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St. Regis School thankful for former and current superintendents

| December 15, 2021 12:00 AM

When in June Superintendent Joe Steele asked if he could be let out of his contract to move back to Idaho; the board was left trying to figure out a replacement.

Board chair Charlee Thompson reached out to previous superintendent, Judy McKay to fill in as interim until the board could find a replacement. The board would like to sincerely thank Mrs. McKay and her husband, John, for dropping everything at home in Libby and moving their fifth wheel here to answer the call to our school district.

Judy's experience and dedication to St. Regis and its students is much appreciated.

The St. Regis school board is proud to announce that they have chosen a Superintendent. It's a familiar face that most might recognize. Mr. Derek Larson.

Superintendent Larson brings a diversity of experience and interests to the position at St. Regis Public Schools, but the primary focus he brings to the position is a dedication to ensuring that the students of the St. Regis community receive the best educational opportunities possible.

Coming from a family background consisting largely of Montana-based educators and rural agriculture, Supt. Larson has always felt that the challenges faced by rural communities in providing a solid education were often not well understood by the incoming administrators to those school districts.

As well as being short stop-over positions for many superintendents on their way up the ladder to larger schools, rural schools present some challenges that many administrators simply do not understand unless they come from a rural background.

After teaching in St. Regis Public Schools for the last ten years, Supt. Larson’s passion for this rural community and its particular challenges has grown stronger and he is excited to apply his knowledge and experience across the entire curriculum.

Supt. Larson possesses a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from MSU - Bozeman and it was initially his desire to teach for a few years and then quickly go into the pursuit of an administrative licensure.

However, teaching and providing leadership in the musical activities in Mineral County and the neighboring counties lured him into staying in the teaching profession for at least five years longer than he originally intended.

However, his interest in developing a strong curriculum throughout the school, not just in music, drove him to apply for the superintendent position.

Rural Montana schools provide excellent opportunities for students to experience great student-to-teacher ratios, a greater flexibility for a personalized learning experience, greater potential for participation in multiple extracurricular activities, and the general feel of a true community instead of being a number in the masses.

Supt. Larson hopes to capitalize on these strengths and help build and perpetuate a system of excellence in the years to come at St. Regis Public Schools.

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