Journey

I'm here because

Why me? I am passionate about each child and their success in life; however, they define it!

Why this? Mentoring others allows me to provide a service that will aid in their success which directly leads to a positive impact on every child.

Why here? My values and the values of this organization are aligned!

Why now? For reasons too lengthy to share, I have wasted the last several years without making a direct impact on the success of each child.  It is time to return to the mission of ensuring every child succeeds. For every day that passes, too many children are lost.  It must stop!

I got here through

First, I realized late in my career that I have had a very consistent sense of “service to others” throughout my life, professional and personal.  I have a deep desire to help others discover their strengths and passions so they will experience success and fulfillment. Second but related to the first, I have developed the ability to “reflect” and apply my “service/strengths finder” attitude to myself.  I try to follow the same advice that I give others – “know your strengths and apply them to your passion(s) for a real sense of joy and accomplishment!

My hope for this community

As my 40+ year career in public education comes to a close, it is time to give back and support the next generation of educational leaders. I will support, encourage and challenge each school leader to embrace their passions and strengths to transform their educational communities to ensure that EACH child is embraced, connected and prepared for success as their future unfolds.

I can support you with

I share a strong desire to help ALL youth to succeed!  I can support, coach, challenge like-minded leaders regardless of their position in their journey, whether it is early, mid or late stages.  Everyone desires a solid support team willing to help carry the burden of this very important work.  I also bring and share a sense of urgency as we have failed our children for far too long. 

Favorite role in education

I have held nearly every position in education except for the role of bus driver. (Please note: it is hard to imagine that anyone can turn their back on 60+ children and drive one of those giant buses!?  Thank goodness for those that do!!)  I found joy in all my educational roles but being the superintendent for a midsize school district was my favorite.  It was an opportunity to serve an entire community of people, from students, parents, staff, administrators and community members to name a few.  I was able to apply my career-long learning including my previous successes/mistakes and the opportunity to make new mistakes (and successes) furthering my learning. It was truly the “best of times and (sometimes) the worst of times” but always worth it, especially at graduation time!!

Contact Information

Details

First Name

Steve

Last Name

Kelley

Pronouns

He/Him/His

Nickname

steve-kelley

District

None

City and State

Bend, Oregon

Experience

I started my career and my family in Florida in the mid-eighties. I have an amazing support system, my wife, Leigh and my two sons, Chris and Carson. My life, as I know it, would not be the same without them.  To this day, they are still my biggest fans and cheerleaders.  My sons taught me a lot about being an educator and what it means to help each child.

I have nearly 41 years of experience in a variety of educational roles.  I was a middle/high school math/chemistry teacher as well as a basketball coach.  My early aspirations centered around coaching at the collegiate level but as I worked on my master’s degree in adult education, I found a different path.  As I applied the tenets of adult learning to my high school math classes, I found a completely different passion!  It became apparent to me that ALL students could learn, and my old teaching strategies were the obstacles and not the children themselves.

My career took a hard right turn as I achieved my administrative certification from the University of North Florida, and I pursued opportunities to challenge/lead teachers and administrators to think about education in a different way.  I have been a middle school assistant principal and principal in Florida and Wyoming as well as an executive director/teacher of one of the first start up charter schools in New Mexico.  In the early 2000’s, I was drawn to the Lebanon (OR) Community School District and their innovative approaches to education.  My thinking evolved over time, and I was fortunate to lead the South Umpqua (OR) School District for six years prior to working for the Oregon School Boards Association (OSBA) for the last eight.  Over the length of my career, I have always sought opportunities to make a positive impact on the largest number of students.

I will formally retire from public education later this year but only as a means of devoting 100% of my time and energy to helping others support children so EACH STUDENT WILL SUCCEED. The seeds that I can plant over the next several years will have the greatest impact on the largest number of youth possible.  It is time to “pay it forward”!

Locations of Experience

Florida: Macclenny, Ocala, Callahan

Wyoming: Evanston

New Mexico: Sandia Park

Oregon: Lebanon, Tri City/Canyonville/Myrtle Creek, Salem, Stayton, Bend