November 18, 2022
As we head into Thanksgiving week, it brings a wide range of emotions for many of us, our kids, and our families. Sometimes the holidays are marked mostly by feelings of love and happiness, but we also know that this time of year can be very tough on our mental health. Some of us have lost loved ones; others feel the pressure to provide for our family with limited resources. Then there’s the disconnect many have felt over the last two years.
Recently, I listened to a keynote speaker, Brandon Fleming, who was simply amazing. The short Youtube video and his website will give you a sense of what he shared. He spoke at the annual School Board Association conference last weekend and it moved our local boards so much that we hope to partner and bring him to our region next fall.
Mr. Fleming left us with this: Is it as easy as “Love and Compassion?” Specifically, if we lead with love and compassion, will that foster understanding and empathy for those we work with, for those we serve, and for those we live near?
Well, a teacher changed his life and path by demonstrating authentic love and compassion. Think of a time when someone did that for you...that is something to be thankful for this season.
I hope you have experienced love and compassion that made a difference in who you are and I hope you share that with others. I know I will be intentional about leading with that from now on.
With that, I hope you enjoy some time with loved ones next week. We truly have a special community! Take care of yourself, your family, your friends, and each other.
Brent Barry, Superintendent
Brent Barry, Superintendent
Brent Barry has been Phoenix-Talent’s superintendent since 2017, when he was promoted from the role of assistant superintendent for academics and student programs. He worked his way up through the ranks, teaching health and math in Prineville, Oregon City and Medford before taking over as vice principal and athletic director of Phoenix High School. Later, he served as principal at Orchard Hill Elementary, one of three elementary schools in the Phoenix-Talent School District, before becoming one of the district’s two assistant superintendents.
Prior to the 2021-22 school year the Oregon Association of School Executives (OASE) and the Coalition of Oregon School Administrators (COSA) named Barry the 2022 Oregon Superintendent of the Year.
Barry was born and raised in the Rogue Valley, attending McLaughlin Middle School and later South Medford High School before heading to San Diego State University on a baseball scholarship. Barry later attended Southern Oregon University and Linfield College (now Linfield University), where he met his future wife Sara. The Barrys, who were married in 1996, have two daughters: Alex, 21, and Lauren, 19.
Phoenix-Talent School District Superintendent
Executive assistant to the superintendent and school board secretary