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Board hires principal, activities director

Stephen Kalb-Koenigsfeld, Pioneer Editor

The Sweet Grass County High School board of trustees had its hands full between principal negotiations and hiring a new activities director — among a slew of other topics — at last week’s board meetings.

The board unanimously approved the hiring of Eric Gustafson as high school principal, and SGHS band director Barry Snodgrass as the new activities director, during two special meetings that preceded the scheduled board meeting on May 8.

Gustafson, 57, from Geraldine, worked with the negotiations board throughout the week, finding the appropriate salary and benefits before accepting late in the week. Gustafson has prior experience at Absorkee and Belgrade as both a principal and activities director. Currently, Gustafson is the superintendent and principal at Geraldine. 

Snodgrass interviewed for the activities director position during the May 3 special meeting. He was one of two candidates, and after a lengthy discussion with public feedback, the board unanimously voted to offer him the position, which he accepted. 

“If we can get more kids involved in more experiences, in the four years we have them here, that’s why we’re here,” said board member Jim Niebur. “Having someone every single day, that has influence and a pulse on the kids, there isn’t any replacement for that.”

One the notable talking points in Snodgrass’s interview was a vision for each activity — from football to speech and debate — to have their own budgets, rather than everyone taking from one large pool of dollars. 

The activities director position does come with a $6,500 per year stipend.

At the special meeting on May 3, the board also voted to waive the regulation of notifying the board for retirement for teachers Sheri and Dan Campbell. The regulation stated all retirements must be made to the board before March 1.

The Campbells recently received offers in Idaho Falls to teach and will be moving closer to their family. They will finish out the school year and the golf season, as they are the two coaches for the boys’ and girls’ golf teams.