Changes at Grant School District 3 are on the horizon as Superintendent Curt Shelley resigns at the end of the school year, and several other positions at the school district open up.
Shelley has accepted a position as assistant superintendent at Tillamook School District. He expects to step into the superintendent position in one year, after the current superintendent, who has been at the job for 17 years, retires.
Shelley’s wife, Elizabeth, who is the career coordinator and advanced English teacher at Grant Union, was recently hired at Tillamook as their career coordinator.
“It is a new opportunity for us,” Curt said. “It’s a good school district with lots of opportunities.”
The Shelleys have two children, Reagan, who will graduate from Grant Union next month, and Kellen, a sophomore. Kellen has been involved in agriculture classes and FFA.
“They have a great ag program and lots of opportunities for college credits,” Elizabeth said. “It’s a very similar atmosphere to our community here.”
The Shelleys moved to John Day in 2007, when Curt became the principal of Grant Union, with Elizabeth hired as a teacher and career coordinator.
He has also been an OSAA executive board member for six years as a 3A and then a 2A representative. In Tillamook, he will be back as a 4A representative for Tillamook School District.
In 2015, Curt became the superintendent of Grant School District 3.
“This is my third school district I’ve worked for, and I think it’s been the best school district I’ve been in,” Curt said. “It’s been a good opportunity for my children, and us.”
“I agree,” Elizabeth said. “Our kids have both thrived in their environment with the great connections they’ve had and made. We have very supportive administrators and staff to work toward common goals.”
As an English teacher, Elizabeth has helped students earn dual credits in writing and literature through Eastern Oregon University in La Grande. She also teaches leadership class for student body and class officers.
“All the kids have been great to work with,” she said. “It’s been rewarding to see the students move on, and achieve the goals they have set for themselves.”
Humbolt Elementary teachers and staff were approved for hire at the May 16 school board meeting, including Sharon Fritsch for sixth grade, Julie Hamilton for fifth grade, Kelli LaFranboise for second grade and Shanley Cobb as librarian, and special education assistant. The board also approved Kristi Moore, a Grant Union English teacher, to take on the additional positions of dean of students and career coordinator.
Casey Hallgarth, who has taught sixth grade at Humbolt for four years, has accepted the superintendent/principal position at Prairie City School District.
Curt Shelley said other openings in the district include Humbolt principal, district music teacher and high school math teacher.
Humbolt principal Kim Smith has accepted a position with Baker Charter Schools. She has been with the district for 20 years.
Matt Jones, who has taught middle school and high school math, as well as calculus and physics, is retiring after 32 years with the district. He previously taught in Ontario. Jones was voted Grant Union’s Teacher of the Year multiple times.
Music teacher Lori Hart has also resigned and accepted a position in Arizona.
Curt said he’s enjoyed living in John Day and working at the district.
“We’re not leaving this community because of anything here,” he said. “We’re looking for new opportunities.”
“This is a great place,” Elizabeth added.