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Promotion – Shotts interim Robert Frost principal

By Stephen Floyd

Robert Frost School has a new principal as of Feb. 7 following a pattern of high administrator turnover within the district.

Holly Shotts, who formerly taught a 4th/5th grade blended class at the school, will serve as interim principal through June after former Principal Mandy Pack accepted a job with a different district. Pack had been principal since July 1, 2021, following the promotion of former Principal Leslie Roache as the district’s director of teaching and learning.

In a statement from the Silver Falls School District, Shotts said she is excited to support school staff and their efforts to serve students.

“I’m really fortunate to be a part of this school community and look forward to serving all stakeholders in this new role,” she said.

Shotts joins multiple educators who are new to SFSD administration, such as Silverton High School Principal Sione Thompson and Assistant Principal Patrick Mulligan, and Silver Crest Elementary School Principal Melissa Linder, all of whom took their positions within the last year.

Three principals in eight months caught the attention of Robert Frost parent Kirsten Linthwaite, who spoke before the SFSD board during its regular meeting Feb. 14. She said recurring changes in leadership are barriers to teacher and student success, and a pattern of resignations needs to be addressed.

“People that love their job and feel respected and supported don’t just pick up and leave,” she said.

Linthwaite said she had a long conversation with Superintendent Scott Drue and Assistant Superintendent Dan Busch, who joined the district in 2020 and 2019, respectively. She said these talks were “incredibly informative” regarding coaching, performance management and support. She asked the board to share this information more broadly with parents, staff and stakeholders.

“Without this level of transparency, it is leaving open wide gaps for assumptions, gossip and hearsay,” said Linthwaite.

The board did not address administrator turnover directly during its meeting. In a separate discussion about COVID-19 updates, Drue acknowledged principals have tackled more than their fair share of challenges during the pandemic and were “the backbone of the Silver Falls School District.

“I owe our principles a debt I will never be able to fully repay,” he said.

 

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