Eugene 4J superintendent leaving in June 2015

      EUGENE, Ore. - The Eugene 4J School District board agreed to release Dr. Shelley Berman a year early from his contract as school superintendent.

      "Doctor Berman delivered a letter to me asking to be released to his contract, for the last year of it," said Mary Walston, the school board chair.

      Berman joined Eugene 4J three years ago. His last day will be in June 2015.

      Berman said his reasons for leaving the position a year early are personal.

      "In discussion with my family we decided that it was, for a number of really more personal family reasons, we needed to move on and get our family back in one place," he said. "We're distributed across the country."

      The early resignation wasn't something Walston said she saw coming.

      But she said employees coming and going from positions is to be expected.

      She said Berman stepped into a tough role. When he arrived, the district was facing a $21 million budget deficit, layoffs and school closures.

      "Now we're out of that financial woods, and we're into a positive balance for the first time in many years," Berman said. "We still have much to gain back. Much was lost over that period of time, but we've been able to essentially turn the ship financially."

      That positive momentum is something Berman and Walston believe will continue.

      "Yes it'll be hard having Doctor Berman on a short tenure, but we'll make it through," Walston said. "We've got great staff, great community members, and we've got great support for the community."