Meet the new Moffat County High School principal
August 12, 2017
A new high school principal is preparing for a new school year.
Kyle York was hired in March, leaving a job at Pikes Peak Boards of Cooperative Educational Services Peak Program. Prior to that, he was the principal of both the eighth-grade and high school for West Grand School District. He grew up north of Craig in Encampment, Wyoming.
He officially started work on Aug. 1, however he worked a couple weeks in June and a week in July getting to know the administrative team and working with them to prepare for the new school year.
"This was a great opportunity for me to meet and work with my team and build good relationships with my co-workers," York said.
We caught up with the new principal to learn more about what motivates him, his leadership style, the challenges and opportunities he sees for the school, and some fun facts.
Why did you become an educator?
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I became an educator because I loved the reward of seeing my students succeed in and outside of the classroom. I went to college to become a mechanical engineer, but as I continued down the engineering pathway I could feel I did not have the passion I had for coaching and teaching students.
How has your previous experience prepared you for the top job at the high school?
My previous experiences that have helped to prepare me for this job are understanding the day-to-day operations of a school, working with stakeholders to collaboratively dialogue and discuss issues, understanding that partnerships are key to the success of the school, understanding the importance of taking 360 degree evaluations of how I am leading the school, developing a climate and culture of learning, and knowing the importance of building strong relationships with students, staff and parents.
What is your most important role as a principal?
My most important role as principal will be service leadership and building relationships. Providing the best service I can when working with parents, teachers and students. I will do my best to take down barriers to help teachers grow as professionals using a coaching model, build bridges and partnerships with parents and other community members to keep them informed about the school, and provide a means for students to be able to dialogue and discuss what they feel is most important in order for them to be the most successful in school.
Do you have a leadership philosophy?
My leadership philosophy is that collaboration is key to making lasting relationships and changes. It helps a school to define its identity and gives all stakeholders a voice in what our beliefs and hopes are as a school.
What challenges do you expect to face this year?
I think the biggest challenge this year will be earning trust of all stakeholders involved in the school. The reality is that the principal position has not had a lot of stability for a while, and because of that people have had to adapt to different leadership styles and ideas. My plan will be to do the best I can with follow-through and providing opportunities for all involved to be able to share their thoughts and ideas to help us become better. My hope would be that by the end of this year I would have earned trust through the relationships I build and the actions I take.
What opportunities do you see for the high school?
I see huge opportunities down the road for the high school. I think this area provides for expansion of career and technical education, providing quality courses that prep students to be more successful in college, and provide collaborative skills within the classrooms that students can apply directly to the job force.
Do you have any immediate changes in mind?
The only immediate changes that my team and I have made have generally had to do with school safety and keeping instructional integrity within the classroom. Our long-term goals would be becoming an adaptive school that develops our teachers into collaborative leaders and having our teachers develop our students into collaborative leaders.
What kind of student were you when you were in high school?
I was a good student in high school, but definitely had to navigate some bumps during my freshman year. I participated in football, basketball and track, was a member of the FFA, National Honor Society, E-club, Student Council and State Art Competition. During my senior year I was All-Conference Honorable Mention in football and basketball and the state runner-up for All-Academic Athlete in the state of Wyoming. I held several student leader positions in FFA, National Honor Society and Student Council. I also received high honors at State Art with several of my projects; the Smithsonian National Parks Collection purchased two of my pieces.
Do you have a favorite high school sport?
My favorites are football and basketball because I played and coached both sports, so I have a real understanding of both games. I really enjoy going and cheering for all our high school sports teams and watching all school activities. I have always enjoyed watching kids grow each year as they fine-tune their skills and have been blown away by the talent kids have displayed on the stage.
What traditional high school event are you most looking forward to participating in and why?
Homecoming because it really showcases school pride and community support of the kids.
What is a fun fact about you?
My haircut gives me an extra two inches in height so I can say I'm six foot tall.
Anything else you'd like readers to know?
I grew up in Wyoming living the ranching lifestyle, so I know a thing or two about tough winters, taking pride in your work, getting back on when you've been thrown off, respecting your elders, being a good neighbor (if you expect help during next years branding), don't give up just because its getting harder and giving back to your community.
Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.