Lords accepts principal’s job in Battle Mountain

Winnemucca native leaves Fallon after spending 17 years with CCSD

Kevin Lords, who oversees a number of programs for the Churchill County School District, has accepted a position in Lander County.

Kevin Lords, who oversees a number of programs for the Churchill County School District, has accepted a position in Lander County.

After 17 years of living in Fallon and working with the Churchill County School District, Kevin Lords couldn’t pass up the opportunity to return home … sort of.
Lords, who grew up in Winnemucca and taught in Elko, will become principal at Battle Mountain High School for the 2022-23 school year. Prior to arriving in Fallon in 2005, Lords spent time in northeastern Nevada as dean of students at Elko High School.
Retired Churchill County Middle School (then the junior high school) Principal Judy Pratt hired Lords to be her vice principal; and two years later, he became principal after Pratt retired.
“I wanted to stay in a small community,” Lords said when applying for principal openings. “I have always loved Fallon. There are good people here, and I competed here when I was in high school.”
After spending two years at CCMS, Lords became principal of Churchill County High School, a position he held for nine years before accepting the director of Human Resources. With COVID and personnel shortages, Lords assumed a greater role during the past two years. In addition to human resources, he was assigned to oversee transportation, maintenance, custodial and business.
“It’s been a learning curve for sure,” he said, adding with the additional responsibilities, the job became more difficult and the hours longer.
When Lords recently attended a recruiting fair, Lander County had a booth next to the Churchill County School District’s table. Lords inquired about one of the administrative openings at the middle school. After he interviewed, Lords received a call informing him the principal’s position also opened. The superintendent asked the Winnemucca native if he would switch.
Lords said when he lived in Winnemucca and competed in athletics, the team would play the area teams such as Battle Mountain.
“I’m excited to be in a smaller school,” Lords said, adding the enrollment at Battle Mountain has been hovering around 300 students or lower in grades 9-12.
The feel of a small school and community will remain with Lords. Like the students in Fallon, he said their counterparts in Battle Mountain take pride in their schools and wear the team sweatshirts with pride
“That’s why I like rural Nevada,” said Lords, who considers himself a son of rural Nevada.
Lords then shared a memory from earlier in his career.
“I took my young kids to a game when I was at the high school,” he recalled. “The staff gave my kids little Greenwave sweatshirts.”
Lords, like other administrators before him, also brought his children to other events.
Stepping into the district office positions has taken Lords away from a majority of the students and their families. By returning to an administration role at the school level, Lords said he will be able to work more with the student, teachers and the parents.
During the years Lords spent as a principal at CCHS, the enrollment ranged from the upper 900s to 1,300 students. While the enrollment at Battle Mountain has remained constant, Lords said finding teachers to fill vacancies will be as challenging as finding educators for Fallon. Instead of more aspiring teachers looking for teaching jobs, the roles have reversed.
“Now, we have 25 students looking at 60 schools,” Lords pointed out. “It’s definitely changing now in education.”
Those changes have been more pronounced over the years. When Lords became the director of Human Resources for Churchill County, finding employees to fill all positions became a challenge, especially with the younger applicants.
“The younger generations change jobs much more,” Lords said.
Lords, though, said many new hires in Churchill County have a tie-in to the area whether it would be a relative or friend.
Another factor affecting the dwindling teacher pool is numbers.
“The kids are not going into education,” Lords said.
One of the complaints he heard often was the low pay offered for a beginning teacher. Another factor facing the school districts is relocation. He said teachers are accepting a position in one of the rural counties, but when the opportunity arises, they head to Reno or possibly Carson City.
During his years in Fallon, Lords said education is facing many challenges. With the explosion of jobs in the West, he said more students are requiring CTE (career and technical education) classes to meet the demands.
“Keeping the CTE classes is a big thing here,” Lords said.
Lord will still maintain ties to Fallon. His twin sons will be seniors in the fall, and his wife Amy, whom he met when they were students at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, will remain as a substitute teacher with the school district. Kevin Lords said he will be commuting to Fallon on the weekends. Leaving Fallon is bittersweet for Kevin Lords. One son is in band, and his sons have competed in tennis, basketball and golf. One son, Nathan, graduated earlier this month.
“I will mainly miss the people,” he said. “There were a lot of great people I worked with.”
Lords, though, will still have the opportunity to see a Greenwave football game depending on Battle Mountain’s schedule. Since he was the CCHS principal, Lords and Amy positioned their metal chairs on the track across from the north goal post. He said current CCHS principal Tim Spencer assured Kevin and Amy Lords they could still watch a game from their favorite perch.
“I would still like to have my seat,” Kevin Lords said, grinning.

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