New Carbon High Principal Bruce Bean stands next to the Dino statue at Carbon High School created by local artist Gary Prazen.
Bruce Bean may call himself a naturally shy type of person, but ask anyone who has worked closely with him and they can tell you otherwise. Plus his new job will require him to be anything but shy.
The newly named Carbon High School Principal has seen and been through a lot over his 25 years working with the Carbon County School District. From his work on the sidelines as a sports coach to his work in the class room as a biology teacher, Bean has enjoyed working with students in both fields. After years of working in the classroom, Bean made the move into administration with Carbon High as Vice Principal before moving to Mont Harmon Junior High as Principal for the 2009-10 school year.
Bean's roots in education began with his family while growing up in the small town of Sugar City, Idaho as his mother worked as a school teacher. When Bean moved to Carbon County in 1987 after finishing his education at Utah State University, he didn't think it would last more than a few years before he moved to another area.
"I thought I would be a coach here for a little while," Bean remembered. "But now I call this place home."
Over the last month the school district has seen principals leave for jobs in other areas, leaving vacancies at schools including Carbon High School, Mont Harmon Junior High, Wellington Elementary and Sally Mauro Elementary.
With Bean's experience as an administrator at Carbon High and Mont Harmon, he was naturally one of first names thrown around as a choice for the post at Carbon High. After mulling over their applicants, the district announced that Bean would be returning to Carbon High as principal.
While he has experienced changing schools before, Bean said he felt a rush of excitement when he heard the news.
"Just wow!" Bean said of his reaction to the news. "Being principal puts you at the forefront of everything at the high school."
"It's a little daunting to say the least," he later admitted. "We are the flagship school of the community."
He credits his coaching background and his many years teaching in the classroom for helping him reach a position as principal. Bean said he is not worried at all about the transition of returning to Carbon High because of the faculty and staff that work hard and want to see the students succeed which makes the high school a great environment to be around.
"We really have a great school here and the faculty and staff are making the transition very simple for me," Bean explained. "The previous principals, Robert Cox and Greg Stanfield, both did a very good job while they were here."
While the transition from being a teacher to a supervisor has been a difficult process since he moved into administration, Bean said he is comfortable with how things are working at Carbon High. While Carbon High and the school district may have its fair share of problems, Bean feels that hard work and encouraging students to get involved and make many friends can help deter them from getting into trouble.
"The system is not a great or perfect one for everyone," he said. "But the quality of the teaching is very good at Carbon High, the extra curricular programs are great and the school has high test scores compared to others around the state."
"The ball is already rolling here at Carbon High," he explained. "I don't need to come right in and do much to change things because it could stop that process."
After working for the past two years at Mont Harmon Junior High, Bean said he is excited to be back working closely with the young adults who attend Carbon High. He isn't planning on spending each and every day in his office. Instead he wants to be out in the hallways and in the classrooms, observing and conversing with both teachers and students on a regular basis. He has already informed the secretaries about his plans to do just that.
"I told them to keep me out of this office as much as possible," he quipped.
Being a part of the process of watching as students work over the years to complete their education at Carbon High and helping them move on to other ventures in life is just one of the many benefits of working in education, Bean said.
"Seeing former students make a living and being successful is a great part about the job," he said.
And graduation day, while in some ways can be sad, is one of the proudest moments an educator will have, he explained.
"I always get a lump in my throat every year with graduation," Bean said.
There are two interesting facts about Bean that students or faculty may not know about. Coming back to Carbon High should not pose a problem with Bean in another area of his life: his choice of clothing. The blue and white colors, or slight variations of them, have followed Bean from his days in Sugar City, Idaho to USU to Mont Harmon and back to Carbon High.
"I won't have to change much with my clothing," he laughed.
The other interesting fact about Bean is his choice of another dream job if he didn't venture into the education profession. His choice? A professional chef.
"I love cooking Japanese food," he said. His plates of choice would include a nice spread of shashimi, fresh raw fish meat cut into thin pieces, sushi and some tonkatsu, a breaded deep-fried pork cutlet sliced into bite-size pieces.
While the first few days of school can be a tough transition for students coming back from a long summer break, Bean said the teachers and faculty are ready for the school year to begin. He wants students to get that same excitement about coming back for another year of school.
"It's a rush for the students and the teachers," he said of the first day of school. "I don't know how you could be bored here. If you're not excited to be here, you should go out and get a job and see what that's like."