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Collins named Jackson principal; board member to resign post

Mar 20, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Trustee Greg Ashdown has been tranferred to Billings, Mont., by his employer.

Riverton Middle School assistant principal Curt Collins has been hired as the principal at Jackson Elementary School for the 2013-2014 school year.

The Fremont County School District 25 Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to offer Collins a contract for the position.

"I think he'll make a good fit for their setting over there," Trustee Larry Christensen said.

Board chairmain Mark Stone agreed.

"Curt's ready to step up and have his own school," Stone said. "He's going to do some great things over there I think. It's a good thing."

Superintendent Terry Snyder pointed out that Collins served as a school principal in the past. After 20 years working in education, Collins became the assistant K12 principal in Shoshoni eight years ago, then one year later he was promoted to principal of Shoshoni Elementary School.

He's been the assistant principal at RMS for the past six years.

"I think his interest in kids and curriculum and education in general make him a clear choice for this position," Snyder said. "His experience will be very valuable, especially when you look to replace a veteran administrator."

Jackson principal Owen Lampert announced his retirement this year after 36 years with the district.

Snyder said Collins should be able to "hit the road running" and be a positive addition at the elementary school.

Collins on Wednesday said he is excited about the position at the school that all three of his children attended.

"It's a good staff, a good building," Collins said. "(I hope to) continue the high quality of work they've been doing."

Teachers

Also on Tuesday, the board approved three new teaching positions for the 2013-2014 school year. Snyder said he hopes to fill the spots with two third-grade teachers and one fifth-grade teacher.

"That way we can keep the same number of third grade sections as we had second grade sections (this year)," Snyder said.

The additional instructional staff should help bring the district's student-teacher ratio down to about 18.8:1, Snyder said.

The state has mandated at 16:1 student-teacher ratio in kindergarten through third-grade classrooms.

"We started at 25:1," Snyder said. "So we're getting there."

Stone said he has heard from other districts that also are struggling to achieve the ratio requirement.

"We're not the only ones," he said.

Ashdown to Billings

The board officially accepted Trustee Greg Ashdown's resignation on Tuesday, "with deep regret" according to Snyder.

"He and his family were great contributors," Snyder said. "It's been wonderful to have him."

Stone indicated that Ashdown has been transferred to Billings, Mont.

"It's unfortunate Greg will be leaving Riverton," Stone said. "Not only was his contribution to our board very good, but he was a great community member as well. I hate to see him go."

Ashdown's resignation is effective June 1.

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