District Administration

Superintendent's Office



Andy Kovach



Andy Kovach is the new superintendent for the Pendleton School District, effective July 1, 2016.

Kovach started his teaching career in the Harney County School District. He taught social studies and entered administration as an associate principal in the Nyssa School District. He then moved to the Ontario School District, where he was the principal of Ontario High School since 2012. During his tenure as principal, the high school’s graduation rate improved from 54% to 79%, a bond was passed and a new science wing was built, effective intervention programs were established and CTE options were increased.

Kovach earned his bachelor of art degree in history from Oregon State University and his master’s degree in teaching from Willamette University. He earned his administration certification from Lewis and Clark College.

Kovach said he is looking forward to working in the Pendleton School District. “I have liked the Pendleton School District for years, and this offers an opportunity to come in, bring new ideas and take the district to the next level,” Kovach said.

Kovach and his wife have three children, including a son who will be a senior at Pendleton High School.


Director of Human Resources


Brad Bixler


Brad Bixler is the new Director of Human Resources, effective July 1, 2016.

Bixler was most recently employed by the Hermiston School District as the principal at Highland Hills Elementary School, but has strong ties to the Pendleton School District and community.

Bixler worked for more than 20 years, from 1991 through 2013, in the Pendleton School District in various positions, including elementary teacher, high school computer/math teacher, assistant principal at Pendleton High School and technology coordinator. He worked for one year at the Umatilla-Morrow Education Service District from 2000 to 2001.



Director of Business Services


Michelle Jones


Photo: Michelle JonesA native to Pendleton, Michelle Jones came to the PSD in 2001as a business assistant. She was promoted to Director of Business Services in July 2009. Prior to coming to the PSD, Ms. Jones was a payroll clerk/administrative assistant at Umatilla-Morrow Head Start. She also spent four years during college at the PSD, assisting with payroll and business services.

Ms. Jones is a graduate of Pendleton High School, and has a Bachelor of Arts in business administration from Eastern Oregon University in La Grande, as well as an Associate's degree in accounting from Blue Mountain Community College.


Director of Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment


Matt Yoshioka


Matt Yoshioka grew up in La Grande, Oregon. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Eastern Oregon University and his master’s degree from Portland State University. He also did post graduate work at Lewis and Clark College.

Mr. Yoshioka taught 6th Grade at Sunridge Middle School for seven years and also worked as the Outdoor School Coordinator at SMS for six years. He has been a coach in Pendleton schools, four years in high school soccer and in basketball at Sunridge. Mr. Yoshioka was the Assistant Principal at Sunridge Middle School for two years before becoming Principal for six years. In addition to working as the Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment Coordinator at the District Office, he is also the Principal at Lincoln Primary School.


Director of Special Programs


Julie Smith, Ed. D.



Photo: Julie Smith

Julie Smith’s educational career spans 18 years. Ms. Smith worked as an instructional assistant in special education after obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance. This sparked a lifelong passion for serving students with disabilities in public education. After becoming a licensed special education teacher with a focus on behavioral intervention, Ms. Smith taught in the Beaverton and then Pendleton school districts for nine years.

She completed her Master’s of Science in Special Education at Portland State University in 2004 and obtained her National Board for Professional Teaching Certificate in 2007. Ms. Smith worked as a Teacher on Special Assignment, instructional coaching, before starting her career as Special Programs Director at the district office in 2012. Through her career, she has focused on partnering with general educators and administrators to develop an inclusive comprehensive support system for all students. She recently completed her Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership through Lewis & Clark College.




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