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Cove selects new schools chief
Bruce Neil, an educator with deep Northeast Oregon roots, will soon take the reins of the Cove School District.
Neil was named the Cove School District’s next superintendent on Friday.
The principal of Central Middle School in the Milton-Freewater School District, Neil will take his new post July 1.
He will succeed Jeff Clark, who is leaving after nine years as Cove’s school district chief to become superintendent of the Amity School District in Yamhill County.
Neil has been with the Milton-Freewater School District since 2005. He earlier taught social studies at Pilot Rock High School from 1998 to 2005.
Meg Moore, chairwoman of the Cove School Board, said the board members were impressed with what they learned during a site visit to Central Middle School in the Milton-Freewater School District.
Board members liked the programs Neil had in place to boost student test scores and improve discipline.
Moore also said they observed that a cooperative atmosphere existed between teachers and the administrative staff. Board members were told, Moore said, that this atmosphere began improving after Neil became the school’s principal.
Moore also pointed out that it was apparent Neil is not afraid to take on difficult issues.
“He was perceived as a problem-solver for his district,” she said.
Neil was one of three finalists for the Cove superintendent’s position. The two others were Mat Miles, principal of Cove High School, and Mick Lane, an administrator with the Langlois School District in Port Orford. They were among 16 people who applied for the position.
Moore said the board’s decision was difficult because of the quality of the finalists.
“We were very fortunate to get as many good candidates as we did,” Moore said.
Neil grew up in Enterprise and is a 1986 graduate of Enterprise High School. He has degrees from EOU and Eastern Washington University. He and his wife, Kelly, served as student teachers in Cove in the late 1990s.
The Neils have three daughters, ages 12, 9 and 5.
The Cove School Board will formally vote on approval of Neil’s contract at its June 19 meeting.