Oregon Superintendent of The Year Touts Diversity Efforts
The head of Eugene 4J School District has been named Oregon’s Superintendent of the Year.
Gustavo Balderas says he’s living the American dream. He grew up in Eastern Oregon, the child of migrant farmworkers. Balderas is working to diversify 4J’s faculty and administration.
“To try and get more people working in school district that look like the kids that they’re working with. And that’s something we’ve pressed here in Eugene. Our principal group, for example, as of this year, we’re close to 40 percent of our principals in our schools, our 32 campuses, are principals of color. That’s something we’re very proud of. And that was really intentional.”
Balderas spoke with OPB’s Think Out Loud. He says the next goal is to increase the diversity of 4J’s teaching staff. He says the district now has 15 percent teachers of color compared to 30 percent students of color. He says it makes a difference for student success to see people who look like them in leadership.