As a young man, Todd Hess attended a K-12 school in Virginia City, and this August he returns to that same building, now Virginia City Middle School, as its principal.
"It's a great old school," he said. "It's always good to get back to your old building and continue to develop its tradition of pride."
Hess is leaving Virginia City High School, where he was principal for four years and an advocate for the high school's popular intersession classes between the fall and spring semesters.
He wants to put that same intersession into place at the middle school, which is the home to a student body of approximately 120 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders.
"My first goal is just to go in there and listen to the staff because they're already so solid," he said. "The first thing I'm going to press for after that is intersession."
Hess taught previously at the school for one year and was technically on record as principal of both the high school and middle school.
"I think the world of both (VCHS and VCMS) staffs," he said. "The middle school staff is a very independent, hard-working, creative staff that I think would be a joy to work with just as the VCHS staff was to work with. I very much look forward to working with those people for the betterment of students in Storey County."
The middle school formerly had what was called a lead teacher in Barbara Bush, who retired this past year. Feedback from students and parents led to the decision to put in a permanent principal, a spot not filled in the past three years.
"Storey County is in a tough spot," Hess said. "When you do have an administrator in every building, then people said that you're top heavy, but when you don't have an administrator in every building, you're always open to criticism. That's part of our own unique geography that dictates that."
Hess also hopes to pursue grants from large businesses in the northern part of Storey County to help develop more extracurricular and after-school activities at the school, but his overall goals are to get what's working well, working even better.
"I'm not going to go there and change a bunch of things," Hess said. "I'm going there to enhance what they've done so well."
The position for principal of Virginia City High School is open for applications until July 8. Nearly a dozen have already been turned in.
"We have a committed team of teachers, parents, board members and classified employees who will be reviewing applications," said Storey County School District Superintendent Dr. Robert Slaby. "The interviews will be the following week."
Slaby plans to introduce the candidate at the July 21 school board meeting.
"Probably four to five (of the applicants) will be interviewed," he said. "So far, they're all in-state, mostly from Northern Nevada."
-- Contact reporter Maggie O'Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1219.
What: Hiring for a new principal at Virginia City High School
When: Applications being taken through Friday
Decision: Likely before the school board at its July 21 meeting
information: Call the school district at 847-0983