Welcome back to school everyone!
I decided to be a teacher when I grew up. It was the year 1961 in my hometown of Newport, Oregon - and I was only in the first grade. Without veering an inch from that calling, I spent the next sixteen years growing up to be a teacher. For the first twelve years of my career beginning in 1977, I taught middle school Math and Social Studies in Rainier, Oregon. It was there I discovered how much I loved teaching. It was there I realized what a great career choice I made as a six-year old. It was there I discovered education is all about learning, laughter, and love – but not necessarily in that order.
After relocating to the mid-Willamette Valley in 1989, I taught for eleven years in Salem middle schools. Again, I truly loved teaching my sixth, seventh, and eighth graders. In such a rewarding vocation, I had no intention of ever leaving the classroom. But then came the dreadful September of the year 2000 when I was manipulated - no, make that tricked! - into serving as an assistant principal in what was purported to be a temporary position. It wasn’t. During the four years I served as an administrator in Salem, however, I came to recognize the wider reach of contributions to the lives of youth that can be provided by an educational leader – so I stuck with it after all. And I loved it, too.
During my years in Salem and in addition to working full time in the district, I taught teaching methods for Portland State University, Western Oregon University, Willamette University, the Oregon Department of Education, and Glencoe Publishing. I also worked for the Department of Education on projects in math curriculum standards and assessment. Looking back, I’m not sure now how I did it all, but I also completed two master’s degrees expanding my state licensure to teach multiple subjects at all K-12 grade levels and to serve as a school administrator. By 2004, I expected my career path to lead me to retirement after serving a few more years as an administrator in Salem schools.
But then my career path took a sharp turn in a southerly direction. After thirty years apart from him, I fell in love for the second time with my high school sweetheart, Ron, and moved to South Douglas County to marry him. I applied for the only position open that was a career advancement - and was honored to be selected as the Superintendent of the Douglas County School District 15.
It has been a joy to return to small town life and to rural education. After serving in the second-largest school district in Oregon, I know how fortunate our area children are to attend small schools in Days Creek and Tiller where staff and students form long-lasting, caring connections creating a warm, successful, and very special educational environment. From my eight years so far in this district, I believe more than ever that education is all about learning, laughter, and love – but not necessarily in that order!”
Laurie Newton, Superintendent
Douglas County School District 15, Days Creek/Tiller
PO Box 10
Days Creek, OR 97429
W 541-825-3296 x241