By Naomi Hatch
“It is a sad and happy time at the same time,” said Snowflake School District Superintendent Hollis Merrell as he talked at last week’s governing board meeting of those retiring from the district.
Merrell recalled that Snowflake Intermediate School Principal Jess Hughes was coaching a football team Merrell played against in high school. “His team won the state championship my senior year,” said Merrell.
“Mr. Hughes is an incredible principal,” the superintendent continued, noting that sometimes he can’t contain himself and has to share ideas with others. “He’s always looking for ways to improve. The best compliment I can give him is he’s not afraid to change.”
Hughes has been in education for 33 years, with 21 of those years in the Snowflake District.
Taylor Elementary School Principal Dennis Evans came to the Snowflake District after college and has been here for 39 years.
“He is our longest tenured employee,” said Merrell, who went on to tell some of the things that Evans does with TES students, such as have his hair dyed blue to reward students for big accomplishments.
“He has a school where people enjoy being there, students enjoy being there, teachers enjoy being there. He’s put them (students) on their path to success,” said Merrell.
Also retiring is Highland Primary School Principal Alma Yates. He will be honored at the May governing board meeting. Plaques will be presented to Claudia Morris, Lorraine Rencher and Marilyn Saline as they each retire.
Merrell said that if you add the total years in education of these principals it is 107. “I don’t think we could quantify the lives that these people have touched over the years,” he said.
Carol Seigfried, who has been at Snowflake Junior High School for six years, was also honored.
“She’s not retiring, just moving to greener pastures,” said SJHS Principal Kim Lewis. He offered examples of two math problems she presented in her class on probability. One was a story problem that used the Snowflake football team as an example. “To you it might not seem like a big deal, but when kids see their own names in math problems, they connect like that,” said Lewis as he snapped his fingers. “She has been doing this for years.”
Seigfried did her student teaching in social studies, and taught language arts and math. Also at the April 11 meeting, the board approved a transfer for Debra Muder from teacher to principal at Taylor Intermediate School, and the hiring of Jeremy Hatch as principal of Taylor Elementary School and Roy Owens as principal of Highland Primary School.
By Naomi Hatch