Working together will be key at Roseburg Public Schools this year.

That was the message from Roseburg Public Schools Superintendent Jared Cordon, who hosted a breakfast for all employees Monday morning at the Rose Theater at Roseburg High School as a welcome back for the 2019-20 school year.

As part of his message to staff, Cordon used an analogy about Redwood National Park. Although the trees are some of the largest in the world, Cordon said the roots are very shallow. Despite a shallow root system and tough West Coast conditions, the forest is able to survive storms by working together.

“The Redwood roots are shallow but are woven together, and together they are remarkably strong,” Cordon said. “As a community, we can learn something from these Redwoods as we help tether and support each other and as we build partnerships together. This is our work, our root system.”

“I liked the story of the redwoods and how it ties into what we are here for,” Administrative Assistant Patty Boggs said.

The Rose Theater was at capacity with all staff attending, including classified staff who were not scheduled but were offered four hours of paid time to attend the breakfast, welcome and a school meeting.

“We want to make sure we emphasize the importance of partnership,” Cordon said about asking classified staff to return at the same time as licensed staff. “We want to start the school year with all the employees.”

Cordon said he also plans to shut off his air conditioning during the expected upcoming heatwave.

“If I’m going to hold other people accountable, I need to hold myself accountable,” Cordon said. “If I expect a 6-year-old to sit in a 100-degree classroom, I’m going to turn off my air conditioner.”

This week is filled with planning days for teachers. Roseburg schools start class on Sept. 3 for elementary school students, sixth and ninth graders, and on Sept. 4 for all other students.

Sanne Godfrey can be reached at or 541-957-4203. Follow her on Twitter @sannegodfrey.

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