MISSOULA – Missoula County Public Schools Superintendent Rob Watson is settling into his new position this week, praising what he calls a “very innovative” school district.
Watson is taking over from long-time MCPS staffer and former Superintendent Mark Thane, although it’s actually a return to Missoula.
“You know, it was an opportunity for me, professional challenge and I think I was ready for the next step. Unique opportunity to a place where you worked before. That felt comfortable. So I was excited,” Watson said.
“Lots of things have changed but some people are still here. So it’s exciting to re-connect with people I worked with before,” he added.
Watson, who left a position as Bozeman Schools Superintendent to return to Missoula, had been Principal at Sentinel High School from 2005 to 2009 and was also a principal at C.S. Porter Middle School and Rattlesnake Elementary School.
He returns expressing a commitment to make sure opportunities are being extended to all students. And he’s also focused on wrapping up the district’s massive “Smart Schools 2020” building program.
“We just want to make sure that folks understand we appreciate their support in that way. Those facilities are going to be excellent learning environments for our students. And so that’s really important that I express that,” Watson said.
“Because, although I wasn’t here when they passed the bond, I know it was a really big initiative. A really big success for the community. I’m just hoping that we can fulfill those goals and those dreams that came with that bond and that’s a huge responsibility,” he added.
“And it’s important folks know we’re keeping our eye on the ball and making sure those facilities get done in the way that we said that they would.”
Watson will meet with the Board of Trustees for the first time Tuesday evening to discuss his plan for the first “100 days”.