May 18, 2000
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana
By Karen Lyncoln
For the Pathfinder
"John, if we get to vote on your retirement, I vote no," said Vicki Jardine after John Hebnes told Board Members that he was retiring at the Seeley Lake Elementary School Board of Education meeting on May 9th.
Hebnes, who has been superintendent for the last 14 years, and his wife Fran, the second grade teacher at the school, plan to leave Seeley Lake in late June. John has accepted a job as superintendent in Tombstone, Arizona. His new district includes 1,100 high school and elementary students.
"I'm sorry to see John and Fran leave, and I thank them for their dedicated service to the school," said Bart Peterson, Board Chairman.
Other Board members expressed their dismay at the surprise announcement and agreed that they needed to review the superintendent's job description and begin the search process for a new superintendent immediately.
Tom Larson, named Principal of the elementary school last fall, said that he would not apply for the position. Vacancy notices will be published in the coming weeks with applications due in early June
Daryl Davis is also leaving the district. He has been a teacher in the junior high for the past 2 years and recently resigned to take a job in California.
In other news from the meeting, Mark Williams was declared the winner of the recent election. He was elected by acclimation because he was the only candidate for the position. This will be his second three-year term.
"I'm delighted to serve another term," said Williams. "The school board is the perfect activity for me; I feel like I can have a real impact in the community."
Williams said that he's especially pleased to be on the board now because with the bond issue and building complete, there's an opportunity for the board to initiate new academic programs that will enhance educational opportunities for students.
The school board re-elected its current officers. Bart Peterson will continue as Chairman with Loren Rose as Vice-Chair. Sally Johnson agreed to continue her duties as Clerk.
School board trustees decided to continue to waive out-of-district fees.
Members attending the May 9th meeting include Bart Peterson, Loren Rose, Pamela Pitman, Vicki Jardine, and Mark Williams.
The next meeting will be held on June 13th at the elementary school. The board will take public comment and suggestions on the selection process for hiring the new superintendent and review contracts for the 2000-2001 academic year.