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HEPPNER — Morrow County School District recently announced it shifted around staff for the 2022-23 school year in the wake of the sudden resignation of David Norton, former principal of Riverside Jr./Sr. High School.

John Christy, the principal, Windy River Elementary, is transferring to Riverside to take on the principal role there. Steve Sheller remains as vice principal. Christy is a long-time employee of the school district and has a strong history with Riverside.

“We are excited to see the direction that RJSHS goes under his leadership,” said Erin Stocker, director of Human Resources for the district.

Stephanie Ewing is transitioning from his principal position at A.C. Houghton Elementary to Windy River Elementary. Ewing has more than 10 years of experience as an elementary principal.

Jill Ledbetter, then, is transferring from Sam Boardman Elementary to the principal job at A.C. Houghton. Ledbetter has a strong history with A.C. Houghton and the community of Irrigon.

And the district has promoted Jami Carbray from vice principal to principal at Sam Boardman, while Laura Browne Winters steps into the vice principal slot.

Carbray has worked side by side with Ledbetter this year to establish vision and action steps, so Stocker said the district is confident in her ability to create that continuity. Winters has a strong connection to Sam Boardman as well as a working knowledge of the special programs there.

“We are excited to have her return to the staff of SBE to support the students and families,” according to Stocker.

New district Superintendent Matt Combe, who started in the position July 1, said while these changes are unexpected, administrators configured the new team with the best interests of students, staff and families at heart. He said administrators reached out to staff to make introductions and answer any questions.

In a previous press release, the district announced that Rose Palmer was named the new principal at Irrigon Jr/Sr High School and Ryan Gerry was named the new principal at Heppner Jr/Sr High School. Principals at Heppner Elementary and Irrigon Elementary remain unchanged.

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