SFSD Rolling with the Changes

The 2016/2017 school year is off to an exciting start with changes to several campuses, some new leaders, 17 new teachers and many new classified staff members.

The students, staff and teachers of the 95-year-old Eugene Field School have successfully moved to the newly remodeled Mark Twain Elementary School K-2 campus (formerly Mark Twain Middle School) and the EFS building is officially up for sale. Sixth, seventh and eighth grade students are now Silverton Middle School Falcons thanks to the amazing efforts and commitment of the middle school staff.

“I’m so proud of our team’s flexibility and hard work which ensured we were ready to start the school year off right,” said Superintendent Andy Bellando. “It’s going to be an awesome year of learning for our students.”

Greg Kaatz, former Silverton High School assistant principal and athletic director, has taken the reins as principal at Mark Twain. Former Eugene Field principal, Jennifer Hannan is now SFSD’s director of teaching and learning, the curriculum director role formerly held by Linda Myers. Myers has accepted a new position with the Salem-Keizer School District.

“I’m very excited to get this year underway,” Kaatz explained. “I’m looking forward to getting to know families and their children. The Mark Twain Elementary staff is glad to have a new home and we are all happy to see the smiling faces of our students.”

Teachers and staff at both campuses are adjusting well to the changes. While it’s been a lot of work to move and plan, art teacher Shana Chandler was enthusiastic about the transition.

“Change can be good and we have so much opportunity,” said Chandler. “The great news is that every single Falcon that walks into the building will experience the change and grow together, including teachers and staff.”

“It’s exciting to see improvements everyday in the building. We have such a great staff and we’re going to make this environment feel like home,” said Silverton Middle School registrar Sarah Wiesner. “We know that once the kids are in the building, they will teach us things we didn’t know and help us find challenges we didn’t expect. In the beginning, the change was a little scary, now it’s exciting and encouraging to see everyone working together.”