|Newly appointed superintendent Patsy Bueno discusses curriculum matters with administrative assistant Connie Staley. The 33-year veteran of Carbon School District will take the education system's reigns on March 10.|
Carbon School District will have a new superintendent beginning March 10.
During a special meeting on Feb. 26, the Carbon County Board of Education approved Patsy Bueno as the person who will assume the superintendent's position on the date in question. Bueno is currently an assistant superintendent in the local school district.
"We made the decision at the regular February meeting [Feb. 14] that we were going to look for a candidate internally first," pointed out education board member Grady McEvoy on Wednesday "And we as a board found who we wanted."
While a number of women have and are serving as superintendents of school districts in Utah, Bueno will be the first woman to permanently head Carbon School District.
In another action at the same meeting the board also settled some matters with present superintendent David Armstrong concerning his leaving the district. In January the board had voted to not renew his contract as of June 30.
Armstrong will step down on March 9 as superintendent, but will also serve as a consultant to the district until Dec. 31.
"Dr. Armstrong has served well in many ways and has done a lot of good things for the district," pointed out McEvoy. "We want to keep him on in an advisory capacity until the end of the year to see some things through that he started and to help out in areas where he has special knowledge."
In an interview on Wednesday afternoon Bueno expressed her excitement about being in the new position.
"I have done a lot of what I will be doing already, but I love this school district and I am glad that I am going to get to serve it in this capacity," she said.
When asked about the fact that she was the first woman to ever head up the district she said she wanted to paraphrase what Sandra Day O'Conner said when she was made the first woman U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
"She told her husband when he asked her about it that she was happy about being the first but more importantly she hoped she wouldn't be the last," said Bueno.
Bueno's background with the district is diverse, and almost without parallel among many superintendents in the state. Unlike most people who are named a superintendent, she hasn't been a teacher in the school system since she was young, but has worked at almost every education level and in many different kinds of positions over her 33 years at Carbon.
Bueno began in the early 1970s as a part-time aide in an elementary school. She was only going to do that for one year.
But Bueno caught the education bug and decided to stay on with the district.
Soon, the newly appointed superintendent found herself working as a secretary at the district office.
She later became the secretary at Sally Mauro Elementary and worked one summer as a custodian at the school.
At the time, Bueno had an associate's degree. She decided to pursue a teaching career and eventually was awarded a bachelor of science degree from Utah State University.
She began her education career in elementary school and taught every grade but kindergarten.
Bueno was later named principal at Durrant Elementary and went from there to be an assistant principal at Carbon High.
In her final days as a school administrator, she became a junior high principal.
To round things out from another perspective she also served for years in the PTA in various schools.
Later in her career she became the elementary school supervisor and was later named the assistant superintendent of the district.
"I think things will go well because I have worked at many different kinds of jobs in the district and at all levels as well," commented Bueno. "Best of all I have the best of all worlds. I could retire if I wanted with my years of service, but I love what I do."
However, Bueno said she knows there are a number of hurdles to overcome in the years ahead.
Test scores and graduation rates have increased in recent years and Bueno attributes the improvements to Armstrong who is a good administrator in curriculum.
"We are not going to go backwards," continued Bueno. "I am only looking forward and to improving upon what we have already gained," she said. "We have absolutely the hardest working and fine teachers in our buildings. They are working hard at educating the students and I have a lot of faith and trust in them."
Bueno indicated that the transition between her and Armstrong should be a smooth process.
In conclusion, Bueno pointed out that she looks forward to working with the board of education members, local teachers, the students in the school district and parents in Carbon County in the coming years.