Uintah School Board announces pick for next superintendent

Rick Woodford. Photo: Uintah School District

VERNAL, Utah, Jan. 8, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The Uintah School Board has announced its pick for its next superintendent.

Selected for the position is Rick Woodford, the board announced Wednesday during a special business meeting.

“As a board we were thoroughly impressed with Rick’s credentials, public education background and leadership experience,” said Uintah School Board President Kurt Case, in a prepared statement.

“His commitment to excellence came through not only during his interview with the board, but also in the work he has done throughout his career with parents, teachers, staff and community partners to develop effective, supportive learning environments that serve students.”

Woodford is currently the superintendent of Big Horn County School District No. 2 in Lovell, Wyoming. He replaces Dr. Mark Dockins, who left the Uintah School District at the end of 2019 to accept a leadership position at Uintah Basin Technical College.

Woodford said he is excited about the position.

“I am impressed with the community, the Uintah School Board and the overall quality of the Uintah School District,” Woodford said. “We’re excited for the opportunity to make Vernal our home.”

The district statement continues with more background on Woodford:

Woodford earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in special education and his administrative certificate from Utah State University, the released statement says. In 2012, he earned his Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) from the University of Wyoming.

During his career as an educator, Woodford taught special education from 1993 to 2000 at Logan High School in Logan, Utah, where he coached football as well. He served as the special education director for the Lincoln County School District No. 2 in Afton, Wyoming, from 2000 to 2012. He also had the opportunity to open a new alternative high school in the district, serving as its principal for eight years. Wearing many hats, Woodford helped establish a gifted education program in the district and served as principal of Star Valley High School from 2012 to 2014.

In 2014, Woodford was selected as superintendent of schools for Big Horn County School District No. 2. During his tenure as superintendent, he increased Big Horn District No. 2’s learning outcomes to the point where the district is now one of the top performing districts in Wyoming. In 2019, Gov. Mark Gordon appointed Woodford to serve as a member of the Wyoming School Facilities Commission.

The formal vote on on Woodford’s appointment and his contract is expected to happen on the district’s regularly scheduled business meeting on Feb. 12. Until that date, Uintah Schools curriculum director Jayme Leyba has been appointed by the school board to serve as interim superintendent.


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