The Medford School Board has announced that Superintendent Phil Long will end his tenure with the school district in June 2014 after 30 years as a teacher, administrator and superintendent.
Long announced his decision in a letter to board members over the weekend. The board will consider the matter and accept public comment in a meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 12, in the district Board Room, 815 S. Oakdale Ave.
According to a release from the district, Long noted in the letter that his contract runs through June 30, 2014, and said that he wanted to give the Board ample time to recruit his replacement.
Long came under fire during the past year from some board members. In a June 10 board meeting, board member Kim Wallan moved to terminate Long's contract without cause in 90 days. After questions were raised over whether the issue could be taken up without advance notice, the board tabled the motion.
A minority of the board members have questioned the district's below-average graduation rates and expressed concern over Long's decision to grant pay raises to administrators as part of a package in which the administrators took on a greater portion of their health insurance expenses.
The board agreed earlier this year not to renew Long's contract, but did not move to remove him immediately. Following the defeat of one of Long's critics in the May election, it was possible that the new board would have reconsidered the decision.
A highlight of Long's tenure was the 2006 passage of a $189 million school bond measure, which allowed the district to replace or renovate each of its schools. Long was also at the helm for the creation of Central Medford High School and for the development of small "schools with a school" system at South Medford High School.
Long began his career with the Medford School District in 1984 as a middle-school English and German teacher. In 1990 he was appointed assistant principal at South Medford High School. From there he moved to district-level administrative positions as supervisor of secondary curriculum and director of curriculum and instruction. In 2005, the board appointed him superintendent.