New Principals

Pacific, MO, March 5, 2024 - Meramec Valley R-III School District is delighted to announce the appointments of Mr. Keith Orris as the Pacific High School principal and Dr. Jenna Sladek as the principal of Zitzman Elementary for the upcoming 2024-2025 school year. Mr. Orris, an educator with 17 years of experience, is returning to Pacific High School where he began his educational journey as the Business Education teacher.  Dr. Sladek, current Truman Elementary Principal and a 13-year educator, joined the MVR-III School District in 2017 as the assistant principal at both Zitzman and Coleman Elementary schools.

Mr. Orris has a rich history within the MVR-III educational landscape, serving in various roles such as a physical education teacher, assistant principal at Coleman and Zitzman, principal at Robertsville Elementary, SACC and Summer School Director, and his current position as the principal at Zitzman Elementary. Under his leadership at Zitzman Elementary, the school achieved recognition as a Missouri State School of Character, and he played a key role in facilitating the successful addition to the school. Additionally, Mr. Orris contributed to accelerated academic achievements at both Zitzman and Robertsville schools.

As a Pacific High School alumnus and a local resident, Mr. Orris brings a unique perspective and deep-rooted connection to the school and community. His seven years of experience as a head principal highlight his dedication to educational leadership, and MVR-III is confident that he will contribute to the continued tradition of success at Pacific High School.

Dr. Carrie Schwierjohn, Superintendent, commented, "Mr. Orris's commitment to fostering academic achievement, character development, and community engagement aligns seamlessly with the district's mission. We anticipate the positive impact he will undoubtedly make on the students, staff, and the entire Pacific High School community.”

Dr. Sladek has served as principal of Truman Elementary for the past five years. She began her principalship amidst the COVID pandemic, navigating the school community through those challenging times. Under Dr. Sladek’s leadership, Truman Elementary has earned both state and national recognition, including Missouri School of Character Honorable Mention and National Promising Practice awards. Dr. Sladek’s focus on character education has masterfully created a caring school community.

Dr. Sladek has made the Pacific community home for herself and her family. She has organized an annual Truman’s Trip Around Town, uniting families and local businesses and promoting the district Pillars of Success for the past five years. Her One Book One School One Community initiative has likewise united students and families in experiencing literacy across all grade levels. As a graduate of the CEEL (Character Education for Educational Leaders) Academy, Dr. Sladek has continued to cultivate and grow her leadership skills.

"We believe that Dr. Sladek's community-based leadership will seamlessly unite the Truman and Zitzman school communities in the upcoming year. She will continue to enhance the educational experiences for our students, inspire academic excellence, while fostering a positive learning environment," said Dr. Schwierjohn.

The district looks forward to the positive impact Mr. Orris and Dr. Sladek will continue to make in the coming school year. Orris and Sladek will begin serving in their new roles on July 1, 2024.