Bozeman School Board members are to be congratulated for successfully filling the position of superintendent quickly and with a very good candidate. The board opted last month to promote Rob Watson from Bozeman High School where he has been principal for three years.

The school superintendent is an important position in a highly educated college town like Bozeman, and filling that position can be a daunting task. The Bozeman School Board was saddled with filling the post in short order when sitting Superintendent Kirk Miller announced his resignation to accept a position in Helena as executive director of the School Administrators of Montana.

The timing of the resignation left the board with relatively little time to have a new superintendent in place for the coming school year. With that, the board chose to forego the usual – and expensive – process of hiring a firm to conduct a national search and winnow the pool of applicants down to something manageable.

Instead the board opted to have the Montana School Boards Association come up with a list of finalists, a move that saved the tens of thousands of dollars it can cost to contract with a headhunting firm to do the work.

But the end result was anything but cut rate. Watson comes with high praise from administrators throughout the school district and members of the community. His knowledge of the inner workings of Bozeman schools will serve him well in the district’s top post.

Watson has already shown the diplomacy he will need as superintendent. Working with students, he was able to save a journalism class in the high school that appeared destined for the chopping block.

Ken Gibson, current assistant principal at the high school, has agreed to step into the principal post for a year while a search is conducted for a permanent replacement. Best of luck goes to both of these capable administrators as we go forward.

Bozeman residents expect their schools to be the best, and Watson and Gibson are of the caliber that can maintain those standards.

Editorial Board

  • Stephanie Pressly, publisher
  • Nick Ehli, managing editor
  • Bill Wilke, opinion page editor
  • Don Beeman, community member
  • Richard Broome, community member
  • Renee Gavin, community member
  • Daniel Larson, community member

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