By Michael Howell
Halfway through his first year as Superintendent of the Stevensville School District, David Whitesell underwent an evaluation by the Stevensville School Board last Tuesday, January 7. The result was that Whitesell was offered a three-year contract if he wants to continue working at the same job when his current contract expires at the end of the school year. Whitesell said that he intends to accept the offer, although the details of the contract have yet to be negotiated.
Whitesell graduated from Ronan High School in 1980. He worked for some time in New Mexico before returning to Montana to become school superintendent in Twin Bridges for eight years. After that he worked for another three years as superintendent in Polson before coming to work in Stevensville. He has a daughter who is a sophomore at Stevensville High School and plays basketball and volleyball.
Whitesell arrived at the Stevensville School District on the tail end of a huge building project. The buildings are in use but he is supervising the completion of the final punch list of items related to the project. More significantly, he arrived right after a downsizing of the administration and the conversion of the system from an Elementary, Junior High, High School model to a K-6 and 7-12 grade model. He said the district needs to develop a short term and long term plan for making the new model a success and assess whether it is meeting the students’ needs or not.
“I’ve basically just taken the opportunity in the first six months to keep my eyes and ears open and learn what I can,” said Whitesell. He said the community has been very receptive to him and he appreciates that.
“Stevensville is a great system with a lot of excellent educators,” he said.