Newport High School grad Matt Utterback has been honored by the National Association of Schools Superintendents by being named National Schools Superintendent of the Year – across the whole country. Utterback is the Superintendent of Schools in the North Clackamas School District in suburban Portland where he has managed to dramatically raise graduation rates and pump up student performance across the board including low income, minority and special education students whose test results are nothing short of stunning.
Here’s the story in The Oregonian.
….and another from the Portland Tribune well worth reading…
Part of Mr. Utterback’s award acceptance speech….
“Making this vision a reality for Oregon’s students is becoming more difficult in our country and in our local communities where divisiveness has taken on a disturbing tone of hate and bigotry. Today, we are in a climate where the rules of civility and respect for different opinions have changed in dramatic ways. Some of our most vulnerable student groups lie in the crossroads.
The diversity of our students and families is part of the fabric that makes a strong community. They should not be afraid to be themselves in our schools. Educators have an obligation to each other, each student, and every family to ensure a sense of safety, respect, and love. Unlike tolerance, which would have us acknowledge our differences, love knows that each of us has worth and value. Love has us defend each other from hurt and harm.
When we commit to protecting each other, we must also commit to interrupting when we hear or see offensive words and acts. We must commit to creating schools that are protected from discrimination. We must commit to communicate, daily, to each student that we will protect, advocate for, and value them equally no matter their race, gender, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, language or ethnicity.”