Superintendent Chuck Ransom announced his retirement this month after almost 20 years with the Woodburn School District. His last day is July 31, 2019.
Ransom has been an educator for over 30 years, almost 20 of which have been with Woodburn schools. He started at the school district as a Spanish teacher and soccer coach in 2000. Since that time, he has served as a principal, curriculum director, and finally as its superintendent.
“I always believed in the mission of our school district, which is to provide our students with a world class education,” said Superintendent Chuck Ransom. “Everyone at this school district is united to see our kids succeed. We put our students first, and that’s why I stayed.”
During his tenure, Ransom sites three important accomplishments: designing and implementing a dual language program; securing voter approval for a $65 million bond for capital projects; and, advocating with the state to fully fund K-12 education.
“Our dual language program was one of the first in the country and is why we have such high graduation rates,” he said. “Other school districts are modelling their programs after ours because it works. Parents across the state want their children to attend our schools so they can be proficient in multiple languages by the time they graduate.”
In 2015, the Woodburn community passed a $65 million bond for construction, repairs and renovations to schools and facilities. These projects are scheduled for completion in 2020. The financial health of the district was so strong that it was able to leverage additional revenue to fund construction of a regional career and technical education center, which is in the works.
In May of this year, Governor Kate Brown signed a bill that would fully fund K-12 education for Oregon and Ransom rejoiced. It was at that point, he said, that he decided to finally retire.
“This was a herculean effort by parents, teachers, administrators, community members and students. At that point, I knew our students, faculty and staff would be able to continue their work and I knew it was time to pass the torch,” he said.
The Woodburn School District likely will do a national search for its next superintendent. Ransom and the newly-elected school board are in discussion to consider how he might continue on in an advisory capacity to help with the transition during the 2019-2020 school year.