Andy Gardner has great expectations for Stayton and Sublimity schools.
“All five schools want greater contact in the community,” said Gardner, principal at Stayton Intermediate/Middle School. “We want to be great places for kids, where they learn not just basic subjects, but responsibilities both as students and community members.”
Gardner’s vision and commitment to students and staff captured the attention of the North Santiam School District’s Board of Directors while searching for a superintendent to replace Dr. Jack Adams, who is retiring June 30.
“The board selected Andy because of his demonstrated ability to engage parents and the community in our schools,” said Tass Morrison, school board chair.
Gardner gives action to his words through his own community involvement.
He was selected to the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award Board of Examiners in 2004; served on the Chemeketa Community College Santiam Campus Advisory Board in 2004-08; was an accreditation team member, Lourdes Charter School in 2007; and is a member of the Jeff Huddleston Scholarship Foundation, Stayton Rotary Club, YMCA Advisory Board, Stayton-Sublimity Chamber of Commerce Community Awards Celebration Selection Committee, and Stayton Relay for Life. He is also part owner and member of a family board of directors for Gardner Enterprises, Inc., a beverage distributorship in John Day, Ore.
“I think the quality of life here is great,” Gardner said of Stayton and Sublimity. “I love our communities!”
Morrison said Gardner’s ability to improve the teaching and learning process for students and his strong commitment to “prudent and wise stewardship” in managing the district’s budget and fiscal resources as additional reasons for his selection.
“I’m honored, and look forward to the challenge,” said Gardner, who holds a master of arts in teaching from Western Oregon University and a standard/administrator/ superintendent certificate from Portland State University.
Gardner’s 17 years of service to the district includes his current position as well as principal at Sublimity School from 2002 to 2006, athletic director and vice principal at Stayton High School from 1997 to 2002, and teacher and coach at SHS from 1993 to 1997.
“His rich and highly successful experience in our district allows Andy to begin with a strong foundation for moving us forward,” Morrison said.
Gardner will work alongside Adams for the next four months, a transition that will allow him to remain at SIS/SMS until the end of the school year.
“Under Adams’ leadership for the past four years, the district has made significant gains in student learning, developing a cohesive management team, creating positive working relationships among all employee groups, improving technology and library media services, and creating a transparent budgeting process,” Morrison said. “These are areas in which the board wants to continue.”
Gardner agreed, adding, “I think that Dr. Adams and the board have also done a great job of working toward a unified district, and I will continue to do that.”
The North Santiam District serves 2,428 students at Mari-Linn School in Lyons, Sublimity School in Sublimity, and Stayton Elementary, Middle/Intermediate and High schools in Stayton.
Gardner lives in Sublimity with his wife, Amber, and sons, Jake, 8, and Justin, 6, both students at Sublimity School. When not at work, he enjoys fly fishing, reading, fitness, gardening and spending time with his family.
No determination has yet been made to fill the Stayton Intermediate/Middle School principal’s position.