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Arlee district searches for principal, superintendent

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ARLEE – A wave of retirements scheduled for the end of this school year means the Arlee School District is looking for replacements. 

Jim Taylor is the current junior and senior high school principal. He will retire at the end of the school year. Assistant junior and senior high principal Dan Holst will also retire at the end of the school year. 

Superintendent Jim Baldwin said the school district does not plan to replace the assistant principal. Starting next year, there will be just one principal to oversee grades seven through 12, and one principal for kindergarten through sixth grade. 

Baldwin will also be retiring after the school year ends in May. Baldwin said he’s enjoyed his time in Arlee. He started there in the fall of 2018. “If I were 10 years younger, I’d be staying,” he said.

Baldwin said he’s been in education for 44 years, and it’s time for him to retire. Cumulatively, the three retiring administrators have spent more than 100 years working in the field of education, Baldwin said. 

According to Baldwin, the district is accepting applications from people who are currently employed by the school district and external applicants. He said the new administrators will come into a good situation. The district is financially sound. It will likely grow in numbers in the coming years. 

In four years, Baldwin predicts there will be about 160 students in the high school. That’s significantly more than the 109 enrolled today. Enrollment drives funding, so the new administrators will see a larger budget than the district has currently. 

Baldwin said he looks forward to seeing the ideas the new hires will bring to the district. He said the positions would be good for someone starting a career in school administration. A Missoula firm is conducting the search for a superintendent. The school board is spearheading the search for a principal. The board will make the final decisions about who to hire. 

“It’s a good district, a good community, and there’s good support,” Baldwin said. “We’ll see what we get when it’s all done.”

According to a press release from the district, starting salary for the principal position is a negotiable $70,000. Applicants should be directed to district clerk Lonnie Morin at 406-726-3216, extension five. 

Applicants must submit a letter of interest, resume, three references, an educator license or proof of ability to receive a license by Aug. 1, 2020, and transcripts.  

The district will also have two openings on the school board in May 2020. Filing for the position opens Dec. 12 and closes March 26, 2020. Those interested should contact Morin.


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