Judith Gap School Superintendent returns to Wheatland County after 30 years in Las Vegas

Miriam Campan
Friday, September 3, 2021
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Former educator in Las Vegas, Shari Oberg returns home to Wheatland County as the Judith Gap School Superintendent. Photo courtesy of Diane Reishus

For Shari Oberg, the new superintendent of Judith Gap School, commuting to work is now just a quick walk across the street. She returned to Wheatland County after 30 years as an educator in Las Vegas, Nevada, where for 17 years she taught elementary grades, and also taught middle school math for 13 years. After a total of 30 years, Oberg decided to retire from teaching and applied for the superintendent position in Judith Gap.
“I wasn’t going to retire in Las Vegas. My grandparents had built their home in Harlowton and I’m familiar with Wheatland County. I applied for the superintendent position and was appointed,” said Oberg.
Changing hats from instructor to administrator presents challenges for Oberg. Learning the overall job responsibilities, navigating piles of paperwork, getting acquainted with the extended school population, and familiarizing herself with Montana Office of Public Instruction K-12 Content Standards are some of her administrative duties.

Oberg said, “It’s nice for me to get my feet wet with such a small school.  We need to build a strong foundation for each grade level through standard-based instruction, assessment, and using the state standards to guide instruction.”
As an experienced teacher, Oberg is acquainted with the pressures placed on educators in the 21st century. She encourages Judith Gap instructors to engage their students through incorporating interactive technology in blended learning, conducting ongoing assessments to determine a student’s learning level, and by adhering to state standards to promote engagement in the curriculum.  
Acquainted with the pressures of ensuring best practice in education, Oberg is aware that downtime for teachers during the school day is paramount.
“I help our teachers by providing them a 30 minute duty-free lunch. I take that on,” said Oberg.
She also supports her teachers by substituting in their classrooms should they fall ill.
Aside from all of the responsibilities involved with being a rural school superintendent, Oberg knows what her top priority is.
She said, “I am here for the kids. My motto is ‘kids first’.”