Homer Bennett was named the new Star Valley High School principal, following approval by the Lincoln County School District No. 2 Board of Trustees.
Bennett replaces Dr. Rick Woodford, who has been hired as the new superintendent of Schools for Big Horn County School District No. 2.
Bennett has been serving as SVHS Assistant Principal and Activities Director. Formally he taught history at the school.
“This is a very exciting time for me personally and professionally,” Bennett said in an interview with the Star Valley Independent this week.
Bennett said he has enjoyed getting to know the students over the years and now he’s getting to know the next generation coming to the high school.
“I can’t imagine anyone going into education and not having anymore fun than I have had or any more opportunities than I have had being here all these years,” he said.
Bennett grew up on the Reservation between Riverton and Lander. He met his wife, Tina, in college at the University of Wyoming. He remembers seeing Star Valley for the first time when he was called here for interview in 1987.
“We were life-long Wyoming people and never been to this part of the state,” he recalled. “We figured we would give it a shot and here we are 27 years later and it has been great!”He noted, “My wife and I found home here years ago. “We like the type of community we live in. We like the things the community stands for. “We never had the feeling we could go anywhere and do ourselves any better and consequently here we are.”
The new principal acknowledged the support of his wife in accepting the position. Bennett was called on to address the faculty following the appointment. He noted his comments for the Independent. “Years ago when I came here I had to pinch myself because I had the opportunity to come to a place like this and be involved in a place like this and be involved in a school district like this,” he recalled for the faculty. “To be involved in such high caliber of programs — I was actually fortunate enough to be a part of this.”
He continued, “I had the opportunity, in my mind, to become a part of the best high school in Wyoming and to become a part of the administration and then become the principal.”
Bennett referred to highlights from his career, but specifically noted his classroom experience. “My heart has always been in the classroom, I have always considered myself to be a classroom teacher first,” he explained. “And, I have had a lot of opportunities to have some great memories with the sports.” Bennett won three state basketball championships as a head coach. He has assisted with football and track.
Bennett acknowledged the work of past administrators Mark Taylor, Shannon Harris and Rick Woodford. “They are outstanding leaders,” he said. “The challenge for me is not to stand still, it is to keep the thing going and take the lessons I have learned and apply those and keep that continuous improvement, that is a goal for us.”
Bennett referenced his personal philosophy to always improve. “Any person, individual or professionally, should be seeking to grow,” he advised. “continuous growth and continuous stretching has always been something I have tried to adhere to in my own life and that is the vision I have for our school.”
The new principal acknowledged the expectations from school trustees and the community as he guides the school. Bennett concluded, “I belive in holding ourselves accountable and having expectations. “I value those exceptions.
“When we expect good things we will work towards those things.”