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Gresham-Barlow school board member resigns

Bob Sherwin says personal changes led to decision

Citing plans to marry and move, Gresham-Barlow School District Board Member Bob Sherwin resigned from the district's board of directors, effective May 1.

Sherwin stated in his resignation letter he is stepping down for personal reasons. In an interview, he noted that he has been dealing with a series of changes in his personal life, some stressful, others hopeful.

He is being treated for prostate cancer, and said the prognosis is 'positive.' Meanwhile, his son, Paul, is serving as a first lieutenant with the U.S. Army in Mosul, Iraq, and is set to return in spring 2009.

His wife, Dee, died of cancer in June 2006, and his youngest child, a daughter, Liz, is attending college, making Sherwin something of an 'empty nester.' He added that he's met 'a new lady who lives in Redmond.' The couple plans to marry in August, and he eventually will leave his Gresham home and move to Redmond before the next board election.

Sherwin added that he wants to enable the school board 'to appoint my replacement early enough to fully participate in seeking a new superintendent in 2009. I believe the new superintendent and the board will start off on the best of terms when the full seven (members) hire him or her.'

The board plans to conduct a search during the 2008-09 school year to replace Superintendent Ken Noah who is resigning in June. Assistant Superintendent John Miner will serve as superintendent during the 2008-09 school year.

In the next few weeks the school board will seek applicants for Sherwin's position. The appointee will serve until June 30, 2009. In May of next year, elections will be held for four board positions, including Sherwin's. School board members serve four-year terms.

Sherwin, who represents the West Gresham and Hollydale elementary school attendance areas, has been on the school board since 2004. He represents Zone 2, Position 3. He is a long-time school district volunteer and budget committee member, and has been involved with public schools since 1976. Before retirement, Sherwin worked as a school public relations specialist and a distribution manager.

Among the achievements of which Sherwin said he was most proud was the board's work with the district in upgrading the curriculum and graduation standards as well as supporting the establishment of the Architecture, Construction and Engineering, or ACE, Academy, a cooperative effort of the Gresham-Barlow, Reynolds and Centennial and Parkrose school districts. The academy will open next fall.

'I've been an advocate of programs for students who aren't planning to go to college right away, so that they can get some skills,' he said. 'They may return to school later, but at least they can get a job with decent means.'

Sherwin said he was glad he served on the board.

'I feel like my time on the board has been very productive, and I hope it's been that way for the board, too.'

Other leadership changes

The Gresham-Barlow district has also announced the following leadership changes for the coming school year:

• K-8 Education Director Jim Schlachter will become the district's Assistant Superintendent July 1. Schlachter has more than 28 years of educational experience. Prior to becoming K-8 Education Director, he was principal of Gordon Russell Middle School and Damascus Middle School. Schlachter has taught high school and middle school science at Portland Lutheran School and at Whitford Intermediate School in the Beaverton School District.

• Aeylin Summers, director of curriculum K-12, has announced she is leaving the school district at the end of the school year. Summers has been selected to be the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction for the North Clackamas School District.

• The district also recently began an internal search for a director of elementary education. The person selected for the position will have direct responsibility for the instructional programs in the district's elementary schools.