Canby School Board Selects New Superintendent

The Canby School Board on Wednesday voted unanimously to name Dr. Aaron Downs, of the West Linn-Wilsonville School District, as the district’s new superintendent.

Dr. Aaron Downs.

Downs, who currently serves as West Linn-Wilsonville’s assistant superintendent of secondary schools, will start July 1, replacing current Superintendent Trip Goodall after seven years in Canby.

“Aaron Downs’ experiences as an educator, his commitment to equity, and his inclusive leadership style make him the right person to lead our district forward,” said Chair Angi Dilkes. “We engaged in an extensive process to involve the community in this hire, and the feedback from our stakeholders helped inform our selection.”

The board interviewed seven candidates for the position last week, eventually narrowing the list to three: Allen Barber, Aaron Downs, and Bret Heller. A total of 18 candidates applied to lead the Canby School District.

This week, the board met in person with each finalist. District stakeholders, including teachers, parents, community members, staff, local leaders, and administrators, also met with the finalists and provided feedback.

“We know Dr. Downs is a trusted, transparent leader with a commitment to listening and learning about the needs of our district,” said Vice Chair Sara Magenheimer. “Aaron Downs will partner with our educators and our families to ensure every student learns every day, as they work toward their academic and growth goals.”

Prior to his role as assistant superintendent in the West Linn-Wilsonville School District, Downs served as a teacher, advisor, coach and the principal of Wilsonville High School. He earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from George Fox University and a doctorate of education from Lewis and Clark College.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve as the next superintendent of the Canby School District,” Downs said. “I am excited to build upon the Canby’s student-centered systems as we work together to meet the district’s Academic Vision. I look forward to getting to work in the coming weeks, jumping right into planning for our full return to in-person learning this fall.”

Officials said Downs will collaborate with the Board of Directors, community partners, school leaders, educators, and families over the coming weeks to learn more about the Canby School District as he transitions into his new role.

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