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Veteran educator will lead Phoenix-Talent District

An administrator with the Phoenix-Talent School District has been selected to replace Ben Bergreen after his retirement as district superintendent. Teresa Sayre, who has been director of instructional services for the district for six years, will take on the top job starting July 1.

"She really stood out because of her passion and enthusiasm for education," said Craig Prewitt, chairman of the Phoenix-Talent School Board. He also praised her past success and her ability to connect with people.

Sayre, 49, was chosen after a six-month selection process that began in October and involved the School Board, members of the administration, school staff and the community. Applicants from across the region were narrowed down to a final group of five from which Sayre was chosen.

"I feel so fortunate to have received this position," Sayre said Friday.

She said she applied for the superintendent's job to carry on her commitment to the school district and its staff, both of which she described as "wonderful." She also said she felt her experience working with students at elementary, middle and high school levels made her a unique candidate.

Sayre has been in the education field for 27 years. Before coming to Phoenix-Talent, she taught as a business education teacher at Crater High School for five years, at Ashland High School for five years and Ashland Middle School for two years.

Sayre has been with the Phoenix-Talent School District for 15 years, including four years as an assistant principal with Talent Middle School and five years as principal of Talent Elementary School. As director of instructional services, she helps teachers develop curriculum, oversees assessment testing, Oregon Department of Education reporting and the information technology department. She also has been working on an improvement plan within the district.

"People ask me what my hobbies are," said Sayre. "I say 'education.' I've dedicated my life to it."

Sayre is a lifelong resident of the Rogue Valley and grew up in Ashland. She lives in Medford.

Sayre said she originally attended Southern Oregon University with the intention of majoring in business, but after helping students at the math center on campus, she discovered a knack for teaching and decided to pursue education. Later she earned her administrative credentials from the University of Oregon.

"Teresa is uniquely qualified in her talents," said Prewitt. "Plus, she has the underlying objective of always wanting to do what's best for her students."

Sayre said her priorities as superintendent would be to support staff to continue their quality work as well as publicizing and communicating what is happening in the district.

"There are many changes on the horizon as well as challenges," said Sayre. She said the district is retooling for new state standards and is working to better prepare high school students for higher education.

"She understands the nature of our district," said Prewitt. "And our district is kind of a family-oriented place, and she gets it."

Shannon Houston is a Southern Oregon University intern. Reach her at shouston@mailtribune.com.

Veteran educator will lead Phoenix-Talent District