Sorrow & Celebration

on Thursday, December 01, 2016 Posted in Stories, School Partnership Network

Our friends in the North Clackamas School District have experienced a wide gamut of emotions this fall. Joe Krumm, the longtime Executive Director of Community and Government Relations passed away unexpectedly and his death brought a shocking wave of sadness to everyone associated with the district. In contrast to the devastating loss, the North Clackamas School District also named Superintendent Matt Utterback the 2017 Oregon Superintendent of the Year. The announcement brought about much needed celebration throughout the district in the midst of mourning the loss of their dear friend and colleague.    

Two very different stories impacting the routine of one of the school districts most connected to our efforts as the School Partnership Network. Collectively we share our condolences with the entire community at Joe’s passing. He was a good friend and a willing partner with our efforts.   We also congratulate Matt on his selection as Superintendent of the Year; a well-deserved honor for this man of God serving his community faithfully.

North Clackamas Schools staff and community lost a dear friend and valued colleague.  Joe Krumm, Executive Director of Community and Government Relations, died unexpectedly doing something he loved, playing drums in a band.

The District is grieving the passing of this tremendous man and extends condolences to his family and all who were touched by him. Joe’s reach was far and wide; locally, regionally, and nationally. 

“You didn't need to be with Joe for more than a minute to know his deep love for his family, his music, and his community,” shared Matt Utterback, North Clackamas Superintendent.

As Executive Director of Community and Government Relations, Joe was a foundation for building strong, collaborative relationships between the District and students, their families, and the community. Joe was known for his vast empathy and commitment to students and families. His leadership for social justice and equity for all students was always at the heart of his work to help EACH student succeed.  

Joe was a regular presenter at seminars, classes and conferences on subjects, including media relations, lobbying, beating burnout, crisis communications, and the value of school communications to better serve students. He was a trained facilitator for the Center for Educational Equity where he coached hundreds of people.

Joe came to North Clackamas in 1990, after serving as editor and co-publisher at the Clackamas County Review. Previous professions he held were a news reporter, professional drummer, city bus driver, soccer coach, referee, and custodian.

Matthew R. Utterback, North Clackamas School District Superintendent since 2012, has been named the 2017 Oregon Superintendent of the Year by the Oregon Association of School Executives (OASE) and the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA). This award automatically places Utterback in the running for the National Superintendent of the Year Award from the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), sponsored by Aramark and Valic.

Utterback has over 27 distinguished years in public education, the past four years as superintendent of the North Clackamas School District. A suburban school district serving over 17,000 students on 32 school campuses, North Clackamas Schools are continuously recognized as innovative leaders in the state of Oregon.

In 2013, Utterback oversaw the development of the district’s Strategic Direction and Plan. A community engagement process resulted in three clearly articulated goals and action plans in the areas of student achievement, equity, and quality programs. With a clear plan and process for communication, the district’s vision is felt and supported in every corner of the district.

“Matt Utterback is an outstanding superintendent. His daily leadership for equity is seen in his thoughtful manner and unquestionable commitment to serving every student under his care. He is revered by his staff and is highly focused on improving system outcomes to secure individual student success. Matt is a humble person who leads others with urgency and grace. I am inspired by his skill, passion and success. He is clearly one of the best,” Rob Larson, Director of the Oregon Leadership Network.
“Matt Utterback is one of the best educators that I have ever worked with. He is thoughtful, articulate, and very passionate about the students and families he works for,” Darin Drill, superintendent of Cascade School District and President-Elect of OASE, said. “Matt finds ways to create new opportunities for every student to be successful and at the same time always keeps his eye on ensuring that North Clackamas School District continues to improve. He is above reproach and will always do his best work for the students he serves.”