Longview School District’s assistant superintendent Chris Fritsch is set to take on a new role as head of schools in Pendleton, Ore.
Fritsch, who has been Longview schools’ No. 2 administrator for six years, had been deeply involved in the district’s facilities upgrade effort.
The Pendleton School Board was expected to confirm Fritsch at its meeting Monday night. Fritsch is expected to begin July 1, 2017 and will take over from interim superintendent Matt Yoshioka. The district said he was chosen from a list of 21 candidates.
Fritsch worked at R.A. Long High School as a teacher for 14 years and head football coach for eight before accepting an administrative position at North Beach High School in Ocean Shores. He then returned as the principal of Mark Morris High School, a position he held from 2002 to 2008. He then served as the Executive Director of Leadership and Learning for three years before taking his current post.
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.
Fritsch beat out three other finalists for the Pendleton position: Aaron Chavez, current superintendent of the Wahluke School District in Wahluke, Wash., James Stroder, Superintendent of the Gardiner School District in Gardiner, Mont., and James Wagner, current superintendent of Kimball Area Schools of Kimball, Minn.
Pendleton’s previous superintendent, Andy Kovach, announced his resignation from the district in February, just seven months into the job. Kovach told the “East Oregonian” that the resignation was made for personal reasons.
Fritsch has overseen the progress of much of the Longview district’s facilities update process over the past few years. When he takes over in Pendleton, he’ll join a district that approved a $50 million general obligation bond in 2013 to rebuild and replace several of its schools and facilities.
The bond projects included replacing two elementary schools, renovating and repurposing a district building to support all-day kindergarten and an early-learning center, energy efficiency upgrades and several other projects.
Pendleton Board Chairwoman Debbie McBee spoke highly of Fritsch in a school district press release, saying that Fritsch “emerged as the right fit for Pendleton.”
“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,” Mcbee said.