Florence teacher Scott Stiegler has been selected as the superintendent with principal duties at Lone Rock School.
Stiegler has been in education for 18 years. He taught one year in Idaho then 17 years at Florence as a sixth grade teacher and wrestling coach. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from the University of Montana and, in 2016, received a Masters in Education Leadership from Rocky Mountain College.
“The hiring process that Lone Rock School followed was very positive,” Stiegler said. “I was able to meet the staff. They interviewed me and then shared their thoughts with interview committee.”
Stiegler said he did meet some parents of Lone Rock students during the process and knew others from the Little Guy wrestling program.
Stiegler said one challenge that Lone Rock is facing is declining enrollment and reduced funding, like many other school districts in the valley.
“You’re always dealing with school funding and the formula Montana uses to fund schools,” Stiegler said. “It depends on the legislature and the political sway. Some years the schools benefit from that and some years finances are a struggle.”
Stiegler said Lone Rock benefits from a supportive and positive community.
“I have a good vantage point,” he said. “They have been our neighbors and I’ve been able to look over the fence and am aware of how things are going over there. There students are very academically successful. It shows with their graduation rates and class ranks when they go to high school.”
Some of the Lone Rock students, a school for K-8 students, attend high school in Stevensville or Florence.
“I have had the pleasure of getting to know many Lone Rock students that have come to Florence.” Stiegler said. “They stand out in a good way.”
Lone Rock school board vice chair Paula Short said the school had excellent candidates for the superintendent position.
“Scott emerged as a leader with passion, energy and a genuine commitment to building the team at Lone Rock,” Short said. “As a parent, a Lone Rock trustee and a member of the Lone Rock community, I’m excited to work with Scott and ready to support him in taking our school forward in new and exciting ways.”
Stiegler said he is excited for the new position and opportunity.
“I’m honored that the community at Lone Rock has selected me to do this,” Stiegler said. “I have lived in Florence since 2001 and my children are deeply woven in to the culture at Florence school and I like where they are at. I don’t feel I need to look too far for that perfect job, I think it is right here.”