FORT BENTON — After eight years of serving as superintendent for Fort Benton Public Schools, Jory Thompson will be stepping down. Thompson, who also serves as the principal of Fort Benton High School, is looking forward to pursuing other opportunities.
Thompson said, "It's been an amazing 12-year run here in Fort Benton, eight years as a superintendent. This is my eighth year; I've got 26 years in education, and I want to see what else is out there and what else I can do.”
Thompson's announcement was a surprise to many staff and students.
Middle/High School Special Ed teacher Megan Lords said, "It was kind of a surprise. We were all a little bit taken aback by it, just because he's been here for a while and he kind of is the backbone of Fort Benton. So, it was it was a shock, and it was kind of hard to get your head wrapped around it."
Student Cade Ball said, "I was honestly sad when I heard about him stepping down. He's been a big part of my life. My first year in kindergarten, he was the first-year principal, and I was nervous to get to know him, but I got to know him throughout the year, and he's a great guy. I've been able to trust him all along."
Thompson noted his passion in serving students and staff, describing it as a unique and enjoyable experience.
“It's been fantastic," he said. "Fort Benton’s an amazing school system. We have great staff, great people. The students have been fantastic with incredible parents, supportive parents and a supportive community.He also noted the school's reputation for having some of the most dedicated students, reflected by their recent national award they received for earning the highest standardized test scores in the nation, along with high student participation numbers."
He says his greatest accomplishment is related to school pride:"I think we've had a considerable amount of success in academics and extracurricular activities in my twelve years here in Fort Benton. We have won three academic awards, 'Nationally Distinguished Blue Ribbon School, and ESEA Nationally Distinguished School. We have been on top of Montana elementary test scores for years."
He added, "Extracurricular wise, we have increased our numbers of participation up to 90 percent with our students, which is fantastic. We want our students engaged academically and extracurricular, and we I think we've done that. We've done a really good job of that."
Thompson emphasized the role that school pride has played in the school's success over the years. He also noted student and staff dedication in and outside of the classroom.
As for Thompson's next steps, he's not yet sure. He said he is currently looking forward to his remaining six months serving staff and students.
“It's been fantastic," he said. "Fort Benton’s an amazing school system. We have great staff, great people. The students have been fantastic with incredible parents, supportive parents, and a supportive community."
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