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Morrow County SD Announces New District Leaders

(Morrow County) – The Morrow County School District is pleased to welcome several new administrators to the district for the 22-23 school year.


“It has been another busy spring as we have worked to fill our vacant administrative positions,” Erin Stocker, Executive Director of Human Resources said. “The retirement of Superintendent Dirksen and his resignation led to movement within the district. The school district is in a good position with our ability to hire strong internal candidates, as well as an experienced administrator to round out our administrative team for 22-23.”


The incoming superintendent, Matt Combe, as well as these new administrators will begin their contracts on July 1, 2022.

New Vice Principal at Irrigon Jr/Sr High School:

The newest member of the Morrow County School District administrative team is Jason Dunten. He will be transitioning into the Irrigon Jr/Sr High School Vice Principal for the 2022- 23 school year.  Not a stranger in MCSD, Dunten has been an educator for 13 years, all of which have been in Morrow County. Jason received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Eastern Oregon University and a Master’s in Education Administration from Grand Canyon University. Well known in the community of Irrigon, Dunten has made many connections through his coaching and community involvement.

“When I began teaching in Irrigon, I was extremely excited for the opportunity to help mentor our students,” Irrigon said. “By moving into the role of vice principal, I am excited to continue to not only mentor our students but also impact the culture of the Irrigon community and the Morrow County School District.”

Stocker said the district is excited that Irrigon Jr/Sr High School will continue to have leaders that are vested in the programs, schools, and community.

New Principal at Irrigon Jr-Sr High School:

Rose Palmer will be the next principal of Irrigon Jr/Sr High School.  Rose received her bachelor’s degree from Washington State University and has two masters, one in physical education and the other in education leadership. With 15 years in education as a teacher and administrator, Palmer is currently completing her seventh year in MCSD as the assistant principal at IJSHS.  She has the background knowledge and experience to aid in a smooth transition for students, families, and staff.

“I am looking forward to the opportunity to continue to serve as an administrator at IJSHS and excited that I will get to continue to provide opportunities for students to feel connected and important while in our building,” Palmer said.

Stocker added the district is pleased to have a veteran administrator continue as a member of the MCSD team in a new role at the same school.

New Principal at Heppner Jr-Sr High School A new face to MCSD is Ryan Gerry, who will be the new Principal at Heppner Jr/Sr High School.  Gerry has an extensive background in secondary education with 23 years of experience, of which ten years have been in administration. Previously, he worked in Prairie City and Grant school districts. He received his bachelor’s degree from Eastern Oregon University, his master’s degree from Oregon State University, and his administration licensure
program through the University of Oregon. Gerry is familiar with rural communities and is committed to the continued growth and success of students, staff, and programs.

“I am very honored and excited to be joining Heppner Jr/Sr High School and being part of the Morrow County School District,” Gerry said. “The school and the Heppner community have demonstrated a long-standing commitment to student success and community connection, which I am dedicated to continuing. I’m looking forward to being a Mustang and part of the community.”

Stocker said the MCSD administrative team is eager to have Gerry join them and learn more about the district and the community.

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