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Thompson departs SHS for struggling NV school

Silverton High School (SHS) Principal Sione Thompson has resigned from his position as of today to take the helm of a struggling charter school in Nevada.

In a media release Tuesday, the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) confirmed Thompson resigned effective April 2 and Assistant Principal Patrick Mulligan has become interim principal.

Mulligan is expected to serve through the remainder of the current school year, and the district said they plan to hire a long-term principal by the 2024-2025 school year.

In the release, Assistant Superintendent Dan Busch said Thompson had been “an integral part of our community” and brought about positive changes through inspirational leadership. Busch also said the district is confident in Mulligan’s abilities to lead the school during this transition period.

Thompson was hired as SHS principal in 2021 and came to Silverton from Oahu, where he was a regional superintendent for the Hawaii State Department of Education. Before this he was executive director of the Hawaii State Public Charter School Commission.

Thompson is set to become executive director for TEACH Las Vegas, a public charter school established in 2021 serving elementary and middle school students. He is expected to officially enter the position April 4.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the school has been beleaguered recently by poor accountability and academic performance reviews, and the non-payment of $320,000 in public pension contributions. Former Executive Director Andrea Moore resigned suddenly Oct. 4, 2023, which was followed by mass staff resignations and a sharp drop in student enrollment, reported the newspaper.

The TEACH Las Vegas Board said Thompson was chosen because he “has expertise in school turnaround,” according to a proposed contract with Thompson on their agenda for tonight.

In a statement on the school’s website, Thomson said his goal was to “foster a culture of excellence, equity, and innovation” with a commitment to “transparency, communication and accountability.”

“I am looking forward to building meaningful relationships, making a positive impact, and achieving great things together at TEACH Las Vegas,” said Thompson.

He departs SFSD amid its own administrative crisis, including a more-than $825,000 shortfall threatening June payroll, and the sudden resignation of former Superintendent Scott Drue March 13. The district has brought on Willamette Education Service District Superintendent Joe Morelock as interim superintendent through June 30, and plans to select another interim July 1 until a permanent superintendent is hired.

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