Kalispell Public Schools Superintendent to Become Head of Missoula School District

Micah Hill will serve as the Missoula County Public Schools superintendent beginning this summer

By Denali Sagner
Micah Hill, Kalispell Public Schools Superintendent, is pictured in downtown Kalispell on Feb. 26, 2021. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Kalispell Public Schools Superintendent Micah Hill has accepted an offer to become the superintendent of the Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS), after the MCPS school board voted unanimously to offer Hill the position at a Tuesday night board meeting.

Hill took over as KPS superintendent in July 2020, after serving in various roles in the Kalispell school district, including assistant principal and principal at Glacier High School, principal at Linderman Middle School and dean of students at Kalispell Middle School.

“Part of it’s bittersweet. I’ve been in the district for 22 years and in Kalispell for 25. It’s been a great community,” Hill told the Beacon on Thursday. “But this is an opportunity for personal growth, professional growth, new challenges.”

KPS School Board Chair Sue Corrigan said that the district hopes to hire a new superintendent by the spring, but that the board is aware of the difficulties that lay ahead, given that 24 Montana school districts were seeking to fill vacant superintendent positions as of earlier this month.   

“We hope to have somebody hired by May,” Corrigan said. “But the important thing is we want the right somebody, and we are willing to take the time necessary to look. If we don’t find somebody the first time, we’ll search again.”

“We want to have that continuity of excellence that we’ve had under Micah. He’s had a great vision for the district,” she added.

The decision by MCPS to hire Hill came during the district’s second candidate search, after a first pool of candidates yielded “an unsuccessful search,” according to minutes from a Feb. 7 MCPS board meeting. 

The Kalispell school board will meet this week to set a salary range and refine the job description before they begin advertising the position in a national search. Hill’s resignation will be considered by the board at their March 21 meeting.

“We have plans to have the community involved with this, get some input about what they would want to see,” Corrigan said about the search that lays ahead.

Corrigan said that, despite the “pretty strong talent pool” the board will be choosing from, she is worried about finding the right replacement for Hill.

Lance Isaak, KPS trustee and former board chair who oversaw the district’s last superintendent search in 2020, said that “the pool definitely seems smaller since COVID.”

Corrigan emphasized that many of the programs Hill has overseen during his tenure will continue after he moves to Missoula.

“I do want to assure people that some of these exciting things we have going on, like our transformational education, those are board initiatives. Those are not going to stop because Micah is leaving,” she said.

“I think since he was hired, we’ve accomplished some pretty big things,” Isaak said. “Micah’s leadership through COVID, we were one of the only districts to stay open every day. I’m pretty proud of that.”

Hill will finish out his contract with KPS, which runs through the end of June.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to include a comment from Superintendent Micah Hill.