Superintendent/Principal: Mitchell School District, Mitchell Oregon


Notice of Open Administrative Position

Position:                        Superintendent/Principal

Applications Due:        May 2, 2016, however the district retains the option of accepting applications until the position is filled.

Note To Candidates – Please observe the quick turnaround on this posting designed to enable the district to move quickly to fill this position

About the Position  

The position of superintendent/principal is open in the Mitchell School District for only the third time in more than thirty years following several decades of service by Mike  Carroll and more recently, the presence of Sue Horton and Tim Wilson.  The infrequency of the opening is a reflection of exceptional board-superintendent relations that have historically existed in the district.  The administrator in a district of this size wears many hats although custodial, maintenance, business, technology, and special education services are contracted out.  One of the unique duties in Mitchell is handling issues related to management of a dormitory which is staffed by school district employees.  Mitchell is one of a number of small communities scattered around this area of Oregon which has resulted in a close working relationship between the district and other communities such as Spray and Dayville.

About the District

The Mitchell School District serves about 65 students in grades K-12 including about twenty students who are housed on campus in a dormitory.  Of those twenty, about eight are from foreign countries and the remaining twelve come from around the United States although most are from Oregon.  The presence of these students provides for diversity in the student body.  In a part of Oregon where most school facilities are a hundred years old, Mitchell is fortunate to have a modern, well-maintained classroom building and shop plus a nearby gymnasium.  School activities, including athletics, are a major source of attention in Mitchell.  The FFA is particularly strong and growing all the time.

Through prudent management, the district has accumulated $1.4 million in cash reserves to protect again enrollment fluctuations, uncertain state funding projections, rising costs, and the potential of capital outlay needs.


Housing can often be a concern in smaller communities.  With that in mind, the Mitchell Board took it upon themselves to purchase a remodeled older home which is available for use by the superintendent/principal.  This is somewhat unique and a bonus for anyone interested in serving the Mitchell District.  The board set a very reasonable rent of $450 for this 2 bedroom/2 bath home. It was recently remodeled and is quite comfortable.

About the Area

Mitchell is located 47 miles east of Prineville on Highway 26—the main route from Redmond to major points in Idaho.  Bend is about an hour and a half to the west.  The community itself is situated in an idyllic setting amidst some of the most spectacular and unique scenery in Oregon.  Nearby are the John Day Fossil beds and the spectacular Painted Hills.  The countryside is dotted with large cattle ranches.  Hunting, fishing, hiking, and photography are all popular recreational pursuits.  Many of the buildings in downtown Mitchell date back to the town’s founding lending the central part of the community a western image.

Candidates looking for a more metropolitan experience might not be attracted to the position in Mitchell due to its isolation.  However, for the 500 people who live in this part of Wheeler County, Mitchell is where they have chosen to be—many of them for generations.  Mitchell offers strong community support and a safe and healthy environment for families.  

Challenges of the Position

In addition to the qualities and qualifications which are outlined below, the board is interested in finding a strong and focused administrator who is willing to commit to three to five years in the district.  One of the expectations of the new superintendent/principal will be efforts to improve student achievement and providing professional development opportunities for staff members.  The board is also interested in a leader who understands the need to provide school to career opportunities for students of all interest and ability levels.

Qualities & Qualifications:

  • The ability to communicate with a wide array of audiences and a willingness to listen, accept, and respect different points of view as well as a proven record of success in conflict resolution
  • A passion for student achievement and placing students first in all decision
  • Has an understanding of small communities and the needs of rural schools
  • Appreciates, supports, and values the contributions of all employees
  • 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
  • A commitment to finding new sources of funding and creative avenues of greater efficiency as well as an interest in developing innovative programs
  • The skills to develop a strong working relationship with the board based upon mutual trust and respect
  • A willingness to be straightforward, fair, and consistent
  • Demonstrates personal characteristics such as integrity, honesty, a sense of humor, and a heart for children
  • Sound financial management skills, with the ability to effectively communicate fiscal issues to the board, staff, and community
  • A willingness to be highly-visible in the community, in the classrooms, and at school events
  • Experience in all aspects of school facilities management

Application Procedures/Timelines/Compensation

A competitive salary in the $90,000 range plus an attractive benefits package including a district-paid PERS contribution and an initial two-year contract.  Applications are due May 2, 2016, however the district retains the option of accepting applications until the position is filled.  Those interested in pursuing this position are urged to contact Northwest Leadership Associates through George Murdock at 541-278-4691 or 541-278-6202.  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
  • Four letters of recommendation
  • A completed application form

All Application Materials Should be Sent to:

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

More information about Mitchell can be obtained from a community website –

Additional information about the district can be obtained from the district website at