Augsburger Moves From Foster to High School, Replaced by Perry

Benny Westcott

Luke Augsburger had been the principal at Foster Elementary School since 2014. Now, he’s moving on to a new role, but still within the district, as assistant principal at Sweet Home High School.

“I look forward to being back at Sweet Home High School, where I started my teaching career,” Augsburger said. “I am also looking forward to seeing the many familiar Foster faces as well as getting to know many more Sweet Home families.” He added that “I support our community and I am here for our kids.”

Superintendent Terry Martin said “Luke is an experienced educator, and he will do wonderful at the high school. He is joining a great team.”

Prior to the principalship at Foster, Augsburger was a history teacher at Sweet Home High School for six years.

Augsburger grew up in Myrtle Point, graduating from high school there in 2003. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education and history at Oregon State University in 2008. He graduated from Western Governor’s University in Salt Lake City with his master’s degree in education in 2010, and completed his administrator certification at Concordia University in Portland in 2013.

Augsburger is replacing Nate Tyler as assistant principal at the high school. Tyler is now the principal at Sweet Home Junior High School. Augsburger joins fellow High School Assistant Principal Aaron Huff.

Darren Perry, who had been a math teacher at Sweet Home High School since 2016, with the exception of one year in which he taught math at the junior high, replaces Augsburger, filling in as interim principal at Foster.

“Darren is an experienced educator and long time community member,” Martin said. “He loves kids and has been wanting to get into administration, and we think he will do a great job along with the wonderful staff at Foster.

“The plan is for Darren to be interim principal the entire year,” Martin said. “Our hope is he loves it at Foster, and staff, parents and students welcome him, and he ultimately becomes the principal who serves the school.”

Perry said that “Over-the-moon excited does not begin to describe how I feel about working with the staff, students and community of Foster Elementary School. As the interim principal, I hope we can continue to build on the traditions and relationships that are strong at Foster to help our learners succeed.”

He said that when he heard he got the job, “I was super excited, because it was somewhat of a surprise. I knew that the assistant principal [role] at the high school was going to be available with Nate Tyler moving to the junior high, so I was gearing to try to fill that shoe, but when this opportunity came up, it was super exciting.”

He hopes to bring a new set of eyes to the building and “a fresh look at some things that we could do.”

“They already have a lot of strong programs and educators there,” he said of Foster, adding that “I’ve had a plethora of different experiences at other buildings, so hopefully those experiences can fill needs there at Foster.”

Like any transition, there will be an adjustment period. “The change was quick, and the previous principal was well liked, so it didn’t really give people the chance to adjust to the change or know about it ahead of time,” Perry said. “So there’s going to be some apprehension there, and hopefully I’ll be able to calm some of those nerves and keep things moving as effectively as they have been in the past, and take care of those concerns quickly.”

In addition to his most recent stint, Perry also taught math at Sweet Home High School from 1999 to 2002. In 2019, Perry served as the dean of students at Oak Heights Elementary School.

From 2002 to 2006, Perry was a math teacher at Sand Ridge Charter School in Lebanon. From 2006 to 2016, he taught math at Central Linn Junior and Senior High School.

Perry graduated from Elgin High School in the small town of Elgin in eastern Oregon in 1993, going on to earn his B.A. from Eastern Oregon University and an M.S. in mathematics education from Oregon State University. He obtained his initial administrative license from Concordia University in 2017.

Speaking on the administrative moves within the district, Martin said, “As superintendent, my responsibility is to place administrators for the benefit of our students and according to district needs. I have done that, and will continue to do so. We are fortunate to have a quality team of administrators serving our students.”

He added that “Administrators moving from one building to another, advancing their careers, etc., it’s not a new phenomenon in our district. I am very happy with the quality of our staff, and we are all working hard day in and day out to do our absolute best for all of our students.”