Sweet Home School District
FosterHawthorneHolleyOak HeightsJunior HighHigh School
Our DistrictDepartmentsProgramsSchool BoardemploymentStaff DirectoryContact UsResources for Parents and StudentsCommunityStaff ResourcesCalendarsDelays or Closure Information

From the Superintendent

Dear Parents, Students, and Community,

I hope your summer was relaxing and invigorating, filled with adventures, fun, family, and good health.

My wife, son, and I enjoyed Sweet Home and the surrounding area, mixing as much work and play as possible this summer. I had fun cutting wood; Thorsen (our son) and I built a tree house; we added a puppy to the family; we camped along the Metolius and Wickiup Reservoir; we enjoyed Foster Lake and the Santiam River, and we had lots of family visit from Montana, Central Oregon, and Washington.

It is my third year as your superintendent, and I am proud of our collective accomplishments. We have laid the foundation of even greater things to come. Last year as a community, we built a 5-year strategic plan with the mission of giving each child, every chance to achieve their potential. To achieve this end, we built four foundational pillars with “we will” commitments.

Pillar I: Outstanding Achievement - Offer an academically challenging experience.

We will:

  • Increase success for all students by closing the achievement gap, ensuring students are college and career-ready.
  • Provide instruction that reflects best practices and standards alignment.
  • Expand electives, alternative education options, and co-curricular programming to ensure all students’ needs are met.
  • Provide staff with professional development that contributes to increased instructional effectiveness.

Pillar II: Thriving Citizen—Champion success, unlocking each student’s full potential

We will:

  • Identify the individual strengths of each student so they can develop talents for lifetime learning.
  • Promote confidence, commitment, responsibility, resiliency, and teamwork through student participation in clubs, sports, and before/after school activities.
  • Cultivate the attributes of character, citizenry, healthy lifestyles, fitness, and work habits.
  • Be responsive to the unique needs of every student by providing comprehensive services and support.

Pillar III: Thriving Community—Promote seamless partnerships

We will:

  • Foster volunteer and service opportunities between schools, students, and the community.
  • Connect students with local businesses to learn about emerging career options and expand student work experiences.
  • Ensure effective communication between the school district, schools, and families.
  • Cultivate positive environments and relationships that contribute to organizational and community wellness.

Pillar IV: Safe and Welcoming Facilities and Services

We will:

  • • Establish a long-term plan that supports the continuous improvement of our facilities.
  • Improve district safety and security by strengthening safety plans, increasing staff training, and providing comprehensive oversight.
  • Offer welcoming and inspiring facilities.
  • Modernize learning environments and increase access to updated technology.

While the strategic plan is new, the foundational initiatives and programs are in place, and we will continue to improve and seize opportunities for growth. As an example, our achievement scores are on the rise. Over the past two years, we have built more academic programs and career pathways for our students. Over 240 students last year earned college credits while in high school. Over 400 high school students and 68% of junior high students participated in clubs and athletics. In addition, six of our high school athletic teams were #1 in 4A Academic All-State. Every school has community service and citizenship initiatives. Many of our facilities are getting safety and renovation enhancements—we are near upgrade completion at Hawthorne elementary, with of course the junior high being the centerpiece this year and next and projects at Foster and Holley elementary schools in development. We have drastically improved our technology in laying over two miles of fiber, increasing our bandwidth 500% and fully switching our district to Google.

I look forward to sharing more of our accomplishments this year. It’s a great time to be in Sweet Home. I am proud of living in a community that so strongly supports its kids and schools. Moreover, the older I get, the more I absolutely believe public education is the backbone of our country and our personal livelihood.

I have an open door policy. Please swing by to visit

Sweet Home is the Place to Be!


Superintendent Tom Yahraes