Ernie Brown will become Tigard-Tualatin’s new superintendent


By Rafael Ramirez, Staff Writer

Ernie Brown, a long-time Tigard High School administrator, will become the new superintendent of the Tigard-Tualatin School District.
Brown’s appointment will become official at a special board meeting March 11, according to Susan Stark-Hayden, district spokeswoman. He will take over the job July 1.
Brown replaces Rob Saxton, who was appointed Gov. John Kitzhaber’s school chief.

The school board chose him following a national search.  Board members interviewed four finalists on Feb. 18 and then narrowed their selection to Brown, who participated in another round of interviews on March 5.

Colleagues describe him as thoughtful, fair, decisive and consider him to be both a strong problem-solver and an excellent leader, Stark-Hayden said.
Brown said his goals as superintendent include continuing the gains the district has made in K-12 academic achievement, closing the achievement gap, creating budgetary stability and advocating for better statewide funding, implementing the common-core curriculum, and implementing the new teacher and administrative evaluation systems.
That’s a heavy load, isn’t it?
“I better get to work,” he said.
Brown faces many challenges.

“First one is the budget, just making sure, in my mind, it’s about doing the best with what we have and trying to be smart about that and making sure that so much of the hard work we have put in in building the systems to support our students and staff to keep it going,” he said.

“There’s always a challenge around communicating,” Brown added. “Both internally and to our public.”

Brown  said his strengths include a strong work ethic.

“I value being a good communicator and a problem solver, and I guess the last one is I am a collaborator. I believe in working in teams and collaborating to solve problems or build together.”

Brown said he hopes to be  visible and accessible to students and staff.

“That’s really important, and I think we have so many positive things happening in the district regarding our academic program and work to close the achievement gap. I hope people see a continuation.”

Since 2007, Brown has been the district’s director of Human Resources and Operations, esponsible for all employee hiring, contracts and staffing issues as well as for all school facilities.
Before coming to the district office, he served as principal of Hazelbrook Middle School between 2001 and 2007.  He was associate principal at Hazelbrook between 1999 and 2001 and was an associate principal at Tigard High between 1997 and 1999.
He joined the Tigard-Tualatin School District in 1988 as a health and P.E. teacher at Fowler Jr. High.  In 1992, he moved to Tigard High as a health teacher and between 1993 and 1997, he was a health and P.E. teacher at Hazelbrook.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in teaching, physical education and health from Oregon State University in 1988.  In 1995, he earned his master’s degree from Portland State University and in 1997, he earned his administrative license also from PSU.
Brown and his wife, Sherri, are longtime volunteers for the Humane Society.  In 2006, they won that organization’s Volunteer Lifetime Achievement award.
He has spent his entire  career in Tigard. What is it about the community that has  kept him here?

 “I think it comes down to people,” Brown said. “I talked to a group yestereday, and I think about the relationships in nearly 25 years and the people I have worked with. We are a people profession and people make the difference. That’s what sets us apart.”