Two Glendive Schools principals hired
By Jason Stuart
Ranger-Review Staff Writer
Dawson County High School has a new principal for the first time in 18 years.
The Glendive Unified School Board voted unanimously Monday night to hire current DCHS Vice Principal Wade Murphy as the school’s new head administrator.
Murphy will take the place of long-time DCHS Principal Bruce Clausen, who is retiring.
“I’m very honored, and I’m very excited to get going,” Murphy said of his hiring. “We’ve got a great school, great kids and a really good staff and I’m excited about working with all of them.”
The GUSB also approved Murphy continuing as head coach of the varsity boys basketball team, making him, to everyone’s knowledge, the only principal at a Class A high school to hold that kind of dual role.
Murphy said he believed pulling the double duty was actually a positive for him and would help build and maintain bonds with students.
“Truth be told, the further you move up in school administration, the further removed you are from kids,” he said. “I think (coaching) allows you to be seen as more than just the principal, and I think that’s important. I think it’s important the kids view their leaders of the schools in multiple roles.”
Murphy said he knows filling both those roles won’t be easy, but he’s game to take it on.
“Is it going to be challenging? There’s no doubt about it, but I’m looking forward to the challenge,” he said. “If I didn’t think I could do either one well, I wouldn’t.”
The GUSB also approved hiring a new principal for Washington Middle School to replace Dinny Bennett, who is leaving to become superintendent at Forsyth.
The board unanimously voted to hire William Thibault as the new WMS principal. Thibault comes from Glasgow, where he has most recently served as assistant principal at Glasgow High School.
In other board business, Superintendent Ross Farber informed the board that the grant money the school district has to provide teacher housing does not have to be committed by the end of June as previously thought.
“We’ve learned we don’t have that hard and fast June deadline as previously thought,” Farber said.
The school district had been operating under the belief that the grant funding for the proposed teacherage had to be committed by June 30 and spent by July 31.
Meeting those tight deadlines was beginning to seem less likely after the district’s hopes of securing Newport Square in the Prospect Heights neighborhood fell through.
However, the assumed deadline, which came from the Office of Public Instruction’s website for the grant, was incorrect. Farber said OPI called the district to tell them they had more time after reading about the matter in a recent issue of the Ranger-Review, and “apologized profoundly” for the deadline error on their website.
The district has until the beginning of the 2015 Montana Legislature to spend the grant funding.
“Hopefully, we won’t wait that long,” Farber said. “We still have new teachers coming in.”
Reach Jason Stuart at firstname.lastname@example.org.