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Kalispell Public Schools administrators set to take on new roles

by HILARY MATHESON
Daily Inter Lake | May 10, 2024 12:00 AM

Kalispell Public Schools will see a shift at the administrator level beginning next school year. 

The board of trustees have approved hiring current staff for positions including K-8 assistant superintendent, Kalispell Middle School principal, Flathead High School activities director and work-based learning director.

Sara Cole has been hired as the new K-8 district assistant superintendent at a $131,749 salary. She replaces Matt Jensen who recently took over the superintendent position. Cole will finish out the school year in her current position as the district’s director of special services, a position she’s held since 2017. She’s worked in education since 2001 as a special education supervisor, special education teacher, literacy teacher and preschool teacher. 

Cole holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and special education from the University of Colorado and a Master of Education degree in organizational leadership from Cleveland State University. 

The district received 10 applications for the assistant superintendent position and selected three candidates to interview. An 11-member search committee was involved in the process.

“I’m excited to embark on this new journey,” Cole said. “I’m proud of the work we’re doing. We have an awesome K-8 administrative team and a really skilled, kind group of educators.”

Starting her new position, Cole is looking forward to building relationships with K-8 staff she hasn’t yet worked with while expanding connections to the community and families.

“And start focusing on deeper implementation of our current strategic plan, goals and objectives,” she said.

At Kalispell Middle School, Dallas Stuker has been promoted from assistant principal to principal at a $118,897 salary. Stuker has served as assistant principal at the middle school since 2008. He has also held positions as dean of students/activities director, high school math teacher and coach. 

“I like working with the middle school-aged students; it’s very fun and rewarding. It’s a time where students are really figuring out who they are and who they want to become and there are mentorship opportunities there,” Stuker said.

Stuker holds a Bachelor of Science in mathematics and physical education from the University of Mary and a master’s of educational leadership degree from the University of Montana.

Stuker succeeds Tryg Johnson who retires at the end of the school year.

A 14-member search committee screened 16 applicants and selected four candidates to interview, according to the district. 

“I’m looking forward to continuing to work with students and the great staff here at the middle school,” Stuker said. 

He also noted a focus on implementing the district’s strategic plan, which encompasses areas such as culture and creating a diverse learning environment and safety.

“We have a really great school but we don’t want to stand pat on where we’re at and make it better if we can,” he said.

At Flathead High School, Matt Allison replaces current Assistant Principal and Activities Director Bryce Wilson. Wilson has been named the new work-based learning director and will join administrative staff at the district’s central office. 

Allison is currently an assistant principal at Flathead, a position he’s held for three years. 

Allison has a Bachelor of Science degree from Idaho State University and a master’s in educational leadership degree from the University of Idaho. He is pursuing a Doctor of Education degree in educational leadership from Montana State University. The lateral move will not have financial implications for the district regarding salary.

A nine-member search committee screened 13 applications and chose three candidates to interview for the assistant principal and activities director position. 

Reporter Hilary Matheson may be reached at 758-4431 or hmatheson@dailyinterlake.com.