The Kalispell School Board of Trustees approved Callie Langohr as the assistant superintendent for School District 5 on April 24, selecting the only principal Glacier High School has known to help steer the future of every public school student in Kalispell. Langohr will assume her new position on July 1.
Before opening Glacier in 2007, Langohr was the principal at her alma mater, Flathead High School, for seven years, and she has spent a combined 25 years working at the two schools. Langohr is replacing Andrea Johnson in the district office after Johnson announced in March that she would retire from her post following three years on the job.
“We need someone who can hit the ground running when it comes to the many responsibilities that this position entails,” District 5 Superintendent Mark Flatau said in a press release announcing the hire. “Callie’s experience in the district as well as her skillset lend itself well in fulfilling these duties.”
In her new role, Langohr will work with staff at all 11 of the district’s schools — including the soon-to-be-opened Rankin Elementary — and she says one of her first priorities in her new job is to connect with employees throughout the district to “make sure that I know what they need in order to get their job done.”
“That means visibility and that means that we have effective communications systems set up,” she added.
Langohr will also be tasked with addressing the district’s recent budget crunch, which necessitated budget reductions for both the elementary and high schools — which operate using separate budgets — and prompted district officials to propose a $1 million operational levy that is up for a vote this spring. Langohr will commence a “collaborative, zero-based budget process” in which the district’s budgets will be wiped blank and reconstructed.
“Basically starting with an empty document and building, line-by-line, what we want to have in that budget,” she said. “I am talking to administrators, talking to department leaders about what they need in their programs to get started and every single line in that budget is going to be accounted for.
“It takes a lot of work, but in the long run it’s worth it.”
More than a decade ago, when Glacier was first being constructed, Langohr took the leap to join the new high school and was joined by several of her coworkers. She called opening the school a “once in a lifetime opportunity,” and her strong bond with Glacier and its employees made leaving the school a difficult decision, something she addressed in an emotional meeting with staff in late April.
“I am grateful for the staff that was willing to take the risk and join the Wolfpack family from year one to open a school,” Langohr said. “We were able to establish a culture where we don’t do average. Our vision for Glacier was to be one of the top high schools in the United States by taking care of people first and programs second. That’s one of our foundational, bedrock elements, and I am very proud of that.”
Langohr said the hope is for a new Glacier principal to be selected before July 1 so that she can assist fully in the transition. Flatau is overseeing that search, and the position is currently posted on the district’s employment website.
Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.
Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.