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Cheney superintendent Robert Roettger announces ‘bittersweet’ transition to lead ESD101; no successor named yet

Robert Roettger, superintendent of Cheney Public School District, helps a student find her class on the first day of the 2021-2022 school year at Salnave Elementary School on Wednesday, Sept. 1. Roettger announced this week he’d be leaving the district and taking a job at the NorthEast Washington Educational Service District, effective July 1.  (Libby Kamrowski/ THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
Robert Roettger, superintendent of Cheney Public School District, helps a student find her class on the first day of the 2021-2022 school year at Salnave Elementary School on Wednesday, Sept. 1. Roettger announced this week he’d be leaving the district and taking a job at the NorthEast Washington Educational Service District, effective July 1. (Libby Kamrowski/ THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

Cheney Public Schools Superintendent Robert Roettger will be the new leader of the NorthEast Washington Educational Service District, the organization announced this week.

NEWESD 101 is responsible for the seven northeastern counties, providing cooperative services in Adams, Ferry, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens and Whitman counties.

Roettger, the superintendent at Cheney since 2016, will take over on July 1, replacing Mike Dunn.

“I am truly looking forward to the opportunity to advocate on behalf of, serve and support the school districts and educational leaders within our region,” Roettger said.

Roettger’s career has spanned much of the region served by NEWESD 101.

His career began in the Yakima Valley, where he worked as an elementary teacher, literacy coach and staff developer. Prior to becoming the superintendent in Cheney, his administrative career included five years as principal of St. John-Endicott Cooperative Schools in Whitman County and five years as superintendent for Lind-Ritzville Cooperative Schools in Adams County.

Collectively, Roettger has almost 16 years of administrative experience in northeast Washington, including nearly 11 years as a school district superintendent.

The district has not announced details on how it plans to replace Roettger. The next regular meeting of the board of directors is scheduled for March 23.

“This is bittersweet, as I’ve been blessed to work and lead in Cheney Public Schools and love this district and community,” Roettger said.

“I am truly looking forward to the opportunity to advocate on behalf of, serve and support the school districts and educational leaders within our region,” Roettger said.

Now entering its 53rd year of operation, NEWESD 101 is the state’s largest ESD in the number of districts served, counties served and geographic region served.

The district serves 59 public school districts, 45 state-approved private schools and three state-approved charter schools, with a total enrollment of 104,232.

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