Ron Beck always said that before he retired, he wanted to get back to working with students. After climbing through the ranks of administration - even working for a time for the Nevada Department of Education - he is making true on that promise to himself.
The former grants and Title 1 coordinator for the Carson City School District, Beck will this year take over as principal of Carson High School. He replaces Fred Perdomo, who retired at the end of last year after serving five years as principal and 35 years in the district.
"I'm very excited to get back with kids," he said. "This is the best high school in the state of Nevada."
Although he's new to the school, he's familiar with a lot of the staff there and in the district.
While he was principal of Pershing County High School in Lovelock from 1987-1997, Superintendent Richard Stokes was principal of Mineral County High School in Hawthorne.
The schools competed in the same league and the two administrators got to know one another. They later worked together in the district office.
"I've got a lot of confidence in his abilities," Stokes said of Beck. "He's an experienced high school principal. He's a get-it-done kind of guy.
"I know he'll be an advocate for students while being fiscally responsible and taking care of business."
Beck also met his vice principal Carl Henry 23 years ago when the two competed in softball. Beck still plays on some league teams and a tournament team.
Through his position as grants coordinator, he also met the other vice principal Pat Hoolihan and the deans.
"I have great support," he said. "That's the key to being successful, having good people, great teachers. When you do that, it's hard to go wrong."
He sees the major challenges ahead as being the size of the school - about 2,000 students - and budget cutbacks across the state.
The challenge also can be the opportunity, he said.
"Being a one-high-school town is not bad," he said. "You are the show. It makes a huge difference."
He said he plans to spend much of his time out of his office and in the classrooms. He also wants to get out in the community.
"We've got community support," he said. "I'd like to cultivate it a little more."
A former football, basketball and track coach, he said he'll definitely be seen at the games.
Beck already has some changes in store, including opening the school last week for registration rather than waiting until the first day of school.
He also rearranged the bell schedule. Rather than giving students 20 minutes for the mid-morning nutrition break, it will be cut to 10. As a result, the lunch break will be five minutes longer and school will get out five minutes earlier.
The decision was made, he said, as a safety precaution.
He presented the decision to students in the leadership class and said while they didn't necessarily support the idea, there was no major opposition.
Students waiting to register on Thursday didn't know what to expect from the new principal, but were anticipating changes.
Elizabeth Bennett, 15, will be a sophomore on Monday.
"People won't yell, 'go home, freshman,' at you now," she said.
As sophomores, they also had more liberty in choosing classes.
"It's going to be pretty fun," said Joseph McClure, 15. "I get to be in choir and drama."
Trevor Frazier, 15, was looking forward to the return of his favorite teacher, Brian Reedy, who missed the end of last school year because of a car accident.
Beck, who is married to retired Douglas County school administrator Susan Baldwin and father to five grown children, will be eligible to retire in three years.
He said he'll stay for five to provide "stability and continuity."
As issues arise, he said, he hopes parents and students will talk to him.
"My door is always open to anybody who wants to come in and chat with me."
• Contact reporter Teri Vance at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1272.
New Teachers in the Carson School District
Carson High School:
Breanna Bell - English
Randle Campbell - Science
Jennifer Chandler - Social Studies
Benjamin Contine - General Resource
Nicole Daniels - Computer Lit/Social Studies
Steven Dilley - Physical Education/Health
Cody Farnworth - Science
Nathan Girdner - Math
Timothy McCarthy - Counselor
Valentina Midboe - General Resource
Deborah Sheltra - General Resource
James Taplin - Severe & Profound
Wendy Tims - Severe & Profound
Hal Wilkins - Math
Carson Middle School:
Natalie Aglietti - Sixth-Grade English
Margaret Kersten - Sixth-Grade English
Marjorie Longero - Home Economics
Jeffrey Samson - Industrial Arts/Metal Shop
John Martin - Art
Eagle Valley Middle School:
Jennifer Coxon - Home Economics
Sharon Chung - Industrial Arts/Wood Shop
Bordewich-Bray Elementary School:
Lyndsay Evans - Second Grade
Cary Tenpenny - Fourth Grade
Susan Zernial - Librarian
Empire Elementary School:
Mark Bacon - SFA Coordinator
Michele Conger - Kindergarten
Patricia Province - Fourth Grade
Marlana Ramirez - Third Grade
Kimberlee Tangen - Pre-Kindergarten
Evelyn Williams - Fifth Grade
Fremont Elementary School:
Dorothy Draper - Counselor
Lisa Fricano - Fifth Grade
Pamela Shank - Kindergarten
Karen Twichell - Fifth Grade
Fritsch Elementary School:
Karen Hellman - First Grade
Gina Lampkin - Fourth Grade
Rhonda Menke - Reading
Mark Twain Elementary School:
Luana Olsen - Fifth Grade
Ashley Sullivan - Fifth Grade
Lissette Hammond - English as a Second Language
Pioneer High School/Opportunity School:
Ronald Rhoads - English
Student Support Services
Lorey Santos - Early Childhood
Taya Willden - Kindergarten
Alicia Page - Speech Therapist