Three Minutes with Heidi Sipe

Contributed photoHeidi Sipe, Umatilla Schools Superintendent, enjoys remodeling houses in her spare time.

Heidi Sipe

Superintendent of Umatilla School District

When and why did you move to the area?

We moved to Umatilla in July of 2000 from Spokane. We had two toddlers and wanted to work in the same school as we were juggling multiple schedules in Spokane. We assumed we’d stay for two years and instead fell in love with the students and community.

What is your favorite place to eat locally?

It’s a tough three-way tie for me: Java Junkies (for lunch), Rae’s Dayz (for breakfast) and Donitas (for dinner). If I’m really lucky, I can pull off all three in one day.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my free time, I am usually wearing a tool apron (my cousin made it for me) and working on a remodel project. We’re on our fifth total house remodel and it’s very rewarding to spend a weekend doing work that has immediate gratification, even if it comes with a few bruises and sore muscles.

What surprises you about this area?

The people are always so friendly and accepting in our area. I love the way people come together to celebrate in times of joy and comfort in times of sadness.

What was the last book you read?

I read about three books a week and love anything mindless and full of mystery. I last read “Manhattan Beach” by Jennifer Egan. It was OK, but not my favorite.

What app or website do you use most often besides Facebook or Google?

My Fitness Pal. I track everything I eat very carefully, then I promptly ignore what it tells me I’m doing wrong and head to Rae’s for an omelet followed by a complaint about my tight pants.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

The Grand Canyon continues to be on my list, but no one in my family shares that wish so it might be a bit before I make it there.

What is the funniest thing that’s happened to you?

I work with kids, every day is funny! I think the day that always makes me laugh was when a Kindergarten teacher was trying to explain what a superintendent does in the school to her class. She summed it up by just telling them I was in charge of “everything.” I was standing in a circle of kids, and one of them smacked me square on the hiney like a football player and said, “Thanks for breakfast!” It’s tough to recover from a moment like that!

What is one of your goals for the next 12 months?

I hope to have a habit of exercising firmly in place. I’ve assembled the bike, but have yet to ride it, so I’m taking some small baby steps toward the goal.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

I’ve been exceptionally blessed in my life, so it’s hard to say anything is an accomplishment solely of my own doing. Perhaps my best solo accomplishment is convincing my husband that he still likes being married to me after nearly 22 years. It’s Valentine’s week, right?

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