If you guessed Richland, Kennewick, Pasco or Walla Walla you'd be wrong...

The highest paid teachers in the Mid Columbia work for the Pendleton School District! It's the highest paying district in all Eastern Oregon and trumps Southeast Washington as well.

The average teacher makes more than $62,000.

Most Tri-Cities and Walla Walla area districts pay around $55,000 on average.

Why so much more in Pendleton?

Two reasons. First, they have older teachers. The starting salaries are higher, too, but the average is so much above the rest because the average age is older, which means higher salaries on the district's scale.

Second, their compensation does not include retirement. If the money pulled out of other teacher pay for retirement was put back into the check, Pendleton may not be No. 1 anymore. But even with that, it still boasts better salaries than nearby Hermiston, Umatilla and La Grande.