Written for The Argus Observer. Printed on May 26, 2015.
Family man, sports enthusiast and avid target shooter Scott Linenberger is looking forward to joining Vale School District as their new superintendent of schools in July and though his contract is yet to be finalized, Linenberger is already investing in the district.
“Ready or not, here we come,” Linenberger said. “I’m excited for this opportunity.”
He took a couple of days off from his current position as principal of the Jefferson Middle School in the Willamette Valley this weekend to attend Vale’s graduation as well as take in some Vandal softball and meet the folks he’ll be working with this next school year.
He also plans on meeting with teachers on their last day of classes, which is this coming Friday.
“The school board meets on June 10 and we’ll finalize the contract then,” Linenberger said. “I’m hoping to get started in mid-June even though the contract’s start date is July 1.”
Linenberger has spent the past seven years as the middle school principal at the Jefferson School District and was also the special education director for the district. He also has held the position of Title 1 director.
He’s logged a total of 15 years in the state of Oregon working in education and spent 10 years prior to his Oregon tenure in the southern United States, working in districts located in places like Orange County, Florida.
“I have a varied background and have a lot to bring to the table,” Linenberger said. “I liked working in smaller districts, there’s more freedom and more direct contact with students as opposed to Orlando.”
Linenberger said he discovered Vale’s listing for a superintendent online and decided to apply because he and his wife were looking for a change of pace, but they wanted to stay in Oregon.
“My son, Luke and my daughter, Amber [have recently] left home and my wife said it was time to leave the Willamette Valley,” Linenberger said. “We were looking at Eastern and Central Oregon.”
He applied to two different districts and when he found out he was a finalist for Vale’s position, Linenberger said he called up the other district and told them he’d found his next job.
“They were disappointed, which tells me that I was one of the finalists over there, too,” Linenberger said, “but [Vale School District] was a really good fit for us.”
Linenberger also has a background of coaching wrestling and football and said he understands the “expectation of high standards in sports.”
“I’m a native Oregonian and I understand small town needs,” Linenberger explained.
Linenberger was raised in Albany, Oregon and though he’s familiar with small towns, Linenberger said he’s also very comfortable working with the state and has “personal friends in the state legislature”, which can potentially help facilitate open communications between the district and the state.
While Linenberger works out the final details with the Vale school board, his wife, Kristine is taking on the task of resituating their home. The couple will be relocating within the school district boundaries, but they’re still not sure exactly where.
“Selling the house in the Willamette Valley is my job,” Kristine said. “We’ll rent here [in Vale] until we find a house that fits us.”
This will be Linenberger’s first superintendent position and he said he’s excited to take it on.
“There’s that level of excitement for the district too, I think,” Linenberger said. “Matt Hawley was the superintendent here for 10 years and now there’s someone new coming in. There’s a level of excitement and new opportunity.”