By Michael Howell
Duby Santee is retiring after serving five years as Superintendent of the Hamilton School District.
Santee didn’t start out as a teacher or an administrator. His first job was in the financial division of Borg Warner, a carburetor manufacturer in Chicago. Santee worked on financing inventories for new businesses. In 1978 he was ahead of his time in that he worked on a computer in Idaho Falls for a company in Chicago doing business all over the country.
When it came down to having to transfer to Salt Lake City or Denver, however, he decided to change careers instead and went back to school. He then spent three years teaching fifth grade in Idaho Falls.
Santee came to the Bitterroot Valley in 1990 from a job as administrator of a small school outside of Whitefish, Montana. He worked for nine years at Grantsdale School and then eight years at Washington School. He worked as district curriculum coordinator, federal programs director and grant writer.
Santee’s financial background has served him well in the field of education/administration. He is proud of maintaining the school district’s educational quality through some trying economic times. He was successful in getting some grants for much needed facility improvements. He was instrumental in pulling down a grant of $750,000 from the Governor’s Legacy Program for updating the air filtration system at Washington School. Santee also oversaw the development of a full day kindergarten program and the addition of three rooms with a three-year pay-off by careful budgeting.
“I’ve really enjoyed Hamilton,” said Santee. “I’m grateful to have gotten a job here and to be able to live here all these years.”
Santee said he and his wife don’t plan on leaving the valley.
“There’s a lot in the Bitterroot Valley that we haven’t had a chance to take advantage of and we are looking forward to it,” he said.
June 29 will be his last day on the job.