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Deputy Superintendent's Biography

Rob Saxton
Rob Saxton was appointed Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction by Governor John Kitzhaber in July of 2012 and was formally confirmed by the Oregon Senate on September 14, 2012. Rob is serving as Oregon’s first appointed head of the Oregon Department of Education following 2011 legislation that made the Governor the Superintendent of Schools with the authority to appoint a Deputy to run the Department.

In his role as Deputy Superintendent, Rob oversees the education of more than a half-million students in over 1,200 public and charter schools. He is working closely with Chief Education Officer Nancy Golden on implementing changes to the state’s education system to better align services, supports, and funding from pre-kindergarten through higher education to help the state reach its 40-40-20 goal.

In addition to the education reform efforts currently in place, key priorities include ensuring students enter school ready to learn; a strong focus on literacy, especially at the early grades; educational equity and closing the achievement and opportunity gaps; implementation of new college- and career-ready standards and an aligned assessment; supporting educators in providing high-quality instruction in every classroom in the state, and ensuring Oregon graduates leave our schools prepared for their next steps.

In his time at ODE, Rob has overseen a reorganization of the agency which included the creation of a new Equity Unit and the addition of two new divisions – the Early Learning Division and the Youth Development Division. The agency has undergone a strategic planning process and has issued $75 million in legislatively funded Strategic Initiative grants to Oregon school districts and community partners to build a network for quality teaching and learning and better support student success.

Rob came to ODE after years working in Oregon schools and districts. For seven years, he served as the superintendent of the Tigard-Tualatin School District which has been recognized as a state leader in success with student outcomes in reading, math, science, and graduation rates. The district has provided leadership to other districts in the state in areas such as Response to Intervention (RTI) and an intentional focus on closing the achievement gap. Rob has also served as superintendent of the Sherwood School District, principal of McMinnville High School, and an assistant principal, teacher, and coach in the Greater Albany School District.

A native Oregonian, Rob has been active in state-level education policy for the past 14 years. He served as an advisor to the State Board of Education, was an Executive Board Member with the OSAA, was involved in shaping Oregon’s No Child Left Behind waiver proposal, and has served on state panels and workgroups including: Oregon report card re-design, School Accountability Task Force, and Superintendents Vision and Policy Advisory Committee.

Rob earned both his bachelor’s and master’s in education from Linfield College and his administrative/superintendent’s credentials from Portland State. Part of an education family, Rob’s parents both taught in the Salem/Keizer School District, his sister teaches in McMinnville, his wife Toni taught elementary school in both Dayton and Sherwood, and his son Sean teaches science at South Albany High School. Rob’s daughter, Ellany, is an oncology nurse with Compass Oncology in Vancouver and Portland

Superintendent Tenures
Superintendent Tenures
Photos and abbreviated biographies of past Superintendents as far back as 1872.

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