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Elgin School District – Board Selects Christman As Interim School Chief

June 24, 2008

By Dick Mason, The Observer, La Grande, Ore.

Jun. 23–Retired Enterprise educator Larry Christman returned from an Alaskan cruise with his wife Anne last week to learn that the Elgin School District wants him to drop anchor in its waters.There was a message on his answering machine asking if he would be interested in serving as Elgin’s interim superintendent for the third time since 2000.

Christman is accepting the offer to dive in.

On Friday the Elgin School Board named him superintendent for 2008-09. Christman will serve as a half-time superintendent.

“We’re fortunate to have Larry coming back,” said Shelley Burgess, chairwoman of the Elgin School Board. “He will do a great job as superintendent.”

She said that Christman’s experience and familiarity with the school district will be tremendous assets.

Christman succeeds Larry Glaze, who is stepping down to become superintendent of the La Grande School District. Glaze headed the Elgin School District for one year.

Christman is looking forward to returning to Elgin where he served as interim superintendent in 2000-01 and 2002-03.

Christman spent the bulk of his career, 24 years, as superintendent of the Enterprise School District, which he led from 1976 to 1995 before he retired. He was principal of Enterprise Elementary from 1971 to 1976 before moving up to superintendent.

At Elgin Christman will work exclusively as superintendent. He will not also serve as high school principal, which Glaze did over the past year. The Elgin School Board is searching for a high school principal.

Christman will commute from Enterprise to Elgin, which he also did during his first two stints as the school district’s superintendent. He will not mind the 36-mile drive.

“It gives me time to cool off and reflect on the day,” the educator said.

Christman looks forward to being around students again.

“I missed the kids,” he said Sunday.

The Elgin and Enterprise school districts are among four Christman has led. He also served as the interim superintendent of the Pilot Rock School District for two years from 1996 to 1998 and was superintendent of the Wasco School District in Sherman County in 1970-71.

While Elgin’s superintendent Christman plans to continue working as the smokehouse operator of Mt. Joseph Family Foods in Joseph. He has worked there off and on since 1995. Christman makes sausage, pepperoni, cures ham and bacon and smokes chicken and turkey.

Christman grew up in North Powder. He earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees at EOU and his administrative certification from the University of Montana.

This will be Christman’s 39th year as an educator, one he is looking forward to.

“There is something that draws you back to it,” he said.

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Copyright (c) 2008, The Observer, La Grande, Ore.

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