Miner to take reins for a year

Assistant superintendent to start job July 1
by: Contributed photo, John Miner

The Gresham-Barlow School Board has appointed Assistant Superintendent John Miner superintendent for the 2008-09 school year.

The board made the decision during a special board meeting Thursday, March 20.

On July 1, Miner will replace Superintendent Ken Noah, who leaves June 30. Noah is leaving the district to become superintendent of the San Dieguito Union High School District in Southern California.

The school board plans to conduct an extensive superintendent search during the next school year to select a permanent replacement for Noah, the district said.

Miner has served as assistant superintendent since 2002. Before that, he spent four years as the district's human resources director. He has also served as principal of Clear Creek Middle School from 1996-98 and of Barlow High School from 1990-96.

Miner's career started at Dexter McCarty Middle School, where he taught social studies from 1976-79. He's also worked as a teacher and coach in the Reynolds School District, and served as vice principal of Reynolds High School from 1986-89 and was principal of Hood River Valley High School from 1989-90.

Miner, 56, said he had planned to retire this year, but decided to take on the one-year position while the district searches for a permanent replacement for Noah.

'I feel committed to the people in the school district,' Miner said. 'I didn't want the kind of disruption that could have occurred with the departure of Ken from the school district.'

In a statement, Dave Wiederrich, board chairman, said the board was pleased Miner would be heading the district next year.

'His significant experience in the district and his involvement in its student achievement initiatives will guarantee a smooth transition. The appointment will allow the board to focus its efforts on a comprehensive search for a permanent superintendent.'

Miner said he was excited to take the reins of the district.

'We have a quality board, and they're the kind of people I want to work with.'

In his work as assistant superintendent, one of Miner's chief responsibilities has been helping to guide the district's various learning initiatives. The district's work has focused on preparing students for more rigorous graduation requirements, implementing programs for students who are performing below grade level in reading, and working to increase the number of students who go on to college after graduation.

Miner said he has focused on efforts to upgrade the district's math curriculum, as well as promote such programs as AVID - Advancement Via Individual Determination. The program operates at Barlow and Gresham high schools, as well as Clear Creek, Dexter McCarty and Gordon Russell middle schools.

AVID provides academic support for children from families whose members haven't gone to college, he said, and helps such students prepare for higher education by having them take more rigorous classes than they have in the past, for example, and taking them on field trips to colleges.

Over the next year, Miner said he wants to continue to work on improving the district's curriculum, helping it make long-range plans to accommodate potential enrollment increases and assist the board in finding a permanent superintendent.

'The Gresham-Barlow School Board is committed to ensuring the school district moves forward with its work to increase student achievement, plan for future growth and align the budget with the district's educational priorities,' Miner said. 'I look forward to working with our staff, parents and community members as we continue to support the work that is being done in our classrooms to increase the success of all of our students.'