Marc Gee has been a Digger pretty much for life.
Growing up, Gee attended schools in Eastern Idaho’s Sugar-Salem district — in sugar beet country, where harvest vacation remains a fixture on the fall calendar and the school nickname pays tribute to the farming community. After graduating from Utah State University, Gee returned to Sugar-Salem High School to teach.
Gee has spent the past seven years in administration at Sugar-Salem, as a principal and assistant principal and director of federal programs. But come July 1, Gee will leave his familiar district for the superintendent’s job at the Garden Valley School District.
Garden Valley is a small, rural district — its overall enrollment of 230 is eclipsed by the 349 students at Sugar-Salem’s Kershaw Intermediate School, where Gee works as principal. And in Garden Valley, the superintendent’s job is actually three jobs rolled into one; like his predecessor, Randy Schrader, Gee will also serve as principal and federal programs director.
Gee said he’s looking forward to the transition, for several reasons.
It’s partly because Garden Valley — a four-star school in Idaho’s most recent five-star ratings — is a “fantastic” school. It’s partly because of the changes instituted by Schrader, who is retiring in June; as superintendent, he instituted ideas ranging from pre-kindergarten to a digital academy to a mastery-based learning framework. Community support is another plus, said Gee; the March 11 passage of a two-year, $500,000 levy illustrates the way the community feels about education.
“That puts me a little bit at ease,” Gee said Wednesday.
Kershaw, like the Garden Valley school, received four stars in the state’s five-star ratings, released in August.