As graduating seniors bid farewell to Carson High School this morning, principal Ron Beck will join them. After serving at the helm of the school for the last six years, Beck announced Thursday this year was his last.
“After 36 years, I think it’s time to retire,” he said. “I’ve had a full career and tremendously enjoyable past six years.”
Beck has a long history in education, including principal of Pershing County High School and working for the Nevada Department of Education and as grants coordinator for the Carson City School District.
Superintendent Richard Stokes said Beck will be missed.
“He was very personable with students,” Stokes said. “He was the kind of guy that was proactive in working with teachers and helping them within their individual departments.”
Stokes said the search is underway for a replacement, with advertisements on the district website and in a national education journal.
“We are looking in earnest,” he said. “It’s a big job. You have about 2,100 students and about 106 employees. There are a lot of moving parts with programs and curriculum and general operations. It’s definitely a tough job.”
The responsibilities have evolved over the years, Stokes said, to include directives from the community’s strategic plan and new initiatives put in place through the Race to the Top federal grant.
“We will need to hire someone who’s willing to be flexible and is good at problem solving with the interest and enthusiasm to make sure the students’ best interests are looked after,” Stokes said.
He said one of the main tasks of the new principal will be to increase graduation rates, with an emphasis on getting freshmen off to the right start.
“If any student gets behind on academic progress, it’s that much harder to graduate,” he said. “Making sure all of our freshmen students complete their first year of high school with all their credits will be our highest priority.”
Stokes said Beck set a good precedent.
“We thank Mr. Beck for his service to the district,” Stokes said. “We wish him the very best in his retirement.”