One of the toughest public sector jobs is running a school district. Seaside and Astoria have been fortunate in having two school superintendents of long tenure and high quality.
Seaside’s schools leader Doug Dougherty announced his retirement last week. Happily, Dougherty recently won renewal of Seaside’s local option levy.
Seaside has a remarkable array of assets, apart from its economic base as a tourist town. The school district is one of the town’s strengths. Dougherty alluded to that in his announcement at last Tuesday’s school board meeting. He attributed his long employment with the Seaside district (35 years) to its excellence. Another way to describe that value would be the stability of the district’s leadership.
During his 19 years as superintendent, Dougherty dealt with consolidation of administrative positions and schools. He also took an unsuccessful run at passing a schools relocation bond.
Both Dougherty and his Astoria counterpart Craig Hoppes excel in communications — with their communities and with the news media. Dougherty was especially articulate in explaining the nuances of educational policy and rules. Even in the darkest moment of losing the school relocation bond vote, Dougherty gave us candor.
The product of all this is a district that has played at a level of excellence well above its size.