HELIX - Barbara Ceniga doesn't list running marathons as one of her qualifications for being an administrator and school superintendent, but the ability to move quickly from one place to another often comes in handy.
Ceniga - Mrs. "C" to her students and staff - can be found in a number of places in and around the Helix school, but she has not yet mastered the art of being in two places at once, though some students might differ.
As the school's superintendent for the last six years, she also takes on the traditional role of principal and vice principal and whatever else she needs to be at a given moment.
"It's wearing a lot of different hats and changing them quickly," she said.
She began teaching at Washington Elementary School in Pendleton and has taught at every level from kindergarten through post graduate college courses at Lewis and Clark College. When she became licensed as a school psychologist, she worked with students in grades kindergarten through 12. She then entered a leadership program at lewis and Clark College, and, emerged with a superintendent's credential. She has upgraded from that basic certificate to a standard superintendent's certificate.
She still substitute teaches in classrooms when a teacher is called away for a couple of hours and feels comfortable with all of the classes.
Her job, she said, is primarily that of principal from the time the first student or teacher enters the building in the morning until they leave after school, she said. It is not uncommon for her to remain in the building until 11 p.m. during basketball season.
Evenings and sometimes as early as 7 a.m., she attends meetings, studies technical documents and balances the district budget.
Technology allows her to attend some conferences in Salem without the five-hour drive, she said. She simply videostreams the conference and telephones or e-mails her input.
As a marathon runner, she knows about stamina and perseverance. She said she enjoys running and has successfully completed the Portland Marathon 11 times, the Tri-Cities Marathon twice and the Hood-to-Coast marathon 11 times. She plans to run the Hood-to-Coast again this year and is looking forward to a Seattle to Portland bike ride.
She has taught herself to crochet as a fun way to spend an evening, and made scarves and hats in "fun" colors that she donated to the Central Oregon Head Start.
In her spare time, she enjoys leisure reading, playing golf and aspires to becoming a paddler for a dragon boat during the races at the Portland Rose Festival.
She and her husband, Dan Ceniga, have four grown children and one 8-year-old grandson.
As for sometimes needing to be in two places at once, she said she has learned to rely on other people.