Meet Jeff Rhoades who was recently hired as the new Woodburn School District (WSD) Information Technology Coordinator. Rhoades is currently working with both the WSD and Junction City school district but he will assume his role full-time at WSD starting on May 10, 2021.
Originally from Albany, Rhoades started his career in education as a history teacher in Jefferson Oregon. During that time he returned to school to obtain his master’s degree and it was then he found a new career path that has kept him in the classroom and has also expanded his knowledge in technology.
“I’ve been in education for almost 13 years. I originally started in the classroom as social studies high school teacher in Jefferson,” said Rhoades. “While I was teaching there, I got a master’s degree from Western Oregon University in Educational Information Communication Technology and it opened up my world into the specialty of educational technology and instructional technology.”
After a few years at Jefferson, Rhoades accepted a position in Pheonix, Oregon where he implemented his educational technology background into the classroom and taught an Information Communication Technologies Career and Technical Education program of study.
“That was a really unique opportunity to get to work directly with students, teaching them and preparing them in information communication technology,” said Rhoades, “ at the same time, I expanded my background knowledge with a lot of the infrastructure technology as well as utilizing it from the end-user perspective. In this program, we taught everything from computer sciences to graphic design. We had a digital journalism program; we had a broadcast program that ran our local TV studio for our school.”
Rhoades said that his time at Pheonix was his first experience in blending teaching with technology but it was also during this time that he also had the opportunity to work with administration, eventually leading him to the IT department in Junction City and now Woodburn.
“It gave me an opportunity to have a foot in both worlds,” said Rhoades. “I got to be in the classroom working with teachers from the instructional side but also got to work a lot with our infrastructure technology, our network, making sure we were able to provide all the essential services needed from a technology standpoint.”