Local leaders in Lone Pine announced last week that longtime High School Superintendent Larry Todd will be stepping down in July and current principal Victor Hopper will be taking his place.
Todd technically retired two years ago, but has remained on staff as a part-time superintendent since then until a full-time replacement could be found.
Todd has served as superintendent since 2007, and will remain on board until July, giving him an opportunity to help Hopper transition into his new post.
Lone Pine Unified School District Board President Matt Kingsley said Todd has served the school district well, and stayed on in a part-time capacity after his retirement to ensure a smooth transition to a new superintendent.
“The appointment of Mr. Hopper is in line with the board’s objective of providing consistent, focused and committed leadership to the students, staff and community of the Lone Pine Unified School District,” the Board of Trustees said in a press release.
Hopper has been at Lone Pine for two years, serving as the teaching principal and prep teacher at the community day school.
“Victor has done an outstanding job and the board is pleased and excited that he has accepted the new position,” Kingsley said, adding that, during his time with the district, Hopper has been a driving force behind students’ rising test scores.
“I am honored to serve this staff of professionals and am humbled that I was considered (for the job),” Hopper said. “The community and the school is great.”
As for the rising test scores, Hopper said he has only continued the work of teachers and administrators who have come before him.
Beginning July 1, 2012, Hopper will be serving as principal and superintendent. He said the community day school program will be re-organized and another teacher will be appointed to the position he leaves vacant.
Hopper said he has four goals for the district.
“First, I want to build on morale district-wise,” he said.
Next, he said he wants to work on improving relations with the Latino community and build on parent involvement.
The third point he wants to work on is safety. He said he wants to ensure that both students of the Lone Pine School District and staff are prepared for any emergency that may befall the school or community. “I want to ensure that the key players are in place in case of an emergency,” he said.
Hopper said he also wants to work on staff development. Hopper pointed out that the Lone Pine School District operates on a different calendar than most other districts in Inyo County, which means that teachers there often miss out on training and workshop opportunities hosted by the Superintendent of Schools Office.
Hopper is a 15-year educator, working mostly with kindergarten through eighth grade students before coming to Lone Pine High School.
“This is my first high school and I’m really enjoying it,” Hopper said. “We have great things going on here.”