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CCHS Principal announces plans to retire
Rocky Miner will leave a legacy of 36 years in education
At the end of this school year, Rocky Miner will retire from his position as principal of Crook County High School.
November 19, 2012
After more than three decades of contributing to education, Crook County High School Principal Rocky Miner has announced his plans to retire at the end of the school year.
Miner has been in education for 36 years. He has been at Crook County School District for 13 years, with nine years at CCMS. He will finish his fourth year at CCHS when he retires.
“It’s just time,” he remarked. “I want to make sure that I stop when I still have energy and vision for the school.”
Miner was the principal at CCMS when Michael Geisen was selected as 2008 National Teacher of the Year. Crook County Middle School Principal Stacy Smith also worked with Miner for nine years as an assistant principal at CCMS.
“I have really enjoyed working with him over the years and I admire him as a person and as an administrator,” commented Smith. “Rocky brought some important things to our district when he came to us from Medford so many years ago. He brought great systems and a collaborative leadership style that has really served our community well.”
Smith also reflected on the fact that many of Miner’s former employees are now in leadership positions throughout the school district.
“He believes in leadership that is shared, collaborative, and grounded in a desire to serve,” he said.
Michelle Jonas is one of the employees that Miner hired several years ago as a math instructor at the middle school. She now works for him as the CCHS vice principal.
“I have worked for him for the past nine years, and I am just really sad to see him go,” noted Jonas. “I am happy for him for the new chapter of his life. He is going to leave some big shoes to be filled, because he is a very grounded leader that just motivates people to move to the next level.”
Miner came to the high school when the building had lost 13.5 positions. He spoke candidly about his motivation for assuming the leadership of Crook County High School in 2009.
“I didn’t want somebody from the outside coming in and just being here for a little while and then leaving,” he explained. “I wanted to come (there), because this is my community and this is my school district — I worked nine years as a principal at the Crook County Middle School. I wanted to help the staff heal — I felt like after losing 13.5 staff members, that was a very difficult time for the high school staff, and I wanted to be part of that process of healing.”
He also emphasized that it was a great opportunity to work with CCMS principal Smith to bring continuity in the systems and programs to the two schools.
“It was a great opportunity for that,” noted Miner. “I feel like after four years, those goals are being met, and I have grown to appreciate the hard work that the high school staff does and they are doing a phenomenal job.”
In the past four years, he believes that he and his staff have worked well together to strengthen and clarify school-wide systems, classroom procedures, and increase academic rigor for students. He also feels that they have increased opportunities for intervention for struggling students.
“I hope that the person coming in will continue strengthening those systems and those procedures and vision for the students, and not start in a different direction,” Miner went on to say. “One of my main themes throughout my administrative career has been to build collaboration and teamwork within the teaching staff.”
He is hopeful that his replacement will have a focus on teachers. Miner has a philosophy of putting the teacher first.
“If teachers know that you appreciate them and support the hard work that they do, they go into the classroom with the understanding that they are appreciated and supported,” indicated Miner. “In the long-run, students benefit more than if you say, ‘put students first,’ and you don’t treat teachers with respect and the dignity of the profession that they are in.”’
Upon retiring, Miner commented that he will be volunteering in the Aspire Center at the High School, and will look for other opportunities to serve the schools and community. He has three children and three grandchildren, and looks forward to spending more time with them.
“I am very happy for Rocky that he will be able to spend time with his family and devote his time and energy to areas of his life that he couldn't when he was working,” exclaimed Smith. “But there is a selfish part of me that wishes he were still with us, fighting the good fight, as we face many challenges throughout the District. I will miss him very, very much.”