Positive challenges: Mt. Angel School District’s new superintendent

August 2021 Posted in Uncategorized

By Brenna Wiegand

New Mt. Angel SD Superintendent Rachel Stucky

Rachel Stucky takes the helm as Mt. Angel School District’s new superintendent, taking over for Troy Stoops who stepped down at the end of the last school year after filling the role for ten years.

Stucky spent the last five years in the Sweet Home School District as chief academic officer and is eager to bring her skills and experience to Mount Angel.

“Since I was a young girl, I have had emotional connections to Mount Angel through my parents and their friends and even played sports against Kennedy when I was in high school in Salem,” Stucky said. “I just feel a very strong sense of connection and purpose with Mount Angel.”

As with most other districts, this year’s biggest issue will be coming out of the drastic restrictions imposed by the pandemic over the past year and more, but until now it has been a “hurry up and wait” process.

“[O]ne challenge is what do you do when you have new guidance coming out near the end of July with the kids coming back to school just over a month later?” Stucky said.

“That will be a huge challenge, but I consider it a positive one and an opportunity to reach out and get to know our stake-holders whether they are taxpayers who don’t have kids in school, business owners, parents and certainly our students,” Stucky said. “I think that process will be a real gift.

“It has been very hard to satisfy people through the COVID experience because no one is satisfied, and I can understand why.”

Mt. Angel School District Board Chair Shari Riedman says Stucky meets everything the district was looking for in a new leader.

“As a board we were really looking for someone with executive level experience in a school district somewhat similar to Mt. Angel, such as a smaller town or rural area,” Riedman said. “Rachel definitely brings that; her experience brings a lot to the table.”

Current school district goals include improving graduation rates, overall scores, and educational experience for those who are typically under-served, including English Language Learners and the Latinx population that make up a large portion of the school district.

“The majority of my background has been working with English Language Learners and families that fall below poverty guidelines,” Stucky said. “For me that is also a purposeful connection and one that makes me want to serve and work in this community.”

Stucky looks forward to brushing up on her Spanish as she meets with district families to work through the challenges and questions they face.

“I am a native Oregonian and I love the whole region,” Stucky said. “I am so honored, and I also feel in my heart that Mount Angel is the right fit for me.”

Stucky is ready to roll up her sleeves as the district transitions out of COVID and its restrictions and into the 2021-22 school year. 

“Our district is ready for somewhat of a reset,” Riedman said. “We are not starting over but we are entering a bit of a new chapter post-COVID. This includes keeping what we have learned that has worked well and bringing back many of the things we have not been able to do over
the past year.

“Rachel is very thoughtful in her approach,” Riedman continued. “She is a particularly good listener and will do a great job at reaching out to our key stakeholders in figuring out how we need to proceed.”

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