Hansen recommended as new Bigfork High principal

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The coming school year will bring leadership changes in Bigfork School District, including a new high school principal.

Mark Hansen, the assistant principal at Bigfork Elementary and Middle School and district curriculum director, will be recommended to become the high school principal on an interim basis for the 2018-19 school year. Hansen was an interview committee’s second choice for the position following interviews.

The committee initially made a unanimous decision to recommend hiring Tabatha Venezio as the new high school principal. Venezio, a fourth-grade teacher at Bigfork Middle and Elementary School, ultimately declined the position citing personal reasons, according to Bigfork High School Superintendent Matt Jensen.

Jensen said Hansen was then selected to fill the position as an interim principal for 2018–2019 and he would be recommending him for hire during the July 25 Board of Trustees meeting.

Hansen and Venezio were among four candidates interviewed for the position. Other candidates considered for the position included: Cody Reutzel, assistant principal at Stansbury High School in Utah; and Dana Quenzer, principal at Roundup Junior and Senior High School.

“Mr. Hansen is well known in our community for his longevity and diversity of service,” Jensen wrote in email. “For over 30 years, Mark has been active in Bigfork schools as a parent, coach, event coordinator, teacher and volunteer. Additionally, his recent administrative internship with Bigfork High School has familiarized him with the current realities and goals within the building. Mr. Hansen is well respected by colleagues, student, parents and administration.”

Hansen earned his bachelors degree in education from the University of Great Falls in 2011 and master’s in educational leadership from Rocky Mountain College in 2018.

“I have observed him to be of strong personal character and totally dedicated to the betterment of Bigfork Schools. Mark will be a great addition to our administrative team and has my full support,” Jensen wrote.

Earlier this spring, Hansen was selected to fill the position of K-8 assistant principal and K-12 curriculum director. Those responsibilities will now be shared with the current administrative staff.

Jensen said the administrative staff will include Brenda Clarke serving as the elementary/middle school principal; Alan Robbins as the middle school assistant principal and middle school math teacher; Matt Porrovecchio as the middle school and high school activities director and district special education director; and Hansen as the high school interim principal.

“Alan Robbins is a man of great character and I’m glad he’s still part of our administrative team,” Jensen said.

During the 2017-18 school year, Hansen had served as a principal and curriculum director intern.

Last spring, Porrovecchio took on athletic director responsibilities, replacing Dave Creamer, who resigned. Porrovecchio will also continue on as the district special education director.

“This is what we believe is the best way to organize our administrative staff right now,” Jensen said. “I think it’s important in any school of any size to be efficient with administration team.”

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

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