News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Stancliff named Sisters High School principal

Steven Stancliff has been named the new principal of Sisters High School, replacing Joe Hosang, who, after 10 years as principal, is moving to a new position at the district’s administrative office.

Stancliff, a native of Alaska and resident of Central Oregon since 2005, comes from a background in teaching, as well a variety of administration positions. He is finishing up his fifth year as principal of Pilot Butte Middle School in Bend.

Over his 16 years in the region, Stancliff became familiar with Sisters Country and its schools, and felt drawn to a place with a strong sense of community.

“I have developed an admiration and respect for the great work and exciting opportunities that Sisters High School offers its students and community, and I have always considered Sisters a community where I would love to work,” he said.

“A big part of my motivation is a desire to work in a place where there are clear and deliberate connections between the community and the school.

I believe that when students can pursue their interests in a way that centers real-life community connections, it increases student engagement and investment in their learning.

I think that many schools and districts aspire to attain these types of school-community connections, but I feel like in Sisters they are at the heart of how school is done.”

Stancliff views the size of Sisters High School as a factor in his desire to work here.

“The size of the student body at Sisters High School is one of the key reasons I applied for the position,” he said. “I am eager to work in a high school where I can truly get to know each student and where they know that I am personally invested in their success. I believe in that regard that SHS is in that sweet spot where the student body is large enough to offer quality programming but also still allows for those personal connections.”

Stancliff and his wife, Amy, currently reside in Redmond with their four children including Soren, a junior, and Lucy, a freshman, at Ridgeview High School, and twin boys, Finn and William, who are in sixth grade at Elton Gregory Middle School.

Prior to his arrival at Pilot Butte Middle School in 2016, Stancliff taught Spanish, economics, and history for seven years. After completing his administrative credential in 2012 he began a stint at Ridgeview High School as a dean of students and eventually served as a vice principal for a total of four years.

Stancliff earned a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in international studies, a master’s degree in educational policy studies from the University of Alberta (Canada), and a second masters from Willamette University to become endorsed to teach Spanish and social studies. He is completing his administrative licensure through the University of Oregon.

Stancliff’s interest in language and international studies is related to spending a year living in Madrid, Spain, right after high school. After one year at BYU, he completed a two-year church mission in Bolivia.

“I believe that all of these professional and personal experiences have given me a broad range of knowledge and skills that will help me be effective in serving as the principal at Sisters High School,” he said.

In regard to what he views as educational priorities as a building principal, he said, “As an educational leader, I believe that my role is to help curate a vision for student achievement that empowers both educators and students by helping to clear a path for them to do their best work.

“I believe,” he continued, “that the highest quality learning experiences happen when teachers are able to leverage the life experiences, perspectives, and interests that students bring to the table. I’ve spent the majority of my professional career in International Baccalaureate schools where there is a significant emphasis on building the analytical capacity of students, as well as the critical nature of interdisciplinary teaching and learning. This focus permeates my instructional leadership.”

In response to a question about his role in leading Sister High School to a post-COVID era, he said, “I think that the path to a sense of normalcy moving forward will both honor the hard experiences that students and families have gone through during the pandemic, and will be student-driven in terms of leadership.

“What I heard in my student interviews,” he continued, “is that they are ready and excited to engage with one another in an effort to help re-establish what it means to be a thriving student at Sisters High School. These efforts will require a safe, deliberate, and inclusive approach to rekindling the traditions and social experiences that characterize Sisters High School.”

Stancliff looks forward to getting to know his staff, students and members of the community.

“I hope people will see that I am approachable, measured, and open-minded,” he said.

When not at work, Stancliff loves to get outdoors with his family and says they are already familiar with the Sisters area

“We are an outdoors-oriented family and a great deal of our recreation happens in the Sisters area,” he said. “We spend a lot of summer afternoons and evenings up at Three Creeks Lake, fall weekends in the Metolius area, and winter evenings up at Hoodoo.”

Stancliff continually looped back to how much he looks forward to working in a school that is a central focus of the community.

“I am genuinely excited to work in a place that is so invested in the success of its school and students,” he said.


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