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Gresham-Barlow School Board names Hiu permanent superintendent

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March 3, 2022

Gresham-Barlow School Board names Hiu permanent superintendent 

Hiu has been acting superintendent since July 1 Superintendent Hiu

On March 3 the Gresham-Barlow School Board approved hiring James Hiu as the permanent superintendent. Hiu has been serving as acting superintendent since July 1.

Prior to serving as acting superintendent, Mr. Hiu served as the District’s Deputy Superintendent-Human Resources since 2017. Before that, he served as Deputy Superintendent of Secondary Education & Operations. He has also served as the District’s Secondary Education Director. He was principal of Sam Barlow High School from 2004-2010.

To inform the superintendent search process, the school board gathered input from the community through focus groups and an online survey tool, ThoughtExchange. The board asked students, parents, business leaders, and community members to weigh in on the question “What should the new superintendent know about our District and what important skills and qualities would help them be successful?” More than 1,700 people  provided 2,200 comments or thoughts, and over 45,000 ratings of those thoughts, around different aspects of the position.

The community prioritized key attributes, character traits, and skills desired in the next superintendent. Regarding demonstrated skills, they wanted an educational leader, a team builder, and someone with the ability to find common ground. The community wanted a person of integrity and a collaborator. It was also important the next superintendent continue the emphasis on equity work that the Board and District have prioritized.

“The School Board is confident Mr. Hiu is the right person to lead our school district during this unique point in time,” said Board Chair Mayra Gómez. “He has a strong commitment to our district, a deep knowledge of our community, and a clear vision on how we can continue to improve the quality of education in the Gresham-Barlow School District.”

Before becoming an administrator, Mr. Hiu taught health and physical education and served as a high school athletic/activities director. He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree and his Master of Education Degree from Linfield College. His administrator’s license is from Portland State University.

About the GBSD Superintendent Search Process  

The Gresham-Barlow School Board has utilized a variety of superintendent search processes over the years focusing on internal, regional, and national searches, depending on the specific needs of the District at that time. Before embarking on a specific search process, the Board gathers information, looking at a variety of considerations. 

By Board Policy, the Board is required to get input from the community as to what they want to see in the next superintendent. The school board collected community input in November and December of 2021.

After reviewing community input, the school board determined that the district had an internal candidate, Acting Superintendent James Hiu, who possessed the desired attributes, character traits, and skills required to successfully lead the district. His appointment as permanent superintendent became effective March 3, 2022.