EUGENE, Ore. - The Eugene School District 4J voted 4 to 3 to make the district's current director of secondary education the new superintendent.
Dr. Andy Dey starts work July 1. The board had also considered Cydney Vandercar, who served as interim superintendent for the past two years. Two of the four finalists withdrew or became unavailable over the course of the hiring process.
Dey said one of his first priorities will be to improve how the district makes decisions - and works with the community.
"What we need to do is re-adjust and reorient ourselves on how we're going to be making decisions as a district, how we'll be getting information from the community, and how we present ourselves," he said, "so that the community is willing to come and talk to us when maybe they haven't over the past couple years, and maybe they haven't felt comfortable doing so in months - that's something that has to change."
Another prominent topic: Suicide prevention meetings organized by school and parents to help keep kids safe.
This week, the district gave away lock boxes to safeguard medications and firearms - and keep them away from youth.
"We're a critical part of the solution to suicide, anxiety, depression - we can't do it all by ourselves, nor can parents, nor can community health service agents," Dey said. "It's going to take a network of partners that are committed to enhancing health and protective factors for students in the community."
Dey said he also wants to enhance partnerships with the community and build career and technical goals with students.
Dey is currently the district's director of secondary education and was previously the principal of South Eugene High School.
Dr. Dey has worked in the Springfield School District as well, as the assistant principal of Thurston High School and principal of Agnes Stewart Middle School.
Now he's the superintendent of 4J.
"I'm thrilled," he said, "and very aware of the scope and magnitude of the job, so there will be a lot information to gather and a lot of things to do."