Wells


Understanding Your PERS Benefits

4J will be hosting a PERS education presentation:  Understanding Your PERS Pension.  The presentation is suitable for PERS members just beginning their careers, for those within a few months of retirement, and for all members in between.  The session will be presented by Kris Kartub of Valic and snacks will be provided.

Topics will include:

  • Understanding the differences between Tier 1, Tier 2, and OPSRP
  • Pension benefit calculation methods
  • Understanding your IAP account
  • Retirement option choices

The presentation will begin at 4:30 p.m. in the Ed Center Auditorium on Tuesday May 7th.

Sign up to attend: please send an e-mail to Arthur at hart_a@4j.lane.edu.  In your e-mail, place “PERS” in the subject line, and please indicate whether you will attend alone or will be bringing a guest.


Health through Oral Wellness

This new Delta Dental program uses an oral health assessment to help determine risk of tooth decay, gum disease and/or oral cancer. Based on risk score, Delta Dental plan members may qualify for enhanced benefits that include additional cleanings, fluoride treatments, sealants and periodontal maintenance.

Talk to your dentist about the program. If they are not registered, you can ask them to call Delta Dental’s toll-free Health through Oral Wellness provider line at 844-663-4433. Once registered, they can perform an oral health risk exam and can let you know if you qualify.

You can also take a free online oral health risk self-assessment.  Once you have completed the self-assessment, you can discuss the results with your dentist who can verify those scores with information collected during a professional dental examination.


Identity Theft

Identity theft is a serious crime affecting millions of Americans every year. It can disrupt your finances, credit history, and reputation and take time, money, and patience to resolve.

Identity theft happens when someone steals your personal information and uses it without your permission.  Once identity thieves have your personal information, they can drain your bank account, run up charges on your credit cards, open new utility accounts, or get medical treatment on your health insurance. An identity thief can file a tax refund in your name and get your refund. In some extreme cases, a thief might even give your name to the police during an arrest.

Measures you can take to protect your identity:

  • Never give your Social Security number or other information to strangers who call, text, or send e-mail messages to you.
  • Never leave your wallet or purse unattended. Don’t carry your Social Security card, rarely used credit cards, or written PINs or passwords.
  • Store financial account statements, medical records, and tax filings in a secure place.
  • Don’t post your date of birth, mother’s maiden name, first pet’s name, or other personal information on social media websites.
  • Sign up for free bank or credit-card issuer online or mobile alerts that will warn you of suspicious account activity.

Clues that someone has stolen your identity:

  • You see withdrawals from your bank account that you can’t explain.
  • You don’t get your bills or other mail.
  • Merchants refuse your checks.
  • Debt collectors call you about debts that aren’t yours.
  • You find unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report.
  • Medical providers bill you for services you didn’t use.
  • Your health plan rejects a medical claim because records show you’ve reached your benefits limit.
  • The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name, or that you have income from an employer you don’t work for.

For more information about identity theft visit the FTC website, or visit the Employee Assistance Program at www.myrbh.com and use access code OEBB.

Moda Health members can enroll in basic identity protection with MyIDCare at no cost.  To enroll: log into your mymoda portal, select the “Home” tab, and look for the MyIDCare link.

OSEA members can enroll in basic identity protection with CLC ID PROTECT at no cost. You will be asked to provide the AFT local number for this benefit, and that number is 6732.  Use this link to enroll: https://clcidprotect.net/co/home/aft

To report suspected identity theft visit: www.identitytheft.gov.


An identity would seem to be arrived at by the way in which the person faces and uses his experience.

-James Baldwin

This newsletter is reviewed and edited each month by the District 4J and OSEA representatives of the Classified Joint Benefits Committee (JBC).The information in this newsletter is summarized, and is not intended as advice or counsel.

Posted in Classified Benefits Newsletter | Comments closed

Education Champions Named in 2019 ACE Awards

4J educators honored in awards program

4J staff and volunteers were honored for excellence in education at the 2019 ACE (A Champion in Education) Awards ceremony on Thursday, May 2.

All 117 nominees were recognized and four outstanding educators were named as champions in their category. Each champion will receive a $250 grant for their school from the Eugene Education Foundation. In addition, one exceptional longtime 4J team member was honored with a special lifetime achievement award.

4J’s 2019 ACE Awards champions are Kyle Kordon, Hayward Alexander, Cheryl Linder and Nancy Fischer. The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Cheryle Konold.

Congratulations to all of our staff and volunteers who were nominated and celebrated at the 2019 ACE Awards. To learn more about each nominee, please see the ACE Awards program that includes a short excerpt from their nomination.

Teachers & Licensed Specialists

Kyle Kordon, Science & Math Teacher, Kelly Middle School

Kyle teaches with energy, passion and dedication. His students feel safe, secure and willing to try new topics with the belief that they can do the work and be successful. Kyle’s even been known to dress up in costume, such as Jack Frost to teach a lesson about snow or Larry Potter (Harry’s long-lost cousin) to teach about genetics, to get his students’ attention and engage their curiosity.
He sees his students—each and every one—as individuals who deserve to be heard, to be known and to be valued at all times and in all ways. Kyle teaches his students with passion and energy, engaging them in meaningful inquiries that elicit authentic and sustained engagement.
Through Kyle’s leadership, energy, dedication, passion and joyful spirit, Kelly students reach their fullest potential.

David Adee, Music Teacher, River Road/El Camino del Río Elementary School • Lee Baker,  Counselor, Roosevelt Middle School • Richard Bell, Home Instruction Teacher, Student Services Department • Stephanie Birmingham, Language Arts Teacher, Kelly Middle School • Kathleen Brandt, Third Grade Teacher, Spring Creek Elementary School • Sheryl Carroll, Special Education Teacher, Edison Elementary School • Sebastian Catlin, Student Support Teacher, South Eugene High School • Tammy Coleman, Essential Skills Coordinator, Willagillespie Elementary School • Patrice Cowman, First Grade Teacher, Willagillespie Elementary School • Christie • Creed, Alternative Education Teacher, Eugene Education Options • Desere Doan,  Special Education Teacher, North Eugene High School • Chris Dobson, Music Teacher, South Eugene High School • Erica Dunn, Third Grade Teacher, Chávez Elementary School • Dene Eller, PE Teacher, River Road/El Camino del Río Elementary School • Kristen Gianforti, Counselor, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Carrie Grabowski, Fifth Grade Teacher, Charlemagne French Immersion Elementary School • Jon Hellner, Fourth Grade Teacher, Willagillespie Elementary School • Lynn Hellwege, Math Teacher, Sheldon High School • Jeff Hess, Physical Education & English Teacher, South Eugene High School • Krista Hocker, Teacher on Special Assignment, Instruction Department • Christie Hoogendoorn, First Grade Teacher, Camas Ridge Elementary School • Miho Hosaka, Home Economics Teacher, North Eugene High School • Anne Hubbard, Kindergarten Teacher, Willagillespie Elementary School • Kathryn Hulse, First Grade Teacher, Buena Vista Spanish Immersion Elementary School • Kristina Hulse, Fourth Grade Teacher, Spring Creek Elementary School • Sara Justice, First Grade Teacher, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Nathan Klarr, PE Teacher, Monroe Middle School • Scott Klein, Counselor, Yujin Gakuen Japanese Immersion & Corridor Elementary Schools • Kyle Kordon, Science Teacher, Kelly Middle School • Linda Lamb, Special Education Teacher, Howard Elementary School • Richard Leebrick, Language Arts & Drama Teacher, Roosevelt Middle School • Susan Lerch, Special Education Teacher, Transition Education Network • Marlee Litten, Staff Development Specialist, Student Services Department • Debra Lydum, Special Education Teacher, Kelly Middle School • Melissa Mares, Kindergarten Teacher, Buena Vista Spanish Immersion Elementary School • Dayna Mitchell, Title I Teacher, Spring Creek Elementary School • Yareli Montaño Ramirez, Second Grade Teacher, Buena Vista Spanish Immersion Elementary School • Sarah Jane Moore, Second Grade Teacher, Holt Elementary School • Alex Patton, Advanced Math Teacher, Churchill High School • Patricia Polter, French & Language Arts Teacher, Monroe Middle School • Jennifer Potter, Title I Coordinator, Holt Elementary • Sarah Prater, Teacher on Special Assignment, Instruction Department • Tracy Reed, Kindergarten Teacher, Chávez Elementary School • Angela Ruzicka, Science & Math Teacher, Cal Young Middle School • Elise Salmond, Kindergarten Teacher, Charlemagne French Immersion Elementary School • Deon Saraceno, Social Studies Teacher, Eugene International High School • Jennifer Scurlock, Language Arts Teacher, Churchill High School • Marcy Siegrist, Science Teacher, Roosevelt Middle School • Roxanne Simpson, First Grade Teacher, Gilham Elementary School • Linda Smart, Social Studies Teacher, Kelly Middle School • Lodi Soderholm, Advanced Math Teacher, Churchill High School • Michelle Squires, Fourth/Fifth Grade Teacher, Twin Oaks Elementary School • Michael Stead, Industrial Education Teacher, Madison Middle School • Zachary Stone, Fifth Grade Teacher, Howard Elementary School • Randall Streets, Kindergarten Teacher, Twin Oaks Elementary School • Katrina Sugar, Kindergarten Teacher, Howard Elementary School • Cathy Sullivan, Second Grade Teacher, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Lynette Williams, Teacher on Special Assignment, Instruction Department • Bobbie Willis, Journalism Teacher, South Eugene High School • Lisa Winter, Special Education Teacher, McCornack Elementary School • Erika Wolf, First Grade Teacher, Charlemagne French Immersion Elementary School • Kyle Yamada, Social Studies Teacher, Eugene International High School

Classified Staff

Hayward Alexander, Special Ed Education Assistant, Fox Hollow Program

Hayward works at 4J’s Fox Hollow program, which serves students who have some of the greatest needs and challenges in our schools. He is patient, kind and passionate about his students. He checks in with them daily, provides them with positive reinforcement continuously and makes a special effort to mentor those who have trouble connecting with others and making good decisions independently.
Students know he cares about them and that he is 100% committed to their growth as learners and individuals. His care for this program and students shows in his extra activities. He set up a holiday store for students to reward positive behavior, started a student yoga class, initiated group staff lunches and developed an instructional library for staff.
Hayward goes way beyond his job description to ensure a school climate of positivity, collaborating with teachers, administrators and district specialists to develop and implement support strategies to help Fox Hollow students be their best. He radiates caring, commitment and has high expectations making others want to do—and be—better.

Heather Acharya, Attendance Clerk, Spencer Butte Middle School • Yasmin Aguilar, Bilingual/Bicultural Office Support, River Road/El Camino del Río Elementary School • Hayward Alexander, Special Ed Educational Assistant, Fox Hollow Program • Ana Boyd, Special Ed Educational Assistant, Cal Young Middle School • Ryan Brown, Custodial Maintenance Coordinator I, Holt Elementary School • Joan Chu, Food Service Assistant I, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Deborah Dailey, Homeless Student Liaison, Instruction Department • Joni de Saint Phalle, Finance Clerk, South Eugene High School • Melody Fry, Educational Assistant, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Angie Gee, School Secretary, Chávez Elementary School • Linda Grape, Federal Programs & Operations Coordinator, Instruction Department • Kelly Greatwood, Special Ed Educational Assistant, Spring Creek Elementary School • Megan Hazelton, Food Service Coordinator I, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Maricela Hernandez, Educational Assistant, Gilham Elementary School • Julie Hopkins, Library/IMC Assistant, Howard Elementary School • Karen Kingzett, School Secretary, Roosevelt Middle School • Cheryle Konold, School Secretary, McCornack Elementary School • Regina Ligon, Technology Integration Assistant, McCornack Elementary School • Melanie Namkoong, Department Secretary, Eugene International High School • Trista Neuman, School Secretary, South Eugene High School • Jana Ouimet, Cognitive Educational Assistant, Gilham Elementary School • Mary Peterson, Special Ed Educational Assistant, Roosevelt Middle School • Mary Pat Piazza, Educational Assistant, Gilham Elementary School • Jeanette Prior, Educational Assistant, Chávez Elementary School • Julie Quelch, Federal Programs & Operations Coordinator, Instruction Department • Rick Raish, Student Supervision Assistant, North Eugene High School • Kym Ramsing, Attendance Clerk, ECCO/Eugene Education Options • Jason Rau, Warehouse Operations Assistant, Warehouse • David Robinson, Plumber Specialist, Facilities Department • Corey Rusco, Custodial Maintenance Coordinator II, Arts & Technology Academy • Jeremy Rutledge, Custodial Maintenance Coordinator I, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Doug Simonsen, Custodial Maintenance Coordinator II, Spencer Butte Middle School • Claire Smith, Elementary School Assistant, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Meladie Sorensen, Transition Specialist, Transition Education Network • Elton Steyding, Autism 1:1 Educational Assistant, South Eugene High School • Sandy Stinnett, Cognitive Educational Assistant, Transition Education Network • Deborah Stowell, Food Service Coordinator II, Holt Elementary School • Connie Summers, AV/Textbook Specialist, South Eugene High School • Ethan Tibbs, Educational Assistant, Gilham Elementary School • Heather Wilson, Educational Assistant, Edison Elementary School • Rose Winand, Technology Support Specialist III, Technology Department

Administrators, Managers, Supervisors & Professionals

Cheryl Linder, Director, Student Services Department

For more than 40 years, Cheryl has been dedicated to serving 4J students with special needs, and the school staff and systems that support their learning. She has tirelessly led her department staff as they face compelling and competing priorities every day.

She has a steadfast commitment to improving inclusion and accessibility for students living with disabilities. Driven by her commitment to these students, Cheryl has impacted the culture and day-to-day operations of the district. She has improved special education students’ access to technology and general education curriculum, worked to make our playgrounds and bathrooms more accessible and created programs to support students’ unique needs.

One of the biggest impacts she has had is helping the district embrace the notion that not every student learns in the same way, that those differences provide a richness that enhances our district, that equity means students deserve to get what they need to succeed, not just what everyone else is given, and that there is no act too great for the students we serve.

Molly Gillett, Principal, ECCO/Eugene Education Options • Cheryl Linder, Director, Student Services Department • Chris Mitchell, Principal, Cal Young Middle School • Mike Riplinger, Principal, Awbrey Park Elementary School


Nancy Fischer, Spring Creek Elementary School

Nancy has been steadfastly committed to meeting the needs of students and their families at Spring Creek Elementary School since 1998. She retired from teaching at Spring Creek in 2013. But, thankfully, she didn’t leave! In her retirement, she is still a constant presence at Spring Creek and remains dedicated to helping kids and families.
Nancy runs a support program that she created several years ago called “Snack Pack,” which provides much-needed weekend food to low-income Spring Creek families. Nancy also volunteers in the 4th grade classrooms twice a week to help students with reading fluency, and she helps organize Spring Creek’s annual events, like the Cultural Fair and the Oregon Trail celebration.
Spring Creek would not be the same without Nancy’s incredible dedication, commitment and caring, and legendary selflessness.

Amy Barrutia, Gilham Elementary School • Alexis Borrevik, Roosevelt Middle School • Ed Chastain, Gilham Elementary School • Ashlee Dixon, Gilham Elementary School • Nancy Fischer, Spring Creek Elementary School • Angela Nickerson, Gilham Elementary School • Kimberle Overton, Chávez Elementary School • Moira Querns, Holt Elementary School • Jessica Rasmussen, Family School • Doreen Vaughan, Cal Young Middle School

Lifetime Achievement Award

Cheryle Konold, School Secretary, McCornack Elementary School

Miss Cheryle, as she’s known to students and staff, has dedicated her life to helping 4J students since 1988. On any given day you will see her simultaneously working on her computer, answering phones, communicating with staff and parents, and greeting and comforting children, all in a calm, composed manner.
Not only is she naturally kind and thoughtful, but Cheryle is also a gifted office manager. In every 4J school she has worked, administrators have marveled at her intuitive abilities to improve systems and help staff work smarter and better.
From wiping a nose to checking for lice, from tying a shoe to giving a hug, from attending a student performance to washing health room blankets at home, Cheryle is conscientious, caring and loving. She takes on even the most mundane and dreary tasks with a smile or a shrug, just knowing that it needs to be done because that’s what we do to help others.
Cheryle has been at McCornack since 2008 and it’s hard for the staff, students and families to imagine the school without her. She will be greatly missed when she retires this spring.


David Adee, Music Teacher, River Road/El Camino del Río Elementary School • Sebastian Catlin, Student Support Teacher, South Eugene High School • Desere Doan, Special Education Teacher, North Eugene High School • Lynn Hellwege, Math Teacher, Sheldon High School • Jeff Hess, Physical Education & English Teacher, South Eugene High School • Cheryle Konold, School Secretary, McCornack Elementary School • Cheryl Linder, Director of Student Services, Student Services Department • Marlee Litten, Staff Development Specialist, Student Services Department • Dayna Mitchell, Title I Teacher, Spring Creek Elementary School • Mike Riplinger, Principal, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Angela Ruzicka, Science & Math Teacher, Cal Young Middle School • Claire Smith, Elementary School Assistant, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Sandy Stinnett, Cognitive Educational Assistant, Life Skills Network • Cathy Sullivan, Second Grade Teacher, Awbrey Park Elementary School

Thank You!

Thanks to all those who took time to nominate a deserving staff member or volunteer, or attended the event to celebrate excellence in education.

Thanks to Eugene Education Foundation for supporting of our public schools and outstanding educators.

Last but not least, thank you to all of our 4J staff and volunteers who make a difference in the lives of children every day.

Posted in News | Comments closed

4J Seeks Architects for Edison Elementary School

District is soliciting architect proposals to design new school

Voters in Eugene School District 4J resoundingly passed the school bond measure in November 2018 to fund capital improvements for 4J schools. Bond funds will be used to construct new school buildings for three schools with aging facilities, repair schools, improve security, update technology and learning materials, support career technical education, and more. Every school will benefit.

Before building the new schools, they must first be designed. The district will select architects this spring to design the first new schools.

The architect team for North Eugene High School will be selected first. The district is reviewing Statements of Qualification submitted by architectural firms licensed in Oregon to provide architectural, engineering and other consulting services.

The Edison architect team will be the second to be selected. Statements of Qualification from architectural firms are being accepted now until Friday, May 24, at 12:00 p.m. Architect proposals must address sustainability and efficiency, certify non-discrimination in employment practices, and identify their resident status.

Before school design work begins, community meetings will be held to consider the historic appearance of the old school and discuss how to move forward with designing a new school for this neighborhood.

Architectural Services Solicitation:
North Eugene High School
Edison Elementary School

Proposals for architectural services for the design of Edison Elementary School are due Friday, May 24, 2019, at 12 noon.

More about the school improvement bond

Posted in Bond 2018, Featured, News | Comments closed

How, Where & When: School Rebuilding Plan Update

Temporary site will be created for school operations during Edison & Camas Ridge Elementary construction

Thanks to voters’ approval of the 2018 bond measure, planning for new school buildings is getting underway. This has required critical decisions to be made about how and when to rebuild and house students during construction of the new Edison and Camas Ridge Elementary School buildings.

After exploring possibilities and seeking community input on a wide range of reconstruction options, the school board has approved a plan to create a temporary school location at the Willard site. Creating the temporary school location will involve renovating the existing Willard gym, constructing a pre-fabricated building and installing some portable classrooms.

The temporary school location will first house Edison students while the new Edison is constructed on its existing site, and then house Camas Ridge students while the new Camas is built on its existing site. The target completion dates for the new buildings are Edison in 2022 and Camas Ridge in 2024.

More bond information

Posted in Bond 2018, Featured, News | Comments closed

May 8 School Closure: Frequently Asked Questions

What is happening on Wednesday, May 8?

Eugene School District 4J schools will be closed on Wednesday, May 8, due to a planned teacher walkout strike to advocate for increased state investment in public education. Teachers’ unions in Eugene and in many other Oregon school districts are planning a one-day action on May 8

The district does not condone or support walkouts or any activities that disrupt student learning. The school day has been canceled because teacher absences and substitute shortages will exceed 4J schools’ ability to provide safe and adequate supervision for our students on May 8. We know that this change will be challenging for our families, and we apologize for the disruption.

Learn more

Will any school services be available on Wednesday, May 8, when schools are closed?

No school services will be available on May 8, except as noted below.

Will special education programs be closed?

The school day is canceled for 4J and Lane ESD special education programs located in 4J schools. Some programs provided by other or districts at non-4J sites may be open.  

Will another school day be added at the end of the school year in June?

The school year will not be extended to make up the missed day. Make-up snow days have already extended the school year and many families have already changed summer plans due to those added days. May 8 will be an unpaid day for teachers and the missed school day will not be made up.  

Will this count as an absence for my child?

No, the school day has been canceled and it will not count as an absence for students.

Will the May 8 school closure affect AP/IB exams students have scheduled on May 8?

Scheduled AP and IB tests will continue as planned.

Will the school closure affect athletics and extracurricular activities?

Scheduled athletic competitions such as track meets on May 8 will continue as planned. 

Athletic practices, theater rehearsals and other extracurricular activities may take place with voluntary participation; check with your coach or advisor.

What about Outdoor School, field trips and other school events?

At Willagillespie Elementary School and Camas Ridge Elementary School, Outdoor School will continue as scheduled with buses leaving from the schools on Wednesday morning and returning Friday evening. (Parents must transport their students to the school at the designated time on Wednesday morning; there will be no regular home-to-school bus transportation.)

At Howard Elementary School, which has scheduled a daytime-only program, Outdoor School will continue as planned on Monday and Tuesday, and the third day will be rescheduled.

Other field trips and school events are canceled. Schools will communicate with families regarding any rescheduling of these events.

Will school meals be provided?

Free school meals will be available at selected sites across the district, similar to summer meal programs. All students can drop in and eat breakfast and lunch at no cost—they do not need to be enrolled at that school.

Special diet meals and health services such as carb counting and diabetic care will not be available.

Breakfast 8:00–9:00 a.m.
Lunch 12:00–1:00 p.m.

• North Eugene High School, 200 Silver Lane
• Madison Middle School, 875 Wilkes Dr.
• Churchill High School, 1850 Bailey Hill Rd.
• Chávez Elementary School, 1510 W. 14th Ave.
• South Eugene High School, 400 E. 19th Ave.
• Spencer Butte Middle School, 500 E. 43rd Ave.
• Sheldon High School, 2455 Willakenzie Rd.
• Cal Young Middle School, 2555 Gilham Rd.

Will preschool / pre-kindergarten programs be open?

The following programs will operate as normally scheduled:
• Early Education Program at Kennedy and Kelly
• Preschool Promise at Howard and Madison
• Head Start at Charlemagne and River Road/El Camino del Río  

Will childcare be available?

The district has encouraged local organizations to offer childcare services on May 8 as they do on regularly scheduled no-school days. Several programs including the following have stated they plan to offer some childcare options: YMCA, Eugene Creative Care, City of Eugene, and After School Club (at non-4J sites), and Treetop Academics (at Edison Elementary). Please contact your childcare provider for more information.  

Will school bus transportation be provided?

There will be no bus transportation to school on May 8, as the school day has been canceled.

Student transportation services will be provided as scheduled from schools to Outdoor School and to athletic contests that are taking place. Transportation also will be provided as scheduled to non-4J early intervention and special education programs that are open on this day.

Will health services be provided?  

School-day meal-related health services such as carb counting and diabetic care will not be available. School nursing services will not be available. The school-based health center at North Eugene High School will be closed.  

The school-based health center at Churchill High School will be open to serve students and families. The 4J wellness clinic will be open to serve staff.

How can parents and community members support better funding for schools?

While Eugene School District 4J does not condone this walkout or any activity that disrupts learning, we share the goal of fully funding K–12 education in Oregon. 

More information about the planned day of action is available directly from the Eugene Education Association

If you wish to contact your legislators to advocate for adequately funding public education, there is a simple lookup to find the Oregon Senate and House members who represent you at https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/FindYourLegislator/leg-districts.html.


Learn more about the school closure on May 8

Posted in News | Comments closed
  • News Archives

  • RSS Recent Posts