SSHS principal and MCPS superintendent to retire


December 6, 2018

MISSOULA - Seeley-Swan High School Principal Dr. Kathleen Pecora and Missoula County Public Schools Superintendent Mark Thane will both retire June 30, 2019.

Pecora retires after a nine-year career as the SSHS principal. She joined the MCPS team after working as an Assistant Superintendent in Marysville, Mich.

"I identify with our seniors who are now worrying about what they’re going to do next year," wrote Pecora in an email. "I guess I feel that I’m graduating, rather than retiring. It's an ending of one part of my life but it is also a new beginning. Being at Seeley-Swan High School has been a wonderful way to bring closure to my career."

Thane said in a press release he is thankful for Pecora’s service and leadership and wishes her well as she enters retirement.

Regarding his own retirement, Thane released the following statement to the MCPS staff, “Although it may seem early in the school year to make public my intentions, I felt it important to afford the board sufficient time to determine the process they will employ to fill the position.

I began my career in the district during the 1980-81 school year. I certainly could not have imagined then where these thirty-nine years would take me both personally and professionally. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to serve with amazing colleagues – certified, classified and administrative – who challenged me and mentored me along the way. In my career I have also been incredibly fortunate to work with hundreds of students and their families; those experiences have been a source of great joy and satisfaction. The confidence and support I have enjoyed from the Board of Trustees during my tenure as superintendent is also greatly appreciated.

As a Missoula native and a product of our schools, I take a great deal of pride in all that MCPS is today. This community is served by great schools and high-performing staff. I believe in the collective capacity of MCPS staff to provide each student with a high-quality education founded in high standards and effective practice. The investment the Missoula community has made in its schools is paying dividends for the students we serve.

I am thankful for the opportunities I have been afforded during my career, and I commit to continuing the important work which remains to be done. I look forward to a successful transition.”

MCPS Board Chair Marcia Holland also released a statement, “I speak on behalf of all trustees in saying that it has been a privilege to work with Mark as our superintendent. Mark has brought significant personal commitment and professionalism as superintendent to make sure that every student in MCPS succeeds.

His 39 years of experience in the district have allowed him to understand and navigate the complexity of the district, culminating in his stewardship as superintendent over the passage of the 2015 bonds and the implementation of the school projects funded by the bonds.

Mark is everything a superintendent should be: a thoughtful listener, a capable leader and a tireless advocate for public education. He was truly deserving of being awarded the Western Montana Superintendent of the Year Award in 2018. We look forward to making the remainder of Mark’s term as superintendent a great year.”


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