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New CCDHS principal named
After a month-long search that featured 12 applicants and three qualified finalists, the Miles City Unified School District has found its new principal for Custer County District High School.
Larry Lucero, currently the principal at Broadwater High School in Townsend, has been offered and accepted the CCDHS position. Barring an issue with contract negotiations, Lucero will officially begin work at the high school on August 11.
“Last Tuesday we conducted interviews of the finalists with the board, followed by a tour of the high school,” said Superintendent Keith Campbell. “After that, I met with each candidate for about an hour apiece. Then the board went into deliberation, and made a unanimous decision to recommend Mr. Lucero.”
A screening committee was assembled shortly after the resignation of Jamie Ogolin, comprised of Unified Board of Trustees members, teachers, administrators and a community member. After reviewing each of the 12 applications received, the committee narrowed the list of finalists to four; one finalist declined the opportunity to be interviewed. The three finalists were Lincoln School Principal John Gorton; Lewis Reece, formerly the principal at Rocky Boy High School in Box Elder; and Lucero. Campbell said the committee was impressed with the quality of the three finalists, with Lucero exhibiting what the board was looking for in an administrator.
“Mr. Lucero has a very dynamic personality, and is motivated to come in and work with the other administrators, faculty and staff at learning, and came across as a leader they all wanted to work with,” he said. “He’s a people person, and wants to build relationships. He came across as energetic, but humble, and we were very impressed. He doesn’t have a ton of experience, but we think he has the right kind of experience to lead CCDHS going forward.”
With his many years working in the MCUSD, Gorton may have seemed to be a logical choice for the position. Campbell said Gorton was more than qualified, but the board preferred to keep him at Lincoln.
“The board feels that Mr. Gorton has done a very good job at Lincoln, and will continue to do so,” Campbell explained. “They don’t want to disrupt that, especially when the school is still in that transition stage with the Lincoln project and bringing the third-graders in. The board felt he was the right person to stay in that current position.”
Though Lucero’s contract is not yet finalized, Campbell said he doesn’t foresee a problem with the board creating a package the new principal will accept.
“In my mind, I don’t have any question that Mr. Lucero will be leading CCDHS next year,” he said. “Whatever contract the board comes up with will be fair and something all parties will be happy with. We’re looking forward to having him and his family in the community.”
Lucero is married with a young daughter, and his wife has been offered a position as a third-grade teacher in the district.