Heidi Sipe Wins Doug Flatt Award

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photo: cindy nicholson and heidi sipe

Heidi Sipe, Superintendent of the Umatilla School District, was honored as the 2017 Doug Flatt Memorial Leadership Award winner on Monday, May 15. The award was announced at the InterMountain Education Service District’s 18th annual Crystal Apple “Excellence in Education” Awards at the Pendleton Red Lion Hotel.

Mid Columbia representatives Cindy Nicholson, Regional Director of Operations, and Guy Shanks, Region Vice President, presented the award along with Dr. Mark Mulvihill, IMESD Superintendent.

Mulvihill said Sipe has dedicated her entire career to students and always puts kids first. “What makes Heidi unique as a superintendent is she chose to stay in one community, serving a student population of great need.  She has invested not only in the schools, but also the community. She is highly respected and well liked by her peers and considered a vital member of our regional superintendent team,” Mulvihill said.

School Districts Honor 2017 Crystal Apple Winners

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image: crystal apple logo

The IMESD is proud to announce the winners of the 2017 Crystal Apple “Excellence in Education” Awards. A total of 44 individuals were honored this month from the IMESD’s component school districts in eastern Oregon. The 2017 events mark the 18th Annual Crystal Apple Awards for Umatilla and Morrow counties and the 6th Annual for Union County.

Union County winners were honored on May 8 at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande. Morrow and Umatilla county winners were recognized on May 15 at the Red Lion Hotel in Pendleton.

“We congratulate all of this year’s Crystal Apple winners and are honored to celebrate these wonderful educators who are making a difference every day for students,” said Michele Madril, IMESD Director of Communication and Print Solutions.

Human Resources Director Receives Statewide Award

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photo: jerry copeland and superintendent mark mulvihill

Jerry Copeland, Director of Human Resources for the InterMountain ESD, recently received the HR Leadership Award from the Oregon School Personnel Association (OSPA). The award recognizes outstanding human resources professionals who are positively impacting school districts while navigating the complexities of public education.

The award was presented at the OSPA Spring Conference at Eagle Crest, but Copeland was unable to attend. IMESD Superintendent Dr. Mark Mulvihill will present the award in early May. “I cannot express how deserving Jerry Copeland is of this award. His capable and proactive approach to managing the human resources department is unequaled, and Jerry has become a tremendous asset to many of our school districts in eastern Oregon,” Mulvihill said.

Grant Continues Oral Health Efforts in Eastern Oregon

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image: tooth graphic

The IMESD recently received a $70,000 grant from the Oregon Community Foundation to continue to improve the oral health of children in eastern Oregon. The grant is for year two of four years' potential support to implement a comprehensive oral health program for low-income students in Union, Umatilla and Morrow Counties.

The program features an oral learning lab that is brought to school buildings by a team of trained volunteers to teach students about oral care, from proper brushing and flossing to the importance of mouth guards and nutrition. It is available for Pre-K through 12th graders. Every child who attends the learning lab receives fluoride varnish and sealants applied to their teeth, with parental permission. The IMESD partners with Advantage Dental to provide a hygienist who administers the treatments.

Students Learn about Technology at Expo

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photo: tech advisor helps student build a computer

On Thursday, March 9, more than 190 students, ages 8th through 12th grades, participated in the IMESD Student Technology Expo at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande. The students were from 15 of the IMESD’s component school districts. The event was FREE.

After a group welcome, students attended six sessions throughout the day that could include 3D animation, 3D printing, taking apart and diagnosing computer component issues, website development, computer programming, app development and more. In addition, students participated in the Career Advisor session to learn about career paths and their educational requirements, plus met representatives from regional companies that have jobs in technology.

Teacher's Night Out at Tamastslikt

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5:30 PM

Tamastslikt is celebrating teachers -- all teachers are invited to enjoy food, museum tours, information on upcoming exhibits and shopping in the Museum Store. Flyer attached.

This event is organized by Tamastslikt Cultural Institute. For info or to RSVP, contact

Employee Receives Statewide Award

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photo: lon thornburg at podium

Lon Thornburg, Transition Network Facilitator at the InterMountain Education Service District, has been selected to receive the 2017 Innovative Agency Provider Award. Thornburg received the award at the Oregon Statewide Transition Conference in Portland on February 16, 2017. According to the award notification letter, Thornburg has been recognized for his “extraordinary contribution to vocational special needs education and outstanding professional support and for developing connections that create collaborative teamwork.”

Thornburg, who has worked for the IMESD for 12 years, helped create, develop and implement the Regional Job Club program, which connects special needs students ages 16 and over in rural schools with job opportunities. The current model is serving eight counties: Baker, Grant, Harney, Malheur, Morrow, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa.

Building Educator Assessment Literacy (BEAL)

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8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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West Ed
EOU in LaGrande

Link to registration coming soon

Science Curriculum Caravan

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1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Host District: 
Intermountain ESD
Intermountain ESD
Various Publishers

Equity & Engagement Event Presents National Keynote Speaker

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image: equity & engagement event graphic

The IMESD is partnering with several area agencies to bring a national keynote presentation and workshop to Pendleton on Friday, March 10. The Equity and Engagement event is at Sunridge Middle School and is designed for 6th – 12th grade instructors, counselors and administrators and post-secondary partners statewide. March 10 is designated as regional Inservice Day for eastern Oregon school districts.

The keynote speaker and facilitator is Dr. Meagan Pollock from the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (

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