Redmond School District Team Spotlight: Doug Taylor & Sam Platt

This month’s Team Member Spotlight features…
RHS VP/AD Doug Taylor and RVHS VP/AD Sam Platt!

Everyone has had to improvise over the past nine months as we’ve sought to keep students engaged, active and learning, even if we can’t see them face to face.

Perhaps no one has had to learn on the go this year more than Doug Taylor and Sam Platt, both of whom have taken on new positions as vice principals and athletic directors at the high-school level — and they’ve risen to the challenge, working to ensure student-athletes get opportunities on the court, in the pool and on the field. 

Sam, the Ridgeview High vice principal and athletic director, has been with the Redmond School District since 2007, while Doug, Redmond High’s vice principal and athletic director, has worked in our district for seven years. 

Here’s a little more about Sam…

How long have you worked for RSD and what did you do before coming here?

I started my career in 2007 at Elton Gregory Middle School, teaching social studies and coaching football, wrestling and track at the middle- and high-school levels. I have spent the last six years at Obsidian Middle School as the assistant principal.

How has your role evolved in the pandemic? 

Like everything in education we have been challenged to become extremely creative and flexible in regards to offering extracurricular athletics. We are fortunate to be one of the few, if not the only, 5A schools in the state offering some competitions this past fall.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

My favorite part about being an athletic director is seeing student athletes having fun! Now more than ever I realize that I have taken for granted hearing kids support one another, laughing, having fun and building character. Bringing kids on campus for athletic and club opportunities has been so good for the social-emotional health of not only our students but also the adults who have the privilege of working with them! 

What else should we know about you? 

I am a fourth-generation Redmond resident and an RHS graduate. My wife, Elizabeth, is a counselor at EGMS and I have two kids, Louise, 6, and Phillip, 3. Working for RSD is like being part of a family. In each of my roles throughout my career I have had the privilege of working with caring and selfless professionals. I love this district and community! 

And now, a little bit about Doug…

 

How long have you worked for RSD and what did you do before coming here?

“This is my seventh year with RSD.  I taught sixth grade at Elton Gregory for three years and was the Dean of Students for a year, then moved to RHS as the Dean for a year. I am now in my second year as VP with Athletic Director duties added this year.  Before RSD, I taught 6th grade language arts and social studies in Hermiston for four years. 

How has your role evolved in the pandemic?

During the pandemic, student and student-athlete safety is at the forefront. The role I am in has evolved into somewhat of a compliance officer for health and safety regulations, making sure we are up to date on all the regulations and mandates and that we are following them as we have students for Limited In-Person Instruction and during athletics. 

What is most rewarding about your role? 

The most rewarding part of my job is seeing student success, whether it is in the classroom or on the field — seeing kids realize what they can do and doing it is special. I firmly believe that students who participate in athletics become better young men and women.

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced this year? 

It’s been challenging this year to try to go through the guidance handed down from the state and figure out how to create the best possible educational and athletic opportunities for students.  

What else should we know about you? 

Working for the Redmond School District really feels like home. I am a product of the Redmond School District, having graduated from RHS in 2004. There are so many good people and I have built lots of great relationships within the district and the community that I couldn’t think of a better place I’d want to work and raise my family. My wife, Victoria, teaches second grade at John Tuck Elementary, and we have a son, Darryl, who is 8 and daughter, Abigail, who is 5.

 

 

“Right before COVID-19 hit last spring, Doug added the role of Athletic Director to his title of Assistant Principal. This task would have been daunting had there been no release from school in the spring, and it became even more so this school year when the return to school was to Comprehensive Distance Learning. The athletic directors were forced to be creative within state guidelines, the Oregon Department of Education and the OSAA.  They were able to create new seasons that would allow our students to play on a limited basis. This included moving seasons, cohorting students, arranging coaches’ schedules, and making sure students and staff followed the guidelines in the midst of all of the changes.”
— Audrey Haugan, RHS Principal

“I think what’s been most impressive is their ability and willingness to collaborate so that they are looking for every opportunity to support kids. They take it upon themselves to go through all the changing rules and metrics and make sure that they’re providing safe opportunities in every way that they can.”
— Tony Pupo, Executive Director of Operations

“With the pandemic and all of the changes in personnel, Sam received the ‘opportunity’ to hit the ground running in May with a much more complex mountain of service than he thought. Sam worked through the summer months with no break, working to open an academic school year like no other AND successfully plan and navigate safe and healthy athletic experiences/seasons for students in the middle of a worldwide pandemic! Not only has Sam successfully navigated these unprecedented circumstances and conditions, he has navigated these thoughtfully, thoroughly and with grace, love and his textbook ‘all in, can-do’ smile. Sam and Doug have done this amazing work arm in arm, lifting one another as they worked. They are wonderful examples of two people who, despite a healthy school rivalry, have exemplified what it means to work selflessly for kids!” 
— Lee Loving, RVHS Principal