Meet Superintendent Marc Thielman
Long time Oregon Immigrant
Born and raised in Spokane, Washington, Superintendent Marc Thielman grew up in a business and manufacturing environment where he learned the value of resourcefulness, teamwork, skill development, and personal growth. He attended Whitworth College obtaining an undergraduate degree in History, Biology, and Secondary Education, Cum Laude, in 1993; then attended Eastern Washington University in 1998 with a 3.97 grade point average earning a master’s degree in education leadership.
An award-winning teacher and coach, Superintendent Thielman moved into School Administration at the young age of 28, working as an Assistant Principal in a large high school before serving as P-12 principal in a small school district in rural south eastern Washington. During this time Superintendent Thielman earned his Superintendent Credentials at Washington State University and was immediately recruited to serve as a Superintendent/K12 Principal in Wallowa, Oregon, in 2006.
“Once I moved to Oregon, I knew that I had finally found my home away from home,” states Thielman. “Oregon is an amazing state, filled with truly diverse and amazing people living within a backdrop of stunning natural beauty.”
Problem Solver and Innovator
Marc is an Educational Leader who kept the Alsea School District open safely for full-time, in-person instruction during the COVID-19 statewide school shutdowns, meeting the needs of hundreds of families from a variety of counties. Additionally, he launched a brand new, distance-based educational program for students and families from across Oregon who wanted a better learning option for their children that was not tied exclusively to unhealthy amounts of screen time. Marc created new jobs while serving more students and families in his district and across Oregon during the COVID closures, to ensure needs were met and unnecessary hardship was not inflicted.
The COVID pandemic has pushed Superintendent Thielman into the public spotlight, with several media outlets referring to his bold and innovative leadership choices as the sole example in Oregon who put the learning needs and mental health of children and families first. He is a featured speaker appearing on national panels, interviews, podcasts and radio shows, and has been a lone educational voice successfully calling for the full, safe opening of all Oregon public schools and sports activities. Thielman has been a voice for all P-12 students spearheading safe and effective COVID mitigation for his schools through data driven decision-making.
A Leading Voice Against Lockdowns
The COVID pandemic has pushed Superintendent Thielman into the educational forefront, as he earned the confidence of his certified and classified staff and safely opened for in-person instruction for the entire 2020-2021 school year, with zero COVID cases traced back to the school as the source. This success created huge momentum among Oregon parents and communities to get schools open. Superintendent Thielman took his success outside the Alsea School District by speaking truth to power and demanding that the Oregon Health Authority, the Oregon Department of Education and the governor’s office produce an objective measurement of the impact of government imposed shut down on students and families versus the impact of the virus on these students and families.
The results of this advocacy contributed to the “surprise” school reopening announcement by Governor Brown on December 23rd, 2020! Superintendent Thielman is an effective voice for the voiceless—tirelessly demanding the science and transparency from state government agencies, and championing the struggle imposed by draconian and highly politicized COVID policies, which have done unjustifiable harm to Oregon students, families, businesses and communities.
Long Track Record of Overcoming Adversity
Superintendent Thielman has a proven track record of standing firm for what is right, even in the midst of personal attacks by politically motivated agencies. “In my career as superintendent, I have come to see being ‘under investigation’ as a badge of honor as these mechanisms of government are often used by unethical people to ‘cancel’ effective change leaders who stand up for what is right.” This kind of focus and leadership is rare, but sorely needed in Oregon public leadership.
The path has now led Marc to enter the race to be the next governor of Oregon, alongside countless requests from people across the state. Here, Marc will continue to tell the truth, and not be intimidated. He will fight “Cancel Culture.” There will be no more reliance on faulty models, bad data, and decisions for our children and small businesses that are politically based. The unilateral power grab by Kate Brown has hurt people and have not based in science and the truth. Superintendent Marc Thielman will change that.