Henstrand has spent 40 years in education
by: Contributed photo Reynolds School District Superintendent Joyce Henstrand

Reynolds School District Superintendent Joyce Henstrand will retire on June 30, 2012.

Henstrand was named interim superintendent in December 2009 before being named superintendent in May 2010.

She was hired as the district's director of instruction in 2003.

Her career in education includes 17 years in the classroom as a high school language arts teacher in New York as well as in Beaverton. She also served as principal of Milwaukie and West Linn high schools.

In a letter to Reynolds district staff, Henstrand expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve the district, and alluded to the turmoil that engulfed it prior to taking its helm. She took over a district that had seen two superintendents resign in less than two years, ethics investigations, a damaging budget crisis rooted in past practices and an overall decline in state education funding.

'Reynolds is regaining its reputation in the community and in the Portland metropolitan area,' Henstrand wrote. 'We are poised to continue our growth and become a leader in the state.'

Reynolds School District Board Chairwoman Theresa Delaney-Davis said Henstrand had 'graciously stepped up when asked to fulfill the role of superintendent,' and her stewardship meant the district was stable enough to attract a high quality replacement next year.

'Her work emphasizing academic performance, fiscal solvency and improved community and constituent participation has yielded strong results in a short period of time,' Delaney-Davis said.

Joyce Rosenau, president of the Reynolds Education Association, which represents the district's teachers, wished the superintendent well, and noted Henstrand had been 'instrumental in the settlement of our last contract,' which expired June 30. The teachers union and district recently turned contract negotiations over to a state mediator after months of talks failed to yield an agreement.

'Dr. Henstrand's door has always been open to me, and I have felt respected by her,' Rosenau said, adding, 'I hope the district hires another superintendent who is willing to collaborate with the teachers.'

Highlights of Henstrand's work for the Reynolds district include:

• Development of a kindergarten-to-12 literacy model for instruction that includes instructional coaches.

• Professional development in literacy strategies, common core standards, math strategies and model schools study; and creation of a summer institute, which introduced conference-style training that showcases teachers' talents and allows staff to select the training they need.

• Improvements in the Talented and Gifted Program by increasing the number and diversity of the students served and introducing an improved service delivery model.

• Increased community engagement through Reynolds Tomorrow, which surveyed folks about budget priorities and volunteer program development.

• Implementation of programs to better serve students, such as AVID (Advancement via Individualized Determination) and the anti-bullying program Rachel's Challenge.

• Adoption of a budget 'that ensured a full school year, stabilized services for students, and reinvested savings and efficiencies to improve student outcomes and assured the district's fiscal solvency,' the district said.

• Restoration of programs to serve students, including elementary media/library services, elementary physical education and middle school track programs.

• Fostering partnerships with community and government agencies, including the I Have A Dream Foundation Oregon Dreamer School at Alder Elementary, as well as Schools Uniting Neighborhoods program- ming for Reynolds Middle and Hartley Elementary schools through Multnomah County and Metropolitan Family Service.

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