Professional Experience: I started my career in education in 1981 with the Longview School District in Longview, WA. With the exception of the 1983-1984 school year where I taught and coached in Odessa, Texas, I taught social studies and served as the assistant athletic director at R. A. Long High School in Longview. In addition, I have coached at one time or another football, basketball, wrestling, middle school cross-country, and track. Our 1995 football team won the league championship which was the first time since 1969. In track, I coached a number of state participants including two state champions (shot put & javelin).
My administrative career started in the fall of 1998. Since then I have served as both a Middle School and High School Assistant Principal, Middle and High School Principal, Executive Director, and Assistant Superintendent prior to becoming Superintendent here in Pendleton.
Education: I graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in 1981, one class short of a double major while participating in Football and Track and Field. In 1987, I earned a Master’s in Education Administration from Portland State University and in 2013 successfully completed the WSU Field-Based Superintendent Credential Program.
Personal Information: I am married to my wife Susie who is currently active in Altrusa and volunteers several hours a week at Washington Elementary School. We have four grown children and eight grandchildren who all live within four hours of us in Southwest Washington.
What I Enjoy about Pendleton: Pendleton is a great place to live. Our schools have a great balance of veteran and younger staff committed to their students. There are several innovative and unique programs and practices in place that are producing great results. The community itself provides an unbelievable amount of support to the District that sets us apart from most other areas.
Director Of Business Services
A native to Pendleton, Michelle Jones came to the PSD in 2001 as a business assistant. She was promoted to Director of Business Services in July 2009. Prior to coming to the PSD, Ms. Jones was a payroll clerk/administrative assistant at Umatilla-Morrow Head Start. She also spent four years during college at the PSD, assisting with payroll and business services.
Ms. Jones is a graduate of Pendleton High School and has a Bachelor of Arts in business administration from Eastern Oregon University in La Grande, as well as an Associate’s degree in accounting from Blue Mountain Community College.
Director Of Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment
Matt Yoshioka grew up in La Grande, Oregon. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Eastern Oregon University and his master’s degree from Portland State University. He also did post-graduate work at Lewis and Clark College.
Mr. Yoshioka taught 6th Grade at Sunridge Middle School for seven years and also worked as the Outdoor School Coordinator at SMS for six years. He has been a coach in Pendleton schools, four years in high school soccer and in basketball at Sunridge. Mr. Yoshioka was the Assistant Principal at Sunridge Middle School for two years before becoming Principal for six years. He is currently in his 19th year in the Pendleton School District and has been serving as the Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment for the past four years.
Director Of Special Programs
Julie Smith, Ed. D.
Dr. Smith’s career in education started as an instructional assistant working with neuro-diverse students. This sparked a lifelong passion for serving neuro-diverse students in public education. After becoming a licensed special education teacher with a focus on behavioral intervention, Julie taught in the Beaverton then Pendleton school district for nine years.
She went on to complete her Masters of Science in Special Education at Portland State University in 2004, National Board for Professional Teaching Certificate in 2007, and Doctorate in Educational Leadership at Lewis & Clark Graduate School in 2016. Dr. Smith worked as an Instructional coach for special education before starting her career as Director of Special Programs at the district office in 2012. Throughout her career, she focuses on partnering with general educators and administrators to develop an inclusive comprehensive support system for all students.