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Hiring A New Superintendent: Eugene 4-J Board "Goes With Gus"

Eugene 4J School District

Eugene 4J has a new superintendent… almost. Now that the school board has formally offered Dr. Gustavo Balderas the job-- all they’re waiting for is his signature. And that is expected soon.

Eugene school board chair Jim Torrey says Balderas is a genuine and accessible manager. And he comes with a compelling life story.

Torrey: “His parents were migrant workers. He was actually born in the state of Washington, lived there a couple months, then his family moved over to Nyssa, Oregon. And he didn’t speak English until he started grade school.”

Gustavo Balderas went on to complete his masters and a doctorate degree at the University of Oregon. He is currently Superintendent in the Ocean View School District in Huntington Beach, California.

Torrey is confident Balderas understands what it will take to live within the 4J budget.

Torrey: “He used the terminology ‘Every once in a while you ought to look seriously at weeding the garden.’ Can we continue to afford to do it today at the expense of having larger class sizes or at the expense of having fewer school days.”

According to Torrey, Gustavo Balderas impressed teachers, secretaries and custodians alike. When the board unanimously voted to offer him the job they said, “Let’s go with Gus.” The annual salary for the 4J Superintendent position is $185,000.


Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and worked in a variety of media including television, technical writing, photography and daily print news before moving to the Pacific Northwest.