Darby Super Rennaker

Loyd Rennaker (center) received the “Western Montana Superintendent of the Year for 2015-2016” last May for his dedicated service to the students, staff and community of Darby.

MICHELLE MCCONNAHA michelle.mcconnaha@ravallirepublic.com

Darby Superintendent Loyd Rennaker will retire from Darby School District after 24 years of service in various roles at the school.

“I definitely have mixed emotions about retiring at this point,” Rennaker said. “Without a doubt, I am going to miss the students the most.”

The superintendent also has been the high school math and science teacher, high school principal, elementary principal, athletic director, and football and basketball coach.

“The Darby School District has been very good to me and my family,” Rennaker said. “We definitely have some exciting changes happening, but I am confident the team at Darby schools will continue this momentum. We have always tried to make decisions in the best interest of our students.”

Rennaker said he is excited for the opportunity to work on his family ranch and cattle buying business.

“I really enjoy the great people we get to do business with,” he said.

He also thanks the community for their support of Darby Schools throughout the years.

Darby District Clerk Lisa Poe said will be hard to fill Rennaker's shoes. 

“He has been a rock solid pillar of our school district and our community,” Poe said. “We've been lucky to have a leader who was so innovative and passionate about the education of our students and he will be greatly missed.” 

Kate Duggan, Darby School Board member for eight years, said hiring local was successful.

“It’s interesting because when we hired him as superintendent a few years back, we really wanted to look at getting somebody with roots in the district and it really paid off for us,” Duggan said. “He was a Darby graduate and very connected in the community. He started out as a teacher and filled every role we’ve asked him to fill.”

Duggan said Rennaker had done a great job to create a vision for the school.

“He has done a fabulous job of working with the board to create a strategic vision that we want to continue to advance with the next superintendent,” she said. “He was instrumental in the accreditation, the programming, and the personalized learning and that’s the trajectory we hope to continue with.”

The Darby School Board has posted the position with the Montana School Board Association - the application deadline is March 2 and they hope to have a candidate selected by late March or early April.

“We are trying to cast a wide net,” Duggan said. “We are trying not to overlook anything.”

Duggan said smaller K-12 Class C schools have to be resourceful and innovative, and the position will be part-time or full-time with other duties.

“This is definitely an exciting time, it is sad that one chapter is closing but another door is opening for us,” Duggan said. “We’re working hard to find the best person for this district. This is worth doing and worth doing well.”