OUR SUPERINTENDENT — Craig Barringer warms up his seat in his new office as he prepares for the school year and his latest position in the school district. I-O Photo by Deanna Wakkinen
By Deanna Wakkinen, I-O Reporter
Our new superintendent takes the reigns as the school year begins. Craig Barringer is no stranger to our school system in Conrad and has been a principal here since 1998.
Barringer is Montana born and raised and graduated from high school in the town of Darby. He went on to graduate from Western Montana College in 1986 with a degree in Elementary Education. Barringer taught the third grade for five years in Fort Benton and was their head wrestling coach for the high school during that time.
In 1991, Barringer moved to Cut Bank and taught sixth through eigth grade Title One and ninth grade Title One English. He was also their head wrestling coach for five years and assisted on their football team for seven years. During his time in Cut Bank, he obtained his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership through the University of Montana.
Barringer and his family moved to Conrad in 1998. He was the Elementary Principal for five years before Prairie View School was closed and after that he switched to being the principal for K-8. When PVS was re-opened in 2008, he continued to be the principal for Meadowlark School and Utterback Middle School. Barringer has also been an assistant wrestling coach in Conrad for six years.
During this summer, Barringer completed his Superintendent’s Endorsement through the University of Montana.
The biggest change over the past 25 years Barringer has been in education would be all of the mandated testing from the federal government. Testing, Barringer comments, is one part of education, unfortunately, he adds, that is the only part the federal government looks at.
Barringer feels that mandated testing is going in a direction with more realistic expectations and feels that testing has helped schools change the way they see education as well. He continued to comment by saying that the federal government has, however, lost some of the bigger picture of education.
Other challenges and changes in education include the family dynamic and meeting all the needs of students and their families.
Barringer’s goals for this school year include better communication between students, parents, teacher and administrators. He also hopes that the community will be able to see more positive results from students and the schools. He comments, “We’ve got great kids and an outstanding staff.” He hopes to show this to everybody.