An educator of 22 years committed to closing the opportunity gap, Mr. Gilson’s varied, and successful career includes working with grades K-12 in schools and at District level leadership. He is currently Area Senior Director of Comprehensive Support and Improvement supervising Principals and has served as K-8 Principal, Middle College Director, and 5-6 Teacher in Portland Public Schools; K-5 Principal in Corvallis School District; 4-5 Teacher in Forest Grove School District; Gas attendant, Receptionist and Boatswain mate in the United States Navy. Mr. Gilson has earned both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Education Degree from Portland State University, an ESOL/Bilingual Endorsement from Lewis and Clark College and Continuing Administrative License from Portland State.
During school tours and interview on Monday, March 2, Oscar demonstrated his passion for student learning and an approachable outgoing nature to all he met. He said his leadership foundation is based on communication, relationships and the alignment of programs in schools. He stated he considers education as the great equalizer and looks forward to working with us in Woodburn schools to create systems and structures providing opportunity and success for all students. He looks forward to meeting students, staff, parents and community members and getting to work. Mr. Gilson’s contract with the District begins on July 1, 2020.
Board chair, Linda Reeves said, “We were impressed with the holistic work experiences Oscar Gilson has had with student populations matching ours including working with Latinx, Russian, and Anglo students who are underperforming, his practices implementing culturally responsive interventions, his problem solving ability and overall instructional leadership. Mr. Gilson understands the importance of collaboration with staff, students and their families around expectations and opportunities for increasing student achievement. We can see Oscar as a role model to youth in Woodburn and as a focused, inspiring leader who will view our educational enterprise through a social justice lens, building trust with staff, families, and the community. Oscar is prepared to follow in the footsteps of previous superintendents, embrace our Strategic Plan and lead Woodburn Schools to the next level of accomplishment.”
The comprehensive superintendent search process was led by Dr. Roger Rada of Northwest Leadership Associates. Rada was very complimentary of the level of participation of staff and community members in focus groups, survey, screening and observation panels providing important feedback leading to this decision. Thirteen applicants were vying for the position, which were screened to 4 finalists on February 22. Finalist tours and interviews were held on March 2 with negotiations following, leading up to the March 5 Special Board Meeting and award of the contract to Mr. Oscar Gilson.
Dr. Bill Rhoades is currently leading Woodburn School District as Interim Superintendent, following the June 2019 retirement of long-serving Superintendent, Chuck Ransom.
Oscar Gilson signs contract for the Woodburn School District Superintendent position during a special school board meeting held at WSD District Office, March 5, 2020.
Oscar Gilson poses for a picture with family after signing the contract for the Woodburn School District Superintendent position during a special school board meeting held at WSD District Office, March 5, 2020.
Oscar Gilson poses for a picture with Woodburn School District School Board. From left, School Boar Member Eric Swenson – Position 4, Laura Isiordia – Position 5, Oscar Gilson, Linda Reeves Position 1 / Board Chair, Noemi Legaspi – Position 2, Anthony Medina – Position 3 / Vice-Chair.