Superintendent's Messsage - December 2017

head shot of Chris Fritsch

A time to reflect; a time to be thankful

‘Tis the time of year to pause and reflect how thankful I am to be in Pendleton. Since our arrival, my wife and I have felt nothing but welcomed and a bit overwhelmed by the graciousness of many people who have gone out of their way to make us feel comfortable in our new hometown. In just a short period of time I have heard many people’s stories of moving here thinking it was a short stop and instead staying to raise their children and engage in the community.

I have found many great things to be thankful for as Superintendent of our district. Among them: a safe community that has rich traditions and culture, amazing support of our schools by both benevolent individuals and organizations including the Education Foundation of Pendleton, Pendleton Foundation, Altrusa, Rotary, Umatilla County, Buck Boosters, CHI St. Anthony Hospital, Wildhorse Resort and Casino, OREA (Oregon Retired Educators Association) and the Chamber of Commerce, to name just a few. Each of the aforementioned and others donate hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to our students and staff for classroom enrichment opportunities as well as extended services for those in need.

In addition, the Pendleton School District has strong partnerships with many organizations and their affiliated programs that benefit our students:

InterMountain Education Service District (Dr. Mark Mulvihill) -- Eastern Promise
Blue Mountain Community College (Dr. Cam Preus) -- Dual Credit
Umatilla County -- CARE and School-Based Health Centers
GOBHI (Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc.) and Lifeways – REACH
Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
City of Pendleton and the Pendleton Police Department (Chief Stuart Roberts)
Pendleton Fire Department (Chief Mike Ciraulo)
Pendleton Parks and Recreation Department

Please enjoy the spirit of the season and accept my heartfelt thanks for living in such a wonderful community. I look forward to challenges and opportunities that lay before us and know together we can build on the good work that we have accomplished to date.

A time to be thankful; a time to remember those less fortunate

For many of us the holiday season is a special time to engage in our religious celebrations and be with our loved ones. However, in our community we have an increasing number of families who, due to economic circumstances, cannot afford to participate in many of the things that we take for granted. For many, this time of year is not one of joy and celebration, but one of sorrow and a reminder of what they have lost or never had.

Our schools are more than a place to be educated, they also serve as safe havens for many children, places where they can and do interact with positive and stable adults; places where there are consistent rules and routines that provide a sense of order and safety. For many of these students, time out of school creates anxiety because of the lack of stability and safety that our public schools provide. During the holidays, I ask that we take some time to remind ourselves and our children of these points.

Chris Fritsch, Superintendent, Pendleton School District

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