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Name: Matt Shorb
School: Powers High School
College: I attended Southern Oregon back when it was still SOSC (it actually changed to SOU while I was there). I went through the Education program at SOU as well. Then I attended UO and graduated from their IAL Program. Most recently, I have been taking classes from George Fox, finishing my CAL requirements.
One fun fact about you: Prior to being in the unfortunate position of working all summer, I spent several summers working as a remote waters fishing guide in Alaska. I worked for a lodge on the Kvichak River in the Bristol Bay region and guided flyfishing clients from all over the world in pursuit of sockeye salmon and trophy rainbows. It was an amazing “job” that provided some great opportunities for me - I still get calls from other guides and former clients.
Because of GEAR UP, we are able to offer our students educational opportunities that they otherwise would not have.
Describe your educational journey: College was an expectation for me growing up. It was never a question of “whether or not”, just a question of “where”. Growing up in the small town of Powers and attending a very small high school probably helped make Southern a comfortable fit for me. It also helped that I had a friend from high school there and my father had attended there as well. My mom was very instrumental in helping me and pushing me to get scholarships and admission. In hindsight, I think she was much more excited about my scholarships and acceptance letters than I was.
I truly enjoyed my experience at Southern and still love to visit the campus and support the college when given the opportunity. As an undergraduate I studied Communications and took an interest in Conflict Resolution and Mediation, never guessing how those skills would benefit me later in my career! After completing the Elementary Education program at Southern, I worked in the classroom for a few years. Then through some circumstances that seemed to play out unexpectedly and fortuitously, I took advantage of an opportunity to enter the realm of administrators. I am about to finish my 10th year as superintendent, which is hard to believe. I like the lifestyle of a small school superintendent and the variety of “hats” that it requires me to wear.
The impact of GEAR UP: GEAR UP has created a different culture in our school. The level of awareness and knowledge that our students have about college is dramatically higher than it was prior to GEAR UP. I hope that we will soon be graduating students that view college as an expectation, much as I did, rather than a hope or a dream. We have exposed our students to numerous college campuses throughout Oregon and are continually reinforcing the things that they can do NOW in order to increase their chances for success later. That awareness is the biggest difference that I attribute to GEAR UP.