Column 1 (Feature)

Pendleton School Board selects Christopher J. Fritsch as Superintendent

Pendleton – Concluding its search for a Superintendent, the Pendleton School District Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Christopher (Chris) J. Fritsch has been selected as the district's Superintendent beginning July 1, 2017.  Fritsch and the school board are working on the terms of a tentative agreement that will be finalized by a formal offer and are expected to be accepted at the public board meeting on May 8.

“We had an excellent field of 21 candidates for our Superintendent position this year.  After initial interviews with numerous candidates, reference checks and having the final four candidates spend a day in our district meeting staff and community, we found a lot to like about each of the finalists. However, Chris Fritsch emerged as the right fit for Pendleton,” Board Chair Debbie McBee said. “He demonstrated a superior breadth and depth of experience at all levels of district administration and was well received by all who interacted with him.”

Fritsch has been the Assistant Superintendent at Longview School District with 6,500 students in Longview, Washington, for the last six years.  He was also Executive Director of Leadership & Learning for three years and high school Principal for six years in Longview. Before becoming an administrator, Fritsch was a social studies teacher for 15 years.  During his tenure as a high school teacher, he also served as Head Football Coach and Head Wrestling Coach. Fritsch has a Master of Arts in School Administration from Portland State University and a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences and Legal Studies from Pacific Lutheran University.

“Every child who steps through our doors deserves no less than the opportunity and our best effort to learn the knowledge, skills, and develop the abilities that will allow them to follow their dreams and career pursuits,” Fritsch said. “The challenges we face as a public school system are many and growing,” he continued. “However, the good news is that caring and highly skilled staff receiving support and inspiration can and do make a difference in the lives of the children we serve. I am very excited about joining the Pendleton community and serving as the next Superintendent as we pursue this vital work of educating the next generation together.”

Pendleton School Board Begins Search for New Superintendent

At a meeting on Monday, February 20, the Pendleton School District Board of Directors announced a vacancy for Superintendent and started the process to begin the search. The board will continue to use Greg McKenzie, an executive search consultant with Window to Leadership, LLC, to lead the search.

The search will begin immediately and is expected to take about two months. The board is hoping to announce the new Superintendent at the May board meeting.

For more information about the Superintendent search, contact Tami Calvert, Board Secretary, at 541-276-6711.

School Delay/Closure Information

With the arrival of winter weather, we would like to remind parents/families about our district policy. If school is delayed or closed, the information is posted by 6:00 AM on:

THANK YOU for completing the Snow Day Survey

Release Date: 
Saturday, January 21, 2017

This has been an unusual year for inclement weather, and as of today, Pendleton's schools have lost seven days and two hours of instructional time. With this in mind, the Pendleton School Board asked for feedback and input from the community and stakeholders about options for making up lost instruction. The Pendleton School District partnered with the Pendleton Teachers Association and the Pendleton Classified Employee Association to design a survey, which closed on January 25. THANK YOU for completing the survey this month.

District administration and members of the Pendleton School Board are now compiling the results of the survey and reviewing them in order to develop the best option. More information will be released soon.

I would remind you that there are no simple solutions to lost instructional time. We have a responsibility to meet minimal hours of instruction for our children as well a duty to offer every student the entire course curriculum. To do this we must find additional instructional time between now and the end of the current end of school (June 8th) or add additional days to the year .. or both.

Before the survey, I briefed the School Board on the following options:

  1. Add five days of instruction to the end of the school year and require seniors to make-up three days before the June 3rd graduation. This is the option I recommended the Board adopt.
  2. Use some portion of the Monday late-start as well as other professional development time, within the current working day and calendar, to meet the required minimum instructional hours. 

I would also like to address our graduating seniors and their parents. We are committed to keeping the PHS graduation on June 3rd. We understand that families have made plans and financial commitments for this date. However, be aware that it is very likely that seniors will be in class up to, and possibly after, the day of graduation.

Lastly, I would remind everyone that we are not out of the woods yet.  It is entirely possible that we will miss additional time before we are out of the winter season.

Andy Kovach
Pendleton School District

PHS Teacher Wins $100,000 for Big Dream

CONGRATULATIONS to Kristin Swaggart, teacher of culinary arts at Pendleton High School, who has won $100,000 in the Dream Big Teacher Challenge sponsored by the Farmers Insurance Thank America’s Teachers program. It will fund a mobile food truck owned and operated by the Pendleton School District, where students will prepare and sell the food. It will also be used for fundraisers and community service projects.

Swaggart was one of just 15 finalists across the nation – six winners were awarded $100,000 each for their projects. Voting happened throughout the month of October, and the six teacher projects that received the most votes nationwide won.

"Being the recipient of such a large grant is beyond exciting. For me, this experience is about so much more than the truck. I hope the take away for everyone is that it’s important to allow yourself to dream big! It’s pretty incredible what can be achieved when people support and encourage one another, like Pendleton has time and time again. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to everyone who voted and spread the word on behalf of this project," said Swaggart.


Registration Dates Announced

Release Date: 
Tuesday, August 9, 2016

We are excited to welcome students back to school this year! This fall we have the privilege of opening two new schools.

Every August, but especially this one with the new boundaries (view boundary map), we encourage families to update the school with new home addresses and phone numbers as soon as possible. This allows us to develop accurate class lists for open house.

If you are new to the area, we encourage you to register beginning August 15th at your neighborhood school.

Parents of kindergarten students need to register their students at the Pendleton Early Learning Center right away to ensure their child’s participation in the beginning of the year activities.

Registration Dates:

Schools New to Pendleton Returning Students
Pendleton Early Learning Center NOW Now
Elementary Schools August 15-18 8:00 AM-4:00 PM Just update with new addresses/phone numbers, if applicable
Middle School August 16th 8:00 AM-6:00 PM August 9th 7-11 AM & 1-7 PM
      August 10th 8:00 AM-1:00 PM
3:00 PM-7:00 PM
Pendleton High School August 16th 7:00 AM-8:00 PM August 16th 7:00 AM-8:00 PM
Nixya’awii Community School August 10th & 11th 7:30 AM-4:00 PM August 10th & 11th 7:30 AM-4:00 PM

107 NW 10th Street | Pendleton, OR 97801

(541) 276-6711 | FAX:(541) 278-3208

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