Williams accepts superintendent job

RANGELY – The second time around, Rangely’s School Board got its man.
After declining the initial job offer, Barry Williams, principal of an elementary school in western Virginia has accepted an offer to become superintendent for the Rangely School District, replacing Dwayne Newman, who resigned in January.

Dr. Barry Williams
Dr. Barry Williams
Williams’ start date is July 1.
“I’m really excited,” said Williams, who will turn 47 on May 12.
Williams, who has a doctorate degree, was one of three finalists for the superintendent’s job. He and the other candidates were brought in for interviews during the weekend of April 3 and 4.
Williams liked what he saw.
“My wife and I were amazed, with the mountains, the scenic view,” he said.
And the remoteness of far northwest Colorado wasn’t an issue.
“I’m as rural as rural can be,” said Williams, who grew up in Appalachia, Va., which he added was “pretty much the mirror image of Rangely.”
However, everything happened so fast, he said of the job offer, that he wasn’t sure, at first, about making the move.
“The turnaround time was so fast,” Williams said Monday during a phone interview. “I didn’t have the time to get everything squared away. But with a little more time to assess the situation, things got settled, so now I’m ready to move forward. I’m excited. I can’t wait to get started.”
Rangely’s School Board is excited as well to have Williams become the district’s new superintendent.
“He is very passionate about education,” said Matt Scoggins, school board president. “That was … from our conversations with him and the interview what stood out. He’s not in it for a job, but he’s in it for the kids. That was important to us.”
Scoggins was pleased Williams reconsidered the offer and accepted the position.
“They loved Rangely,” Scoggins said of the Williams’ visit to the area. “I don’t think he ever wanted to say no. His wife really reopened the door. We’re really happy they made the joint decision. They’re both on board.
Williams’ wife, Alice, a former math teacher and administrator, is currently the human resources director for the school district in Wise County, Va., where her husband is a principal. They don’t have children.
“We’ve got three cats,” Williams said.
Asked what his wife would do in Rangely, Williams said, “She’s keeping her options open. There are certain positions she’s looking at. The college is appealing, if they were hiring.”
For the past two years, Williams has been principal at an elementary school in Coeburn, Va., with an enrollment of more than 540 students, kindergarten through fourth grade, in addition to nearly 50 preschoolers.
“I’m at a school district where it’s anywhere from 60 to 70 percent reduced lunch (students),” Williams said. “It’s in a low socioeconomic area. Some of these parents aren’t even at the bus stop to pick up their kids. It’s a huge transient population. There are kids living with foster parents. I call social services it seems like weekly, but, you know, the school does well.
“When I got here, (test) scores were low and morale was low, but now scores are shooting through the roof and morale is doing well. That’s what’s important. That’s what it’s all about. You can have disagreements or controversies, but if you keep the best interests of the kids at heart, you’ll have an effective school.”
Scoggins said the board was impressed with Williams’ leadership skills.
“He gets down in the trenches and works with the staff and makes sure he knows what’s going on,” Scoggins said. “He gets people to buy in, versus telling them what to do.”
Williams described his leadership style as participatory.
“Coming out to a new place, I don’t think you can come in and just change things all at once,” he said of what his approach will be when he takes over as superintendent in Rangely. “You have to sit back and assess. You come in and watch and learn. But you’ve got to be visible and you’ve got to lead by example. You’ve got to hustle. That’s the way I was raised. You’ve got to get your hands dirty and do a job.”

1 Comment

  1. Well , Colorado can have him. If he is so in it for the kids and not the job then someone explain why he would talk about this area in the negative instead of accentuating the positives. Does he belive there are no fostered children in Colorado? Does he believe that every parent will meet their children at the bus there?Can he possibly be that naive? Instead of talking about our low socioeconomic area he could have talked about the rich history of the area and how in the face of adversity these children and there parents work for a better tomorrow, and is it his money paying for the children to have lunch, someone explain what bearing that would have on a job interview, One more point: it is not Dr. Williams in the class room bringing up the test scores it is the dedicated teachers and hard working students. There is so much to be said on this subject but the cold hard truth is most of you who will read this already know where Dr. Williams stands in our society -at the bottom of our low socioeconomic ladder.

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