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RBC — One school administrator has come back home, while another has moved on.
But he didn’t move far. Just the other end of the county.
Dwayne Newman, former Meeker High School principal, went from the east part of the the county to the western end, where he is the new superintendent for the Rangely School District and middle school principal.
“We may be rivals, but we share a county and face many of the same issues as a regional community,” Newman said. “The people know this, and, generally, underlying the bragging rights facade, there is a sense of mutual respect and support.”
Jim Hanks returned to his hometown to become principal at Barone Middle School in Meeker, where he once was a student.
“I have always loved Meeker,” he said. “Living in Meeker has always been in the back of my mind, and having the privilege of being the principal of Barone Middle School has always been something of a dream.”
That dream came true.
Hanks was an eighth-grader during Sam Barone’s last year as a principal at the school that now bears his name.
“What a great man to name the school for,” Hanks said. “His leadership and kindness really helped shape this school. It is an honor to be a part of Barone Middle School on Bob Tucker Lane (named for a former teacher and coach.)”
Newman is excited about his new role and his new community.
“The decision to leave was very hard,” he said. “We really like the area, and the people of Meeker. … Ultimately, it came down to what I felt was the right decision for my family, for me personally, and for my career.”
The transition has been a smooth one, Newman said.
“I had worked with a number of the Rangely staff,” he said. “So really it didn’t feel strange at all. It was much more comfortable than if I’d have taken a job in a district where I knew none of the staff.”
For Hanks, who was principal of a K-12 school in Gateway for the past three years, returning to Meeker was like coming home. It’s a place where important events in the life of his family have taken place. His father was born here. He and his wife, Paulette, were married here. His boys were baptized here. His mom still lives here.
“Through the years, we have had many memorable experiences in the White River Valley,” Hanks said. “My family and I are really excited to be in Meeker.”
While Newman liked being a high school principal, he was ready for a new challenge.
“I enjoyed being a principal, and with the experiences and training over the last five years, I found myself ready to take the next step,” he said. “The reception in Rangely has been wonderful. I’ve met many of the community leaders, and they are all very supportive of the schools, and really want kids here to have the best possible education.”