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Scott Drue resigns as superintendent

Scott Drue has resigned as superintendent of the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) amid a deficit projection of more than $825,000 and concerns from teachers of “toxic” leadership.

Drue’s resignation was accepted by the SFSD Board during a special meeting March 13, effective immediately. The board then named Assistant Superintendent Dan Busch as acting superintendent.

In a prepared statement, Drue said his personal life “has been extremely difficult” during recent years and he was taking time away from education. 

In the board’s own prepared statement Chair Jennifer Traeger thanked Drue for his “tireless” work to bring new programs to SFSD and to close achievement gaps. 

“We wish Mr. Drue nothing but the best in his future endeavors in public education,” said Traeger.

The board also approved a separation agreement with Drue which included a cash payout of $92,141, slightly more than half his annual salary of $169,313. Parties agreed to hold each other harmless from potential legal damages, and to not publicly disparage the other.

Drue’s resignation came as a surprise to the Silver Falls Education Association (SFEA), which two days earlier had accused Drue of “financial negligence.” In a statement to Our Town, SFEA said Drue’s resignation relieved some concerns about district leadership while other obstacles remained. “There are still concerns about the broken trust, the toxic work culture that was created, and how we will move forward and heal as a district.” 

Drue’s tenure with SFSD was defined by crisis, starting with his first day in 2020 amid COVID-19 lockdowns and a 10 percent drop in student enrollment. That year also saw Silverton threatened by wildfires, while 2021 brought a devastating ice storm.

In April of 2022 the district began what would become contentious contract negotiation with SFEA, which concluded in April 2023 just days shy of a strike.

In late 2023 the board was informed of a need to cut the 2024-2025 budget by more than $3 million, and on Feb. 26 they were informed of the deficit projections for the current school year.

— Stephen Floyd

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