Superintendent\Principal: Athena-Weston School District, Athena Oregon


Notice of Open Administrative Position

Position: Superintendent/Principal

Filing Deadline:     January 31, 2016, however the district retains the option of accepting applications until the position is filled.

About the Position

The Athena-Weston School District is seeking a superintendent/principal to replace interim superintendent Jim Reger  who will be leaving at the end of the year.  The principalship will be in the K-3 elementary building in Athena, which also houses the District Office.  There are Principals at the grades 4-8 middle school in Weston and at Weston-McEwen High School in Athena. 

The Board is interested in a candidate who will make a long-term commitment to the district and its programs.  Candidates will be expected to share their short and long-term goals with the board.

Some of the immediate challenges the Board is hopeful will be addressed soon include:

  • Creation of an integrated curriculum plan facilitated by a new superintendent who is strong in the area of instructional leadership
  • Expanded implementation of best practices
  • Transcripting flexibility
  • Attention to several facilities which are aging and which will ultimately need to be renovated or replaced

At the same time there is much to celebrate in the Athena-Weston District including:

  • A cohesive board
  • Caring knowledgeable, and experienced staff
  • The AWERE program which has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars to the district via wind generation projects
  • An up—and-coming education foundation
  • A strong combination of student achievement and athletic success
  • A community which maintains high expectations for all students  

About The District

With a student population of around 550, the districts houses its students in three buildings –- the primary school in Athena, the middle grades at the historical Weston School, and at Weston-McEwen High School.

About the Community

The Athena-Weston School District was formed in 1975, combining schools from the communities of Athena and Weston.  These two communities are approximately three and a half miles apart.  

The entire area is heavily dependent upon agriculture and food processing.  In addition, because of its central location, many residents have chosen to settle in Athena or Weston due to the presence of such nearby larger communities as Pendleton, Milton-Freewater, and Walla Walla where they can commute to their place of employment.  Those residents were attracted by the school district and the quality of life they have found in the district.  

The nearby mountains offer a wide range of recreational opportunities including skiing, camping, hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, and hiking.  Boating, water skiing, are within a short drive.  The Umatilla River runs through the southeast corner of the district.

Weston boasts the Pioneer Picnic in the spring which celebrates the history of Umatilla County and a small harvest festival in the fall known as the Potato Show.  Athena celebrates Caledonian Days in July which is a festival of Scottish games, dancing, and piping.  Hodaka Days, another community celebration has grown into a major event which annually draws thousands of enthusiasts to the community.  Weston-McEwen High School is home to one of the Pacific Northwest’s few high school pipe bands.

Shopping is conveniently located in Pendleton and Walla Walla as well as in the Tri-Cities of Richland, Pasco, and Kennewick, Washington.  Blue Mountain Community College, Walla Walla Community College, Walla Walla College and Whitman College are all easily accessible.  The presence of these institutions brings many fine arts and cultural opportunities.  Both Walla Walla and Pendleton host major rodeos and history buffs will be impressed by the Tamastslikt Cultural Center on the Umatilla Indian Reservation.  

Qualities and Qualifications

  • Likes to be around students and demonstrates personal characteristics such as  integrity,  honesty,  a sense of humor, and a heart for children
  • An open, collaborative leadership style with a willingness to listen but also self-confident and capable of making and standing behind hard decisions when necessary
  • An interest in the improvement of instruction and assuring staff has the resources necessary to enhance classroom performance
  • Sound financial management skills, with the ability to effectively communicate fiscal issues to the board, staff, and community
  • Exceptional communication skills – both written and verbal as well as exceptional human relations skills and the ability to relate to a wide variety of individuals
  • The capacity to visualize where the district should be in the future
  • An understanding of the culture and dynamics of rural communities
  • Experience as a classroom teacher and an understanding of the classroom setting is preferred as is previous administrative experience
  • Experience with bond issues and facility updates
  • Easily accessible to the district in order to handle emergencies as well  as the ability to be highly-visible in the classrooms, at extra-curricular events and in the community.  

Board Members

Scott Rogers, Chair
Jennifer Spurgeon, Vice Chair
Preston Winn
Mary Graham
Bob Irvine
Trenda Nichols
Duane Smalley

Application Procedures/Compensation

The district is offering a contract in the $108,000-$113,000 range including a generous benefits package however the  district does not make the PERS contribution. The contract length is negotiable but the district is anxious to maintain a long-term relationship.

Those interested in pursuing this position are urged to contact Northwest Leadership Associates through George Murdock at 541-278-4691 or at  Contacts may also be made with Dr. Dennis Ray at

Application Materials

A completed application packet should include:
  • A letter of interest addressing the qualities, qualifications, and expectations outlined in this posting
  • Resume including information about potential references
  • Four letters of recommendation
  • A completed application form

All Application Materials Should Be Sent to:

George Murdock, Northwest  Leadership Associates
191 NW Johns Lane
Pendleton, Oregon 97801

Candidates sending materials by anything other than the U. S. Postal Service are encouraged to contact the consultant in advance at 541-278-4691.  Candidates are reminded that due to the short turn-around time, materials received in advance of the deadline can often receive a more comprehensive review.