Elementary school principal resigns

Thomas McCormick led the merger of Evans Valley, Rogue River schools

After 41 years as an educator, Thomas McCormick, who oversaw the merger of Evans Valley and Rogue River elementary schools, announced his resignation Monday morning.

The 64-year-old has been Rogue River Elementary's principal since 2008. Before that, he was principal of Glendale Jr./Sr. High School for eight years.

McCormick said he notified the district in March that he intended to resign at the end of the 2013-2014 school year, but he had overlooked some elements of renewing his administrative license, which expires next month.

"It was toward the end of the school year, and I had to get nine hours between June and September," he said. "I couldn't get the whole nine in that time frame."

McCormick looked into taking the necessary classes for renewal at Southern Oregon University, but the classes started in September and ended in November.

"It was beyond the time limit," he said.

With state-mandated challenges of changing teacher and administrator evaluations, changing to a proficiency grading system and adding a mandatory kindergarten readiness evaluation, McCormick said it's better that he steps down now.

"There are a lot of challenges coming and I'm pretty tired," he said. "These new things require extra effort, and I'm running low on gas."

During his years as principal, McCormick oversaw the consolidation of Rogue River and Evans Valley elementary schools in 2011. The Rogue River School Board, citing budget deficits, closed Evans Valley in Wimer, consolidated all kindergarten through third-grade classes at Rogue River Elementary and housed grades four through six at the middle school. Grades seven and eight were moved to the high school.

McCormick said his proudest accomplishment, though, has been working with wonderful teachers and dedicated staff over the years.

"It's been an honor working with them," he said.

His greatest challenge has been helping children in a changing society, he said.

"We have so many kids without supportive parents," he said. "The biggest challenge was trying to meet the needs of those kids without support."

No replacement for McCormick has been named yet, said Superintendent Paul Young.

"Our intention is to find an interim, then run a standard replacement process for the 2014-2015 school year," he said.

McCormick's last day with Rogue River Elementary will be Sept. 16.

"I'm going to miss the kids," he said.

Reach intern Amanda Barker at intern1@mailtribune.com.

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