To complete its administrative team following Sherwood Heights Elementary School Principal Theresa Owens’ impending retirement, the Pendleton School District will hire a Hermiston teacher.

Starting in the 2018-2019 school year, current McKay Creek Principal Ronda Smith will move over to Sherwood Heights and be replaced by Armand Larive Middle School math teacher Lorena Woods.

In a press release, Pendleton School District Superintendent Chris Fritsch lauded Woods for her 27 years of educational experience, which includes stints as a coach, athletic director, and assistant principal.

Woods has a bachelor’s degree from Western Oregon University and a master’s degree from the University of Phoenix.

Although the district initially elected to hire a direct replacement for Owens, Fritsch said in an interview Tuesday that the district had trouble finding the right candidate for the position.

Given that Sherwood Heights has a much larger student population (471 students compared to McKay Creek’s 287), the district decided it would be easier to shift Smith to Sherwood Heights and recruit an administrator for the smaller school.

The district is no stranger to moving around administrators.

As a part of a 2015 district-wide shuffle that involved roughly a half-dozen administrative positions, Smith went from being an assistant principal at Pendleton High School to helming McKay Creek, replacing Aimee VanNice, who was moved to Washington Elementary School.

Prior to the high school, Smith was the principal at Nixyaawii Community School and an elementary school teacher.

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