New superintendent tours Spokane schools

Author: Ian Cull, KXLY4 Multimedia Journalist, ianc@kxly.com
Published On: Sep 04 2012 06:21:38 PM PDT   Updated On: Sep 04 2012 06:22:21 PM PDT
Spokane Schools Superintendent Shelley Redinger
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Shelley Redinger was new just like everyone else who entered the brand new Westview Elementary Tuesday, except she's not a student or staff member. She's the new district superintendent. 

The Spokane native went to WSU and started her job in July, but spent her first school day touring classrooms. She said she spent most of the summer going to schools, getting to know where they are. Redinger said she plans to eat at every cafeteria in the district this year.

Although she may be new, she's already talking about change.

Redinger has ideas to change middle schools from just 7th and 8th grade to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. She even mentioned possibly changing the schools to Kindergarten through 8th grade to help the district and its students.

"Having different options, different configurations, can be very helpful for students learning needs," Redinger said.

She added the change would provide more options to pique students' interests in other subjects, while minimizing budgets. 

She also toured North Central High School Tuesday to learn about the new science and technology programs. Redinger checked on freshmen, who now have to stay on-campus all day, including lunch. 

North Central will also have architectural plans drawn up this year for a new north wing. It will expand the campus but consolidate the students walk between each class. Redinger hopes construction will start next year and be finished by the 2014 school year.

She finished her morning tour at Sacajawea Middle School on the South Hill, where teachers have turned every wing into a college-themed hall.

Principal Jeremy Ochse said he hopes the students will start thinking about college and careers early. Redinger hopes she'll be there to send them on their way.

The new superintendent also said she started a new tradition Tuesday morning by buying 275 maple bars for all the bus drivers before they headed out to pick kids up for school.