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.