Parkrose’s Karen Gray selected Oregon’s Superintendent of the Year
Thursday, November 2, 2017
Karen Gray, Parkrose School District superintendent since 2007, has been named the 2018 Oregon Superintendent of the Year by the Oregon Association of School Executives (OASE) and the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA). Gray’s selection will be formally announced Nov. 11 at OSBA’s Annual Convention in Portland.
In her nomination of Gray, School Board Chair MaryLu Baetkey emphasized the positive impact Gray has had on student lives and noted that the entire Parkrose School Board endorsed the nomination.
“With steadfast determination focusing on the needs of Parkrose students, (she) has artfully and with tenacity gone about putting the pieces together,” Baetkey said. “I am so proud of COSA for seeing her skills and awarding her this honor.”
Darin Drill, Cascade School District superintendent and OASE president, said Gray is one of Oregon’s hardest-working superintendents.
“She is devoted to improving educational outcomes for all students across the entire state,” Drill said. “She is highly respected by her peers, advocates tirelessly for the needs of all educators, and cares deeply about every single student in her district.”
Gray has been an administrator in Oregon since 1996, in the Coos Bay and Portland areas. When Gray moved to the Parkrose School District 10 years ago, the School Board gave her the task of reestablishing the best parts of the district. Since then, Gray has worked tirelessly to close achievement and opportunity gaps through the advancement of AVID programs, staff training on restorative justice, an Equity and Data Committee made up of parents, staff, and helping agencies, and preschools available in three out of four elementary schools.
Gray’s efforts have resulted in a high school graduation rate that is among the state’s highest. English language learner scores have improved enough that the district no longer qualifies for additional state targeted funding.
The award automatically places Gray in the running for the National Superintendent of the Year Award from the American Association of School Administrators (AASA).