Only one community member showed up to the first community member meeting in the search for a new Roseburg Public School Superintendent. He was on his way to a concert and had an hour to kill on campus at Roseburg High School.

Most of the input comes from online surveys, said Michael Taylor, who is leading the search at NextUp Leadership for the district. He said he’s had meetings of one or two people before and wasn’t surprised.

“We do far more on the surveys than we would do otherwise,” Taylor said. “This particular survey is just trying to get an overall sense. We often have community meetings of one, two, three people. It’s very typical unless there is currently a real controversy.”

Taylor said the purpose of the survey and community meetings is to gather information about the desired qualifications for the new superintendent and to identify strengths and areas for improvement for the District.

Taylor led the search for Gerry Washburn, who was the superintendent from July 2015 until August 2018.

Interim Superintendent Lee Paterson came along with board directors Micki Hall and Charles Lee. He agreed with Taylor that the ease of the online survey and lack of current issues contributed to a smaller turnout.

“I thought there would be a lot more people,” Paterson said. “I know what he said is probably the reason why a lot of people didn’t come out to the meeting. In the old days, this was the only way you could do it. Now, with the electronic submission, they will have what they want and they will have it in a form they can fold in. This takes a lot more time.”

Taylor asked students, teachers and community members the same questions from the online survey in meetings that started during the school day and ran until 6:30 p.m.

Elementary teacher Sherri Good, who stayed for a little bit after the teachers’ meeting, said she wanted a superintendent who knew education across the board, not just one level or another.

“Most of the staff in Roseburg want to do what’s best for kids — and that’s not just in the classroom,” Good said. “That’s helping wherever we can. We know it’s a commitment.”

She said communication had improved greatly this school year compared to last year when she didn’t know what she was supposed to do.

“You’re hopeful things will get better,” Good said. “If there really isn’t a good fit, don’t pick the one that’s the lesser evil. Open up the search again.”

Taylor said they have received more information from the online survey which runs until Tuesday and the organization will present their findings at the school board meeting Wednesday.

Janelle Polcyn can be reached at or 541-957-4204. Or follow her on Twitter


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Janelle Polcyn is the business reporter at The News-Review, graduated from the University of Texas, and is a podcast enthusiast.

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