Banks School District, COMMUNITY, News

Meet the Banks School District Superintendent, Brian Sica

Brian Sica started as superintendent of the Banks School District on July 1, 2023. 

Since stepping into the role, Sica has set his sights on creating goals for the improvement of the Banks School District as well as a set of criteria that can be used to evaluate the district’s progress toward its goals. 

He came into the role excited to be involved in a school district with a strong community behind it. “The reputation of the Bank community extends probably further than people know,” said Sica. “I always kind of had my eye on Banks.”

Originally from Long Beach, California, Sica moved to Idaho Falls, Idaho in high school and got a feel for the community there. 

After graduating from high school, Sica attended his first year of college at Lewis & Clark State College in north Idaho before transfering to the University of Idaho in Moscow.

There, Sica began his studies in chemistry pursuing work as a research chemist, but realized what had really motivated him to pursue chemistry was the incredible impact of one of his former teachers. He realized that was the kind of work he wanted to do.

“When I was working as a research chemist, it was fun one or two days a year,” said Sica. “When I was teaching I loved it every day.”

After earning his degree Sica remained in Idaho where he taught in the Shelley School district for five years while spending his summers doing graduate work in Bozeman, Montana and earning his master’s degree in chemistry and physics education. 

While working in Shelly, Sica also helped coach sports like football, wrestling & softball, but gave up coaching after he left the district.

After meeting his wife, who was also working toward a degree in chemistry education, the pair grew tired of the cold Eastern Idaho winters and ventured Northwest, eventually landing in the Portland Metro area. 

After relocating, Sica and his wife landed in Forest Grove and Sica took a job teaching chemistry in the Hillsboro School District. He spent four years in the role before becoming an assistant principal of Hillsboro High School and then at Century High School. 

Eventually Sica decided to pursue his doctorate in education at the University of Oregon and while making progress toward his degree took a new job as an administrator for the Beaverton Health & Science School, a small public school in the Beaverton School District. 

After eight years with the Health & Science school, Sica became an administrator with the Beaverton School District main office and most recently helped coordinate the district’s COVID-19 pandemic response. 

Now settling into his role here in Banks, Sica has already begun making progress toward developing a strategic plan. After first establishing focus groups with teachers and community members and distributing a community survey Sica and the district will now put together a plan for improvement within the district. 

Part of this is what Sica calls a “District Scorecard”. The score card establishes goals and priorities that are specific to the community that help the district create goals and make progress toward them. 

Sica says this is important because the community might not always agree with education priorities set by the Department of Education. 

Another part of Sica’s hopes to improve the district includes addressing problems with facilities. These stretch from relatively small things like funding for maintenance of the elementary and middle school to updating the older buildings in the district like the high school and administrative building.

According to Sica, the big challenge the district must overcome is that the state of Oregon does not provide funding for the kind of projects that are needed to update or replace outdated facilities. 

“We need to come up with a plan to fund what will be millions of dollars,” said Sica. “Not only are we talking about modernizing the educational spaces, we also need to modernize the security of our buildings.”

In pursuit of this, Sica proposes looking for funding from multiple sources at the same time. First is federal grants, second is private funding from donors, private foundations and community members. 

According to Sica these funding sources will be used in an attempt to soften the load of a bond measure which will be necessary to fund facilities improvements. 

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My name is Jake Moore. I was born and raised here in Banks, Oregon, and have recently returned home after completing my Bachelor of Arts in Journalism at the University of Oregon. During my time in Eugene I wrote for the student run paper the Daily Emerald as a senior news reporter and served as a reporting intern at Eugene Weekly. I look forward to working with community members and reporting on local news.
Contact me at [email protected].

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