SWEET HOME — Don Schrader of Glide will be the next superintendent of the Sweet Home School District, the Sweet Home School Board has decided.

Board members will take official action on the decision on March 14. Work is under way in the meantime on the terms of a hiring agreement.

Schrader has been superintendent of Glide School District, east of Roseburg, since 2005. He has also served as special education director and curriculum coordinator. Before becoming superintendent, he was an elementary school principal, a middle school principal and high school assistant principal in the Sutherlin School District. His background also includes special education, Title programs, ELL, PBS, curriculum, assessment and instruction. 

He has a Master of Education from the University of Oregon and a Bachelor of Science in teaching from California State University-Hayward.

According to its website, Glide School District has 850 students, four school buildings and a four-day academic week. In Sweet Home, Schrader will oversee about 2,400 students and eight buildings, including the charter school and district office.

Schrader was chosen from a field of 17 candidates. He will succeed Larry Horton, who is retiring at the end of the year.

Board Chairman Jason Redick said in a statement the board is “confident that Don Schrader is the right choice to serve our community as the next superintendent of schools.”

“Don is an excellent educational leader with a proven track record who embodies the essential qualities sought by our community, staff and students,” Redick said.

Schrader said in a telephone interview he is looking forward to getting to know Sweet Home. He said he feels the town is similar to Glide in its extensive community involvement and rural, small-town atmosphere, but has more resources to allow him to concentrate on being superintendent without adding curriculum, special education and other separate duties he handles now.

The five-day academic week “is going to be different,” he said. “I work every day anyway, but on Fridays, it’s really quiet around here.”

Schrader joins the district in a difficult budget time, with Holley and Crawfordsville schools scheduled to merge and facing a deficit of $1.5 million.

“I’m an optimist,” he said. “Things always get better, and they will get better, even when a school closes.”

Schrader said his educational philosophy is to do whatever it takes to make all children successful, which is, he said, “a deep and moral purpose.”

He described his management style as collaborative.

“I’m not a hard-nosed slave driver, not an authoritarian-type of leader,” he said. “I like to think of myself as more a facilitative-type of a leader.”

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