Welcome to the Superintendent's Office Page
Welcome to the North Santiam School District!
On behalf of the NSSD’s Board of Directors and the entire staff, I want to welcome all of our new and returning students and their families to our schools. We hope that you will have an outstanding educational experience this year. The District has nurtured a culture of continual goal-setting and learning processes which involve the school board, every teacher, and all staff and students. Our students will truly benefit from these efforts!
For the first time in nearly a decade, the District is seeing the construction of new housing developments in both Sublimity and Stayton. We have heard from many residents who are concerned about the increase in new homes. We are monitoring student populations at each school, paying particular attention to students in new homes, but also looking at our population overall. The District met with a large group of residents during the 2016-17 school year to update our Long Range Facility Master Plan. As part of that plan, Portland State University projected school populations through the next decade. At the close of planning, the committee did not see a pressing need to propose a bond to voters but agreed to continue to monitor school populations over the next few years in order to respond to any population growth. We will continue to publicize our student populations as we go forward, and raise awareness should our schools become increasingly crowded.
Our District continues to concentrate on raising student and family awareness in terms of college readiness and affordability as well as career pathways. When our students engage in this learning, at an early age, their education is enhanced by creating greater relevance to their learning. Currently, the district is continuing to develop its AVID programs throughout the district, with a focus on middle school and high school students. The AVID program (Advancement Via Individual Determination) focuses on assisting students to persevere in their studies and encouraging them to set specific goals for their post-high school education or career-related training. We believe a student who has engaged in this thinking will be a far more successful student during their time in the district.
The work at Stayton High School to improve graduation rates has begun to pay off, thanks to the super efforts of the high school staff and leadership. The district has informally calculated that our 4-year graduation rate will improve to approximately 84%, by June of 2019. That is a ten percent improvement over the 2016 graduation rate. While it is exciting to see this movement, we know there is potential for even greater levels of improvement, and we look to the future with optimism.
I am proud of our district’s positive culture which focuses on learning for students and staff. We are committed to continual improvement in order to give our great communities the schools that our children deserve. We hope that you have a great 2018-19 school year!
Please follow me on Twitter @AndyGardnerNSSD
Degrees and Certifications:
Bachelor of Science, Secondary Education; Social Science Western Oregon State College Masters of Arts in Teaching, Social Science Western Oregon State College
Andy Gardner - Superintendent
Andy Gardner has served as the Superintendent of the North Santiam School since 2010. Prior to his time as superintendent, he has held several positions in the NSSD. From 2007 until 2010, he was the Principal at Stayton Intermedidate/Middle School. He served as the Principal of Sublimity K-8 School from 2002 until 2007, and was the Stayton High School Athletic Director/Vice Principal from 1997 until 2002. Prior to that, Gardner was a teacher and coach at Stayton High School from 1993 to 1997. Gardner first came to Stayton in 1990 as a teacher and coach at Regis High School.
Currently Andy serves on several regional and state organizations and is active in various regional projects to improve educational outcomes. He is a member of the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators’ Vision and Policy Work Group, and he serves on the Willamette Promise Advisory Board, which is dedicated to increasing the number of college-going students in the region. He has served as an Executive Board Member for the Oregon School Activities Association since 2011, and was President of the board in the 2015-16 year.
Mr. Gardner grew up outside of John Day, Oregon, graduating from Grant Union High School in John Day. Gardner earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education from Western Oregon State College, and his Master of Arts in Teaching from Western Oregon University. He and his wife Amber have two sons, Jake and Justin, who attend school in the North Santiam School District.
Degrees and Certifications:
Tonia Whisman - Executive Assistant to the Superintendent and School Board
Tonia has worked for the North Santiam School District since September 2013. She worked as the Office Specialist for the Stayton Intermediate School from 2013 - 2016. Prior to working for the district, she taught preshool at All-Star Preschool, located at Foothills Church. She also has over 13 years experience in the financial industry having worked for Heritage Grove Federal Credit Union (formerly Oregon Employees CU) and Marion and Polk Schools Credit Union. She held various supervisory roles in customer service and worked in lending and auditing. Tonia lives in Stayton with her husband and two daughters.