Familiar faces will be in new places when school resumes on Aug. 17.
Long-time fifth-grade teacher Chaundra Jarrett has been promoted to principal at Stone Elementary while Hobbs High School assistant principal Nick Bartlett is moving a couple blocks south to become principal at Murray Elementary School.
Jarrett replaces Veronica Arguello, who is returning to her teaching position at Broadmoor Elementary and Bartlett takes over for Alfredo Turrubiates, who accepted a position in Lovington.
Bartlett brings 30 years of educational experience – much of it in administration – to his new job. In contrast, Jarrett came to teaching via a juvenile corrections job she landed fresh out of college.
“I worked with juvenile probationers who had to check in with me,” said Jarrett, a Lovington High School graduate. “Truly, the one thing they needed help with the most was homework. So I started an after-school group in my office. I also would go check on them at school and meet with their teachers. I knew I liked the atmosphere.”
The fact that her husband was a teacher also helped Jarrett make the decision to earn her teaching certification and, ultimately, a master’s degree in education.
She began her HMS career as a 7th-grade science teacher at Highland, then moved to Stone and a fifth-grade classroom several years later.
During the ten years Jarrett has spent at Stone, she’s been called on to help with administrative duties several times. So it seemed natural for her to be tapped for the top job when it opened. “Stone is my second home,” Jarrett said. “Both of my daughters attended school here and I just love the teachers and students.”
Even when school is out, Stone is a home-away-from-home for Jarrett, who has spent much of the summer organizing her new office, ordering supplies, and interviewing and hiring teachers.
Meanwhile, Bartlett is scrambling to do the same after being named principal at Murray last week.
“It’s only been open a year so I’m looking forward to helping Murray develop an identity and tradition,” he said.
Bartlett moved to Hobbs and his job as HHS assistant principal three years ago. Prior to that he was superintendent of the Fredonia-Moccasin school district in Northern Arizona. His first teaching job was as a computer science and math teacher at Virgin Valley High School in Mesquite, Nev., where he went on to be dean of students.
Bartlett said transferring out of Hobbs High School - where he encountered “probably the best administrative staff I’ve worked with in the 30 years that I’ve been in the business” – will be difficult. “But I’ve heard great things about the Murray staff and teachers and it’s a beautiful school. I’m excited to be a part of it.”