Brett Smith, La Grande High School’s next assistant principal, will not experience anything close to culture shock when he moves into his new office in 1-1/2 months.

Smith is joining the La Grande School District after spending six years working as a teacher in Texas, yet he is no stranger to Northeast Oregon. Smith was born in La Grande, grew up in Baker City and is a 2005 Baker High School graduate. He said he is looking forward to returning to Northeast Oregon, where he and his wife, Kirsten, and their three children can be closer to family. There are other reasons he will be glad to be back in Oregon, too.

“I’m looking forward to experiencing four seasons again,” he said.

Smith, the assistant principal at Waller High School in Waller, Texas, 42 miles northwest of Houston, said there are normally only two types of seasons in the Lone Star State.

“Extremely hot and not so hot,” he said.

On rare occasions, the weather drops below freezing in southeastern Texas. Smith was there when it once fell to 18 degrees.

“They had to shut down school,” he said.

Smith explained that building fixtures including pipes were not designed to function in such cold weather.

A graduate of Brigham Young University and Lamar University, Smith is completing his second year as Waller High School’s assistant principal.

The La Grande School Board voted Wednesday to hire Smith to succeed Scott Carpenter as the high school’s assistant principal. Carpenter, who is completing his fifth year as assistant principal, will step down at the end of June to become the La Grande School District’s director of curriculum and Title I programs.

See complete story in Friday's Observer