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Hood River County School Board Narrows Search to Single Finalist for Superintendent of Schools

Profile Photo of Sara Hahn-Huston Hood River - The board of directors for Hood River County School District invites community members to attend two open meet and greet sessions scheduled with the Superintendent of Schools finalist Dr. Sara Hahn-Huston. Community members and staff will have the opportunity to ask questions and submit feedback at these two sessions. Both sessions will take place on Monday, April 29: from 3:30 to 4:30 pm (Wy’east Middle School, 3000 Wyeast Rd) and from 5 to 7 pm (School District Board Room, 1011 Eugene St).

“We’re excited about Dr. Hahn-Huston’s demonstrated success in diverse, multi-lingual, multicultural school communities,” says Board Vice Chair Rich Truax. “The board has been impressed throughout the search process with the qualities and qualifications that Sara would bring to our school district. We are excited to present Sara as the finalist for the superintendency and are hopeful to include constructive feedback from staff, students and community members into the decision-making process.”  

After a nationwide search process and a round of interviews, the board narrowed their search from 27 total applicants for the position. They considered desired qualities gathered from surveys and face-to-face meetings with staff, civic leaders, community partners and families of students. Respondents most desired a superintendent candidate that “is willing to listen to input, but is a decision maker”; “has leadership skills to respond to challenges of ethnic and cultural diversity”; and is “able to work with legislators and lead the organization through the legislative process.”

Finalist Dr. Sara Hahn-Huston is the executive director of secondary education at Gresham-Barlow School District, where she has worked since 2015. She has nearly three decades experience as an educator, including 10 years as a teacher and experience as a principal in dual-language schools. Highlights at Gresham-Barlow, a district serving 11,000 students, include:

  • Led the ongoing professional learning for eight principals and 10 assistant principals.
  • Led the transition and purchase of digital curricula with careful fiscal stewardship.
  • Implemented the High School Success Plan and redesign of alternative programs with demonstrated improvement in ninth-graders on track to graduate.

“In addition to her years of experience as an educator, Dr. Hahn-Huston exhibits many of the qualities requested in the public input process,” says Truax.

About HRCSD: Hood River County School District encompasses Pine Grove Early Learning Center, five elementary schools, two middle schools, Hood River Valley High School and Hood River Options Academy. Outstanding community support has boosted us into the top 10 school districts in Oregon (out of 197) and into the top four for student athletes. It has also helped us recruit excellent teachers and retain smaller-than-average class sizes.