education, FGSD, News

Forest Grove School Board selects Dr. Suzanne West as next superintendent

About three dozen people attended the Forest Grove School District board meeting Wednesday to witness just one action item on the agenda: the selection of the next superintendent of the Forest Grove School District.

That choice, adopted unanimously by the board, is Dr. Suzanne West.

“So much excites me about the Forest Grove School District. I applied for the role of superintendent because I believe that Forest Grove is a special community with a strong commitment to its schools,” said West in a press release issued shortly after the board meeting concluded. “I am eager to visit classrooms, work with my new colleagues and the community to continue the good work already underway, and build on the strengths of the district.”

West’s selection ends a monthslong search spurred when current FGSD Superintendent Dave Parker announced he would retire at the end of the school year after six years in the role.

West will officially begin in the role July 1, but will start working with staff members over the coming weeks to prepare to take over the leadership of the sprawling district.

Board member Kate Grandusky welcomed West to the district, noting that the district served the cities of Forest Grove and Cornelius, as well as the rural communities of Gales Creek and Dilley. Grandusky, herself a longtime Gales Creek resident, is serving in her fourth term on the board.

The district also includes the communities of Glenwood, Watts, portions of Hillside, Verboort and other rural communities near Forest Grove.

West is a longtime educator, and has held a variety of roles, most recently in Salem, where she was the Director of Strategic Initiatives and the Director of Elementary Curriculum & Instruction in Salem-Keizer Public Schools.

She was also the Director of Technology and Innovation in the Sherwood School District, and has worked as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal at the elementary and middle school levels.

West holds a Doctorate of Education, earned at the University of Oregon, and a Master of Arts, Teaching and a Bachelor of Arts, Management and Organizational Leadership from Newberg’s George Fox University.

The district plans to hold several “Meet and Greet” opportunities for the community to meet West, but did not yet have dates or locations published.

The Forest Grove School Board on May 1, 2024. Photo: Chas Hundley
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Chas Hundley is the editor of the Gales Creek Journal and sister news publications the Banks Post and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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