Robert Watson, Superintendent, Bozeman Public Schools, Bozeman, Mont. and Ron Whitmoyer, Superintendent, East Helena Public Schools, East Helena, Mont.
Montana: Leaders Matter
Nominated By: Kirk Miller, Executive Director, Montana Association of School Superintendents
Robert Watson, Superintendent, Bozeman Public Schools, Bozeman, Mont.
Robert Watson (https://sites.google.com/a/bsd7.org/superintendent/) exemplifies outstanding leadership of his school district, leading and managing over $120 million in building projects (a new high school) while continuing a strong tradition of excellence in education in the fastest growing school district in Montana.
Watson serves on the Certification Standards and Practices Advisory Committee (CSPAC) advisory to the Montana Board of Public Education and has led compelling recommendations for Montana Administrative Rule changes that increased flexibility in teacher licensure to improve the educator pipeline (education as a career pathway) and reduce the educator shortage in our state. He was in the first graduating class of the AASA National Superintendent Certification Program® (2015). He also helped to create the first public charter school in Montana by applying for and successfully developing the Bridger Charter Academy at Bozeman High School under the control of the Bozeman School District Board of Trustees. He is an innovator and consummate educator!
Watson’s consistent effort to help develop Montana Administrative Rule providing flexibility in teacher licensure for teaching dual credit Teacher Education courses to be made available for CTE credit for high school students is an example of his persistence to create student opportunities that benefit all.
Exemplars of Leadership:
- Led the implementation of a large capital development effort.
- Demonstrated leadership at state national levels.
- Graduated from AASA National Superintendent Certification Program.
- Provided leadership in CTE program development and implementation.
Ron Whitmoyer, Superintendent, East Helena Public Schools, East Helena, Mont.
Ron Whitmoyer’s leadership has created stellar support for his K-8 school district leading to action in the state legislature to allow for the first time in 40 years the formation of a new Montana high school district (https://www.ehps.k12.mt.us/cms/lib/MT01000580/Centricity/Domain/1/EHHS%20Letter%20%20to%20Parents.pdf).
East Helena high school district was formed as a result of his efforts, and the new school district recently passed a bond to build a new $40 million high school. During an eight-year period covering four legislative sessions, Whitmoyer lead an effort in Montana to create this opportunity for the students of East Helena.
Whitmoyer also serves the Montana Association of School Superintendents (MASS) and AASA in leadership on the AASA Governing Board and currently represents Region 1 on the AASA Executive Committee.
The compelling work of Superintendent Whitmoyer to change Montana policy on formation of school districts (a moratorium in place allowing no new districts for over 40 years) was a local East Helena strategic plan goal accomplished through his diligence. This effort to support East Helena students and the community also allowed other Montana districts, similarly, situated to provide the opportunity, to create a high school to serve the students in their community. Whitmoyer has also served in a leadership role on several recent federal advocacy issues promoted by AASA, serving as the spokesperson for rural educators – most recently the reauthorization of Carl Perkins CTE in the Senate.
Exemplars of Leadership:
- Demonstrated local, state, and national leadership.
- Demonstrated leadership in securing capital development funds.
- Development of broad community support.
- Leadership in CTE instructional program development.
To learn more about the superintendents profiled in AASA’s Leaders Matter campaign, visit https://aasacentral.org/leadersmatter/. To join the conversation via Twitter, please access #LeadersMatter.