Big Sky Roundup

Missoula County Public Schools: Superintendent Rob Watson to resign, take helm of School Administrators of Montana

By: - February 19, 2022 9:19 am

Missoula County Public Schools Superintendent Rob Watson announced Friday that he is leaving his position with the district effective June 30 to lead the School Administrators of Montana, according to a news release from MCPS.

“It is with mixed emotions that I share this decision with you today,” Watson told District education leaders Friday morning; MCPS provided his statement in the news release. “My time with MCPS, including my former time as a principal, has been some of the most rewarding of my 29 years in public education. I will leave with many happy memories and proud to have served with each of you.”

Watson will serve as the new executive director of the School Administrators of Montana (SAM), an organization that has a 50-year history of advocating for public education in Montana, the news release said. Serving more than 1,000 active members, SAM represents superintendents, principals, special education directors, educational technologists, county superintendents and others.

“I am thankful for this opportunity as I will be able to represent public educators across our great state,” Watson said in a statement.

He continued: “While I have learned many important lessons during this pandemic, my most treasured memory will be how we all worked together to keep our kids learning. I have witnessed an incredible amount of empathy, compassion and grace. I am excited to carry these memories to the various decision-making venues in our state and remind everyone of the power of public education to change the lives of our students.”

Watson was selected for the MCPS position by the Board of Trustees in April 2019 and served for three years. For the seven years prior, he served as the superintendent of Bozeman Public Schools.

Watson has a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Montana State University, a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Alaska, and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Montana, MCPS said.

In 2015, Watson was in the inaugural group, joining 27 fellow superintendents from around the country, to achieve National Superintendent Certification, according to the news release; in 2016, he was honored by the School Administrators of Montana with the GV Erickson Award, the highest recognition given to a school administrator for notable service and dedication. In 2019, Watson was named Montana’s Superintendent of the Year.

“I am looking forward to wrapping up a great school year and establishing our plans for next year,” he concluded. “Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your superintendent.”

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