Eric Milburn has been named the new superintendent of Central Curry School District 1.
The district’s search for candidates began in November when longtime Superintendent Tim Wilson announced he would be retiring at the end of the school year.
Milburn comes to the role with administrative and teaching experience in rural school districts like Central Curry. He began his teaching career in Idaho, where he taught science at Gooding and Kimberly high schools. In Oregon, he served as superintendent for Annex and Huntington school districts before taking his current role as superintendent at Perrydale School District—where he has been since 2014. He has a total of 22 years in education.
The Pilot asked Milburn about his plans for Central Curry School District 1.
What are some challenges facing the Central Curry School District?
“Making sure we have the proper funding to make equitable decisions for all the students. That seems to be one of the biggest issues we are confronted with. Rural districts have a hard time retaining good staff, they have a hard time being able to provide the programs you would like your kid to participate in. There’s always small school issues that make things a little more difficult.”
How can CCSD1 overcome ‘small school issues?’
“A lot of the time it’s trying to find the right partnerships within your communities. And seeing how you can build those partnerships, and how you can create interest. I was at a district where we had some kids interested in playing string instruments, so I wrote a grant for an afterschool program where we bought a bunch of cellos and we had somebody in the community who could teach the kids cello.”
“Finding the right business partnerships and working with them to have kids do internships, so they can learn a trade and see what a job is like. Expanded credit options through community colleges...trying to look outside the walls of the school and expand into the community, and also the region.”
How would you describe your leadership style?
“I’m a collaborative leader. I like to work with my staff to come up with solutions we may need within our school system. Not just with staff, but with community too... It’s your community you are ultimately serving, and you want to be able provide them with graduates that are going to be productive. When I say staff, I mean every staff member, not just the teachers, but secretaries, janitors, bus drivers. I think everybody has an integral part in the education of students. I think we can better serve our kids when we collaborate.”
“We will continue to get guidance from the state as to how things will look [and] how we [will] be able to open up our doors. If that means we are going to still have spacial restrictions, or what it may be. That depends on what restrictions are going to be lifted. Nobody has a definitive answer.
“We are going to have a lot of work to try and make up for lost time. It’s definitely going to be a big effort for our staff to serve our kids. With the right work ethic… we will be able to do that, but it will be a large undertaking when kids are missing a large portion of their school year.”
What will be Eric Milburn’s legacy as superintendent of CCSD1?
“I’ve always wanted to make sure I’ve left a place I’ve worked at better than when I got there. So, I’ve made improvements, and [they] may be in instruction, curriculum, facilities, but make some positive improvement according to whatever [the] district needs.
“I just want people to know...I really want to serve them and be an integral part of the community, not just somebody who is the leader of the school, but somebody who is a part of the things going on.”