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Moving on – Nielsen departing SFSD for online academy

By Stephen Floyd

The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) has announced the departure of Director of Finance & Operations Steve Nielsen after he accepted a position with Oregon Charter Academy.

Nielsen is expected to remain with SFSD through mid-March and among other tasks will oversee finalization of a facilities bond proposal for the May 21 election, due to be submitted to the Marion County Elections Clerk March 1.

Nielsen served with SFSD for nine years and oversaw the district’s financial health and operations through turbulent times. This included overseeing significant shifts in Oregon’s public retirement system and financial disruptions during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Superintendent Scott Drue said in a Jan. 18 press release Nielsen’s dedication and expertise were vital to maintaining the district’s fiscal integrity. Drue praised Nielsen’s “ability to see through complex issues and focus on what really matters – in our case, our students.”

“(Nielsen) sets the standard for high-quality, student-centered leadership,” said Drue. “He will be sincerely missed, and we wish him all the best in his new adventure. I know I can speak for all when I say that we are all better as a result of working with him.”

The district said it would soon initiate a process to fill the Director of Finance position and would be “committed to a thorough and transparent search.” 

Oregon Charter Academy is a statewide, online K-12 program with offices in Mill City.

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