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Eugene 4J Employees Welcome New Superintendent

Karen Richards

Dr. Gustavo Balderas, Eugene 4J's new superintendent, addressed teachers, staff and administrators from the district this [Thursday] morning. Most were meeting him for the first time.

The response to the new Superintendent was overwhelmingly positive. His speech received a standing ovation, unusual for a back to school presentation. Doug Doerfert directs the band at South Eugene High School:

Doerfert: "I felt it was very inspirational, just to see a different background from another superintendent."

Dr. Balderas grew up in eastern Oregon, the child of migrant farm workers. He became emotional during his remarks, remembering a kindergarten and first grade teacher who helped him learn English and believe in himself.

Dr. Balderas has a background in equity, and wants to focus on inclusion, though he says won't shake things up immediately:

Balderas: "I think right now I'm just assessing before I make any recommendations to the Board for possible changes. I think I need to listen and learn from people prior to adjusting anything. I think I need to have a good understanding."

The new superintendent started his job July first. School starts in Eugene September 9th.

Karen Richards joined KLCC as a volunteer reporter in 2012, and became a freelance reporter at the station in 2015. In addition to news reporting, she’s contributed to several feature series for the station, earning multiple awards for her reporting.
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