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Outgoing Oregon Trail Academy director signs three-year contract starting in July

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Ginger Redlinger has enjoyed her time with the students at the Oregon Trail Academy and looks forward to making new relationships in North Marion School District. Ginger Redlinger announced her intention to resign as director of Oregon Trail Academy in early February, saying she was looking to move up in the educational administration ranks.

Apparently, while she was searching for her next big transition, North Marion School District was looking for her.

Redlinger has accepted the position as superintendent for the district. On July 1, she will take over the role from retiring Superintendent Boyd Keyser.

The North Marion School Board formally offered Redlinger the job, and she signed on to a three-year employment agreement on Tuesday, March 21.

Redlinger has worked for OTA for the past three years, putting a great deal of time into the school's recent accreditation as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School.

"(The district) knew I wasn't going to be here forever," she said. "But I committed to being here to make sure they reached their goal. ... I'm very excited about making those changes."

She has worked in education for 23 years, and only planned to stay at OTA for a few years before moving into what she hopes will be her final position before retirement.

The school got its International Baccalaureate accreditation in late January, signaling Redlinger's time with the district would soon come to a close.

"It was just right," Redlinger said. "The goal all along was to achieve this outcome … I think I've done more work here in three years than I've done other places in five.

"During that three-year period of time," she added, "we've increased learning opportunities that were important to OTA, like music and art. We've added to the health and wellness program."

Redlinger is optimistic about her new position and her ability to implement change, as she has at OTA.

"Because it's a small district, I will be able to build strong relationships with the community," she noted. "The schools are so close together I'll be able to visit classrooms and see students every day, which I really like to do."

In order to do this at North Marion, Redlinger hopes to increase parent and community involvement in the schools.

"Writing a holistic education means you include the community and parents," she explained.

It is with mixed emotions that she rounds out her final semester at OTA.

"I'm looking forward to my next challenge, and I'll miss the relationships I've made here."

With Redlinger moving on, Oregon Trail School District is in the process of finding a replacement. Communications Director Julia Monteith says the district is looking for someone with IB programme experience.

"OTA has an excellent staff, a caring and supportive community and students that want to change the world," Monteith says, "so my advice would be to help them do that."

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