When I met North Clackamas School District Superintendent, Matt Utterback, he explained with no fanfare whatsoever that the district was closing gaps in high school graduation rates between white students and students learning English. This is what every district is striving for: no connection between a student’s socioeconomic or language-acquisition status and their outcomes in school. While everyone talks about this, it is no easy feat to achieve. When I heard about it, I remarked that the district should be on the front page of the newspaper.
Which is why I am so pleased to see Superintendent Utterback finally on the front page of the newspaper, as he has just been recognized as National Superintendent of the Year.
The graduation rate in the district is enviable at 83% for the class of 2016. Part of that success is due to the fact that the district has made career technical education (CTE) a priority and even has its own professional-technical center. The grad rate for CTE participants in the district is 87.5%, and for CTE concentrators it is 91.95%!
We often focus on what Oregon should be doing differently to better meet the needs of all students. Matt Utterback and the North Clackamas School District are examples of what’s possible. Even through difficult budget realities, Utterback prioritized students and kept focused on meeting their needs.
Congratulations Superintendent Utterback on your well-deserved honor! Thank you for everything you do for Oregon’s students