District hires business director

Oak Harbor School Board hired Jim Fenstermaker as business director at its Monday evening school board meeting. He will be taking over for Pam Ross who is retiring at the end of the summer.

Fenstermaker is currently operations director for the Marysville School District.

Superintendent Rick Schulte said Fenstermaker was one of 12 applicants for the position. His accounting background and experience made him the best candidate for the position.

“We’re very lucky to get someone with his degree of experience,” Schulte said.

Fenstermaker worked in several school district administrations in Oregon for eight years before heading to Marysville in 2001.

Schulte said Fenstermaker has years of business experience and is also a former board member of the Battle Ground School District in the southern part of the state.

Fenstermaker is expected to begin work Aug. 1 with Ross staying on until the end of August. His salary will be $84,000 a year.

He is the fourth administrator the school board has recently hired.

The board promoted high school Assistant Principal Dwight Lundstrom earlier this month to replace retiring Principal Dick Devlin.

At the same meeting, the board named Mellody Matthes new human resources director and Bob Smithson new athletic director. They are taking over, respectively, for Barbara James and Jeff Stone, who are also retiring at the end of the year.

Several board members were concerned whether Fenstermaker was going to reside in the school district.

Schulte said he and Assistant Superintendent David Peterson are the only two administrators who are required to live within district boundaries.

Schulte said that, even though other administrators don’t have to live in the area, they should be active and visible in the community.

He pointed out that James, although living outside the school district, has been active in such local groups as the Soroptimists and is on the board of directors at the Oak Harbor Senior Center.

Fenstermaker is the second administrator recently hired away from the Marysville School District. At the beginning of the school year, Peggy Ellis came aboard as principal of Oak Harbor Middle School. Before that, she was principal at Marysville-Pilchuck High School.

You can reach News-Times reporter Nathan Whalen at

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