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Hislop to step down at end of school year
Doug Hislop to end a 43-year career in education
The dim lighting in the hallway outside the Union County Clerk’s office did not obscure the sense of joy and relief written on the face of Imbler School District Superintendent Doug Hislop.
The date was Sept, 21, 2010, and Hislop was reviewing the results of a bond levy election for the construction of a new elementary school.
The unofficial returns were in and incredibly encouraging, correctly indicating that the bond levy had passed in a landslide. Years of hard work had paid off for Hislop. Thanks in large part to his leadership, it would now be possible for his district to construct a new $4 million elementary school. The building was desperately needed because the nearly century-old structure housing Imbler’s elementary school was in danger of being condemned.
Fast forward three years to today. The Imbler School District has a striking new elementary school as result of the 2010 election triumph but is now set to lose the architect of that victory.
Hislop, 66, has announced that he will retire in June at the end of his 43rd year as an educator.
“He is going to be very difficult to replace. He will leave some very big shoes to fill,” said Wade Bingaman, a member of the Imbler School Board.
Hislop, always a whirlwind of energy, had no idea that he would be at Imbler 10 years when he was named interim superintendent in 2003.
“I thought I would have things so mixed up after the first year that they wouldn’t want me back,” said Hislop, adding he is looking forward to spending more time with his wife, Patty, after retiring.
Hislop came to Imbler following a 33-year career with the La Grande School District. He taught at Greenwood Elementary School for 28 years before moving to La Grande Middle School to be its assistant principal before becoming the school’s principal.
His job at Imbler was his first as a superintendent and it came with a short learning curve. Hislop quickly helped the school district succeed on many different levels. Imbler’s schools have won many high ratings from the Oregon Department of Education throughout Hislop’s tenure.
Hislop takes little credit for what has been accomplished.
“Our staff creates a great climate for success,” Hislop said.
It is a climate Hislop perpetuates with a 24-7 sense of energy and an ever-giving attitude.
Imbler School District Deputy Clerk Teressa Dewey said Hislop thinks nothing of dropping everything he is doing and helping any student with a problem.
“He is the most unselfish person I know. I’ve seen him reach out to so many students over the past 10 years,” she said. “I can’t begin to imagine how many lives of students he has touched during his career.”