By Houston Smith

Joining the wave of new teachers at Umatilla High School this year is Mr. Kristopher Welch, a recent college graduate who feels right at home in a small school, teaching some of his favorite subjects, health and fitness training.

Mr. Welch, a substitute teacher in the past at Umatilla High School, needed a job after graduating from Eastern Oregon University and heard of a subbing position from his fiance who is a second grade teacher for the school district at McNary Heights Elementary.

Through his substitute gigs, Mr. Welch heard about the full time teaching position at UHS and jumped at the opportunity to apply for it. This being Mr. Welch’s first year of teaching he is excited about how it’s going.

“Great! I haven’t hit any speed bumps yet, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the year,” said Mr. Welch.

Originally going to college at EOU for fire science Mr. Welch wanted to be a firefighter. Between the wait time of a job interview with the fire station though, he needed a part-time job. Thus his teaching career began.

Growing up in sports and being athletic, Mr. Welch was familiar with the areas of health and fitness. He is also a coach for the Umatilla Vikings Football team, coaching wide receivers on offense and linebackers on defense.

“Coaching helps in the classroom with certain expectations and accountability being held,” said Mr. Welch.

It might not be fighting fires but for Mr. Welch he has found a home in the gym and on the fields of Umatilla High School.

“I’m glad I chose Umatilla,” said Mr. Welch.