IONE – The Ione Community School Board of Directors has selected Phil Starkey as its new superintendent. Starkey, who currently serves as superintendent in the Spray School District, will begin his new duties in Ione on July 1.
For the past four years, the Ione School District has contracted with the InterMountain Education Service District for superintendent services. The IMESD and its superintendent, Dr. Mark Mulvihill, opted not to renew the superintendent services contract with Ione after the current school year, so the Ione Board conducted a search for a superintendent. This superintendent role will be a part-time position in Ione.
“The superintendent and principal positions are very different, and it is difficult for a small school district like Ione to afford two separate full time positions,” said Ione School Board Chair Bill Jepsen. “Four years ago our board decided to try something new by using a part-time superintendent service through Mark Mulvihill and the InterMountain ESD. The model that Mark provided worked so well that we decided to continue it, even though the ESD was no longer able to implement it. We are truly going to miss Mark and the expertise he provided for us. However, we are excited to bring Phil Starkey on board for that position. His credentials and performance over the last 29 years as an administrator are impeccable. We are looking forward to what Phil can bring to make the Ione Community School even better.”
Mulvihill said he’s appreciated his time working with the Ione staff, but needed to take a step back.
“I really enjoyed my experience at Ione for the past four years, but the extra assignment simply became too time consuming when coupled with my IMESD responsibilities,” he said.
Starkey has spent the majority of his 35-year career in education as a principal, and has been the superintendent/principal at Spray since 2009. Prior to that, Starkey served as an elementary and middle school principal for 24 years in the Hermiston School District. Starkey also spent seven years in the classroom as an elementary school teacher in Hillsboro and Springfield.
“Making a difference” is at the core of Starkey’s administrative work at all levels. He has made an impact in his schools by adhering to core values and focusing on hiring and developing strong teaching staff. He says he works with vision and tenacity to build a culture of promise among staff, parents and students.
Starkey says that he knows that working together with Ione School Principal Sarah Crane-Simpson will be a growth opportunity for them both, as “iron sharpens iron.” He also brings a wide range of experiences and a deep understanding of the culture and needs of a rural school district.
“There are many small school districts in Oregon. Each has its unique story and most often the school is the center of the community and the bond that connects people,” Starkey told the Ione School Board. “Even though I do not have an intimate knowledge of Ione, I have followed its rise over the last two decades. It is a story of a town that wants to preserve its independence and pride, and took action to do so.”
Starkey received his superintendent credentials from Lewis & Clark College, his administrative credentials from Portland State University, and has a Master’s of Education in Curriculum and Instruction and a Bachelor’s Degree in elementary education from the University of Oregon.