Welcoming a new principal to ‘God’s country’
Frink to lead Ridgeview and Maybell elementary schools
After 14 years as a high school principal, Ryan Frink saw an opportunity to make an impact at the elementary level and seized on it.
While working in a district capacity at Garfield 16 in Parachute at Grand Valley High School, an interaction with a young boy who was dealing with some issues shined a light on what type of influence Frink could have on younger students.
“My light switch just went off then,” Frink said. “I just saw the type of impact I could have with the young kids. Some of them are confused with what’s expected of them in society compared to their home life.
“It just looked like an opportunity that would be good.”
When that light switch went off, the longtime Grand Valley High School principal decided to make that change, landing in Moffat County as the next Ridgeview and Maybell elementary principal.
As things came together for Frink and his family, he couldn’t help but reflect on the way things transpired.
“I was celebrating my 20th wedding anniversary with my wife and family at Bear Lake in Garden City, Utah,” Frink said. “We’re sitting at this campsite when I see the job pop up, and I started filling out the application on my phone.
“The next week, I get a phone call to come interview, come do the meet-and-greet on a Sunday night, and then I pull back into the driveway at my home in Parachute and Scott Pankow calls me.”
A short conversation with Superintendent Pankow led to an offer in early July.
Now, the real work begins for Frink.
Not only does he have to step into a new role in the middle of a pandemic that is changing the way schooling looks, he’s stepping into a new school district and community. Oh, and he’s in charge of not one, but two elementary schools 30 miles apart.
Frink has gone through the process of meeting Ridgeview Elementary staff members as well as the staff at Maybell. The real challenge will be balancing his time between the two schools once the school year starts in late August.
“First of all, I think Kristin (Allen) is doing an awesome job out in Maybell, so I’m looking forward to working with her,” Frink said about the teacher. “But … I want to make sure I’m making it out to Maybell at least one or twice a week this first month or so.
“Not because Kristin needs the support, but because I want to meet the kids, the families out there and be an observer of the great work that’s being done there. That challenge already has been on the forefront of my mind.”
Despite some of the challenges Frink will face, he should be able to acclimate well to Moffat County with his family.
In Parachute, the Frinks are heavily involved in 4-H. With the move to Moffat County, the Frinks will be able to buy a property that will allow them to house baby cows and pigs, making his daughter happy.
Plus, having spent a number of years traveling to the northwest corner of the state for hunting season, Frink is familiar with the area and looks forward to settling in an area a friend called “God’s country.”
“It really is beautiful up here,” Frink said. “It’s breathtaking, honestly. We’re really looking forward to settling down here. We’ve met some great people in the short time we’ve been here, and it just seems like an awesome place.
“We haven’t moved our family in 14 years, so hopefully we can say the same thing in another 14 years.”
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