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City Club of Eugene: How the Pandemic Made Schools Even Better

Area school superintendents (from left) Kraig Sproles, Andy Dey, and Todd Hamilton address the City Club of Eugene Fri., Feb. 11, 2023.
City Club of Eugene YouTube
Area school superintendents (from left) Kraig Sproles, Andy Dey, and Todd Hamilton address the City Club of Eugene Fri., Feb. 11, 2023.

Program date: Feb. 11, 2023

Air date: Feb. 13, 2023

From the City Club of Eugene:

Beginning around March 2020, Covid-19 shuttered many public institutions, eventually including schools. For students in K-12, this meant shifting to online learning, from systems that relied on in-person, hands-on connections to inspire and maintain engagement. The online model was already known and used by a few students, but access to technology was still uneven. Most teachers had to learn to use entirely different approaches, and most parents had to find new ways to meet the challenges of daytime child supervision usually provided by schools. The interruption of familiar educational programs led to discoveries of gaps in the existing systems and provided powerful incentives to create new strategies.

The superintendents of the three major districts in our metro area will describe what we learned and how that experience is informing programs and planning as we move forward.


Andy Dey served as the director of secondary education, overseeing middle and high schools, before becoming superintendent of Eugene School district 4J. He previously served as principal of South Eugene High School, principal of Agnes Stewart Middle School, assistant principal of Thurston High School, and curriculum director at a PreK-12 international school in Santiago, Chile. In his early years as an educator, he taught middle and high school science. He earned a BA in biology at the College of Charleston and a master’s degree and a doctorate from the University of Oregon College of Education.

Todd Hamilton served eight years as superintendent of Creswell schools before assuming that role in Springfield in 2019. A post-college summer job as an outdoor program instructor in Vermont inspired in him a love of teaching and he came back to Oregon, where he worked as an elementary school teacher. He earned a BA at UO and a master’s degree in teaching at Pacific University.

Kraig Sproles started his career in education in Oklahoma at a school focused on the success of Native American students. He has been a teacher, school improvement coordinator, principal of a dual-language school, and district director of academic achievement before becoming Salem-Keizer’s assistant superintendent. He joined the Bethel district in 2021. He earned a BA in communications from the University of Sioux Falls, MAs in experiential education from the University of Minnesota and in education from George Fox University, and a doctorate in education from the University of Oregon.

About the City Club of Eugene:

The mission of the City Club of Eugene is to build community vision through open inquiry. The Club explores a wide range of significant local, state, and national issues and helps to formulate new approaches and solutions to problems. Membership is open to all, and Club members have a direct influence on public policy by discussing issues of concern with elected officials and other policy makers. The City Club’s mailing address is PO Box 12084, Eugene, OR 97440, and its website iscityclubofeugene.org.

Video and Broadcast

This program will be live streamed, and the videotape will be made available on the City Club of Eugene’s Facebook page and You Tube Channel, in addition to our website. It will be broadcast on Monday, Feb. 13 at 7:00 pm, on KLCC 89.7 FM.

Contact: For more information, contact City Club of Eugene at(541) 485-7433, administrator@cityclubofeugene.org

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