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Silver Falls School District

Moving forward – Silver Falls School District hires interim superintendent

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) has hired Kim Kellison, current superintendent of the Winston-Dillard School District, as interim superintendent effective July 1. The SFSD Board unanimously approved a two-year contract with Kellison during a special meeting June 4, with the contract running through June 30, 2026. Kellison told board members she believes SFSD can “move forward […]

Confidential: Board defends closed-door interviews

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District Board is defending its decision to hold closed-door interviews for interim superintendent, saying this improved the quality of candidates and the process itself. After voting June 4 to extend the position to Winston-Dillard School District Superintendent Kim Kellison, board members said it was important for the public to know why the process […]

New Silverton High School Principal Kirstin Jorgenson Submitted Photo

Jorgenson named Silverton High principal

Longtime Scotts Mills School Principal Kirstin Jorgenson will become principal of Silverton High School starting next school year, according to a June 5 announcement by the Silver Falls School District. In a ParentSquare broadcast that evening, the district said Jorgenson will take over the role currently held by acting Principal Patrick Mulligan, who will return to his previous role as […]

JFK High School seniors Manya Vaquera, left, and Sailor Hill have received the annual Maureen Ernst Memorial and Junior First Citizen scholarships, respectively, presented by the Mt. Angel Chamber of Commerce. Submitted photo

Mt. Angel Chamber announces ’24 scholarships

The Mt. Angel Chamber of Commerce has awarded the Maureen Ernst Memorial and Junior First Citizen scholarships to JFK students Manya Vaquera and Sailor Hill, respectively. In a June 7 announcement, the chamber said both students exemplified the leadership and volunteerism at the heart of the scholarships. Each received $2,000 toward college. Vaquera’s accomplishments included planning a successful blood drive […]

PFLAG Silverton

Picnic helps launch new PFLAG chapter

By Stephen Floyd A local chapter of national LGBTQ+ advocacy group PFLAG has opened in Silverton, with a Pride Family Picnic scheduled for June 22 at Coolidge McClaine Park to help kick off the group. In a May 15 press release, local organizers said the goal was to promote PFLAG’s work of “creating a caring, just, and affirming world for […]

Legal Matters: Arrested – New Year’s murder suspect

By Stephen Floyd A Mount Angel man accused of killing another man at his ex-wife’s apartment on New Year’s Day is in custody after eluding authorities for six months. Agustin Barocio, 43, was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Mexico May 24 and was returned to Marion County May 31, according to a press release from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office […]

Silver Falls School District

Reduction in force – Silver Falls School District lays off 62 in first round

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) has laid off 62 employees including 20 teachers in the first round of staffing reductions amid efforts to cut $8.8 million from next year’s budget. Staff were notified May 22 and 23 after the SFSD Board voted unanimously May 20 to authorize Interim Superintendent Joe Morelock to begin reductions in force […]

Support strategy: Evergreen, Pratum parents rally to keep schools

By Stephen Floyd When the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) proposed temporarily closing Evergreen and Pratum schools as a cost-saving measure, parents from those communities organized to push back. During the May 13 meeting of the SFSD board, several hundred residents were in attendance in-person and online, many of whom wore T-shirts bearing Evergreen Eagles and Pratum Pirates. Their message […]

Gervais passes facilities bond, avoiding closure

The Gervais School District (GSD) has passed a much-needed facilities bond, avoiding a potential closure that could have sent its students to the Silver Falls and Mount Angel school districts. As of election results published May 24 by the Marion County Clerk’s Office, 72.61% of voters supported Bond Measure 24-498 during the May 21 election.  The bond would raise $28 […]

Staff criticize SFSD Board for ‘bait and switch’

By Stephen Floyd Teachers and staff expressed anger, frustration and disappointment as the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) Board recently approved steep personnel cuts to balance next year’s budget. During a special meeting May 20, board members voted to authorize reductions in force (RIF) to help eliminate $8.8 million from the 2024-25 budget, with 91 positions eliminated as of May […]

Silver Falls School District

Number crunching: SFSD talks layoffs, school closures, schedule changes

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) has started mapping out options to cut $8.8 million from next year’s budget, including layoffs in all departments and temporary school closures. During a special meeting May 8 of the SFSD Board, Interim Superintendent Joe Morelock presented options based on feedback from principals, employees and community members. Proposed reductions These included […]

Wachter Meadows in Mount Angel. Stephen floyd

Mount Angel subdivision – Wachter Meadows receives final permits

By Stephen Floyd Mount Angel has issued the final occupancy permits for the Wachter Meadows subdivision, finalizing a six-year development process that brought 63 new single-family units to town. Administrative Services Director Colby Kemp said, as of the start of May, all inspections have been completed and permits issued, finalizing the city’s role in the development. He said all 63 […]

Scales of Justice

Legal Matters

Alleged assault leads to high-speed chase An Aumsville man is facing multiple charges after an alleged domestic violence incident near Silverton resulted in a high-speed pursuit. Matthew James Rodgers, 33, was arrested May 6 for an incident the previous evening on Hwy. 214 near Silver Falls State Park. Rodgers allegedly strangled a woman, threatened her with a hatchet and damaged […]

Community input sought on 2024-2025 SFSD cuts

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) is asking the public what they would like to see prioritized financially as significant cuts for next year threaten staff, programs and facilities. The district has been advised to reduce the 2024-2025 budget by roughly $8.8 million, or 12 percent of the current budget, to correct years of overspending and revenue […]

Silver Falls School District approves furlough days

By Stephen Floyd Seven furlough days for the present school year have been approved by the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) Board as part of efforts to address significant budget shortfalls. During the board’s regular meeting April 22, members voted unanimously to designate May 3 and 24 and June 10-14 as furlough days on the school calendar. These will be […]

Nonprofit guiding interim superintendent search for Silver Falls opening

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) has partnered with the Coalition of Oregon School Administrators (COSA) to find an interim superintendent as the search for a permanent superintendent takes shape. During the SFSD Board’s regular meeting April 22, it approved a COSA-led search process that could result in hiring an interim superintendent by mid-May. This would leave […]

Silver Falls School District

School district applies for $3.8 million bridge loan

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) has applied for a $3.8 million loan to help address a $1.3 million cash shortfall, with most of the funds expected to be invested to offset financing costs. During a special meeting April 11 of the SFSD Board, officials voted unanimously to pursue a tax anticipation note (TAN), which borrows against […]

Marion County

May vote: Three vie for clerk’s seat

By Stephen Floyd Marion County voters are being asked to choose between candidates for County Clerk in the May 21 Primary Election to determine who progresses to the November ballot. Longtime Clerk Bill Burgess is being challenged by Deputy Clerk Jo Anne Lepley and retired election worker Anna Munson. The two with the most votes will appear on the Nov. […]

Scales of Justice

Legal Matters

Silverton house forfeited in pot sting A Silverton-area house once used in by an interstate marijuana ring has been sold as part of federal forfeiture proceedings. The residence, at 17344 Powers Creek Loop NE, was among 14 property forfeitures announced April 1 in a press release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Oregon.  The other houses were […]

Gervais School District

If May bond fails Gervais to consider 2025 district closure

By Stephen Floyd The Gervais School District (GSD) plans to continue operating for one more year if a $28 million facilities bond on the May 21 ballot fails. District officials said last summer, if a May bond were to fail, the district would be unable to afford critical repairs at its two remaining schools and may be forced to dissolve. […]

Silver Falls School District Interim Superintendent Joe Morelock Submitted Photo

Money woes mount – SFSD struggles to make sense of the dollars

By Stephen Floyd Former Newberg Superintendent Joe Morelock has been hired as interim superintendent for the Silver Falls School District (SFSD), with the goal of “stabilizing” its finances and administration. During a special meeting April 1, the SFSD Board approved an intergovernmental agreement with Willamette Education Service District (WESD), where Morelock currently serves as superintendent. The agreement, effective through June […]

SFSD told to cut $10 million over 2 years

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) has been advised to cut $1.2 million from its current budget by June and $8.8 million for the next school year to correct a looming deficit and patterns of overspending. During the April 8 meeting of the SFSD Board, officials received a financial presentation from Jackie Olsen, executive director of the […]

City of Mt. Angel

Precautionary measure – Mount Angel rolling out chlorination May 15

By Stephen Floyd The City of Mount Angel is finalizing plans to chlorinate its municipal water supply as a preventative against unhealthy microbes, with public meetings on the matter set for April. In a timeline published on the city’s website, officials said chlorination is scheduled to begin May 15 to comply with an Oregon Health Authority (OHA) mandate from 2023. […]

Pepper and Keith Teem in front of the Mt. Angel Public Library. Stephen Floyd

Teem power: Mount Angel couple lauded for 50-year service to library

By Stephen Floyd Keith and Pepper Teem started volunteering at the Mt. Angel Public Library in 1974 and since then have played central roles in both its day-to-day operations and major projects. Now the Mount Angel couple has retired after 50 years of service at the library and city leaders are marking this milestone with official proclamations and a celebration […]

GeerCrest hosts Food Co-op Earth Day event at farm

The Silverton Food Co-op is holding an Earth Day event at GeerCrest Farm, with family-friendly educational activities and live entertainment. Scheduled for 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday,  April 20 at the farm, 12390 Sunnyview Road NE, Salem, this free event is offered in partnership with GeerCrest and Sustainable Silverton. A main focus will be the role of oak trees […]