New Hobson superintendent happy to be back in Class C

By: 
VICKY MCCRAY
Special to the News-Argus

Hobson’s new superintendent, Hugo Anderson, is happy to be back in a Class C school.

Photo by Vicky McCray

 

Born in Havre, raised in Chinook and graduated from Medicine Lake High School, Hobson’s new superintendent, Hugo Anderson, calls himself “a Class C kid.”

“That’s where I got my education,” he explained, “and I have a daughter who will be starting kindergarten. I just really want the same thing for my kids.

“I have the opportunity here to be in a K-12 building with my own kids,” he added. “There’s no better environment, and I’m looking forward to being involved, not only for my kids but for others, too.”

He said Hobson as a whole is a real plus also – with good people, an amazing location for recreation and the great reputation of Hobson School and its staff. 

Anderson attended Dickinson State University, where he played football, but he finished his bachelor of science degree in physical education at MSU-Northern.

“I’ve kind of been around,” Anderson said, “but I’ve made a lot of connections.”

After college graduation he spent eight years as a teacher and a coach at Cut Bank High School. His parents live in Cut Bank.

He comes to Hobson, however, from Glendive – Dawson County High School – where he served as assistant principal.

Anderson said his wife Deidre really likes Hobson because it provides a great opportunity for the couple’s kids. They have three daughters: Andi, 6; Elli, 3; and Nora, 4 months.

 “To have my kids around the people that live here, with the values they have,” Anderson said, “I wouldn’t trade that.”

He noted the superintendent’s house is another perk for his job. It’s a great house and only two blocks from the school and two blocks from the swimming pool.

Anderson earned his master’s degree in educational leadership through Rocky Mountain College in Billings. He has been working on his superintendent’s endorsement (an additional 12 credits) and will have it completed right around the day school starts, he said.

Anderson said he doesn’t have any personal expectations as far as his new position.

As far as changes for the new school year, Anderson said most everything is already in place.

“Mr. Dunlap did a good job getting everything taken care of,” Anderson said, “and the staff was committed to helping him. That really helps me.”

Anderson said one addition for the coming year is the inclusion of a 15-minute slot in the daily schedule for sustained silent reading. It will take place from 1:27 to 1:42.

“Everybody will read,” he said. 

Anderson recalled wanting to be a teacher from a young age. It all started with PE, coaching and athletics.

“I have a lot of respect for the collection of coaches I had growing up – for all of my teachers throughout the years,” he said. “As I get older, I think back to the lessons they taught me – not the academic part, but everything else.” 

He said he thinks about those teachers he didn’t get along with in school, but in looking back, he is thankful for them, too.

“I use them when I’m looking at my relationship with kids,” Anderson said. “There will be some value in our relationships, whether it be today, tomorrow or five years down the road.”

Anderson has a passion for kids and likes the team environment. He called himself a “schedule guy” and likes the consistency of the school schedule. He got into the administration side of school because of the leadership it allows and the opportunity for helping kids. He looks forward to being part of a whole team.

Anderson intends to hold people, including himself, accountable for their actions. He will maintain an open-door policy and will listen to new ideas and input from others.

He does not have any additional duties but will volunteer his help if someone needs it.

“Right now I made a commitment to be the superintendent,” he said, “and I need to take care of those duties first.”

When asked what he saw as the biggest obstacle in the job, Anderson said he needs a route driver.

“It’s just so important to offer those services and get our kids to school safely,” he said. “It does break up someone’s day, but I think there’s a lot of reward to driving bus.”

He added funding and budget concerns are always a worry.

“You just never know which way it’s going,” he said. “Every problem we have as a state, as a nation, affects us, whether it’s an insurance cost or it’s healthcare.”

Anderson will also have to be involved in the consolidation issue.

“It’s a slow process to make sure we do things right,” he said. “We want to make sure everyone understands what’s going on. There has to be a level of trust built between school boards and communities.”

Anderson plans to stay in Hobson. He said he has no ambition to move up to a larger school.

“I just like these little Class C schools for my kids,” he said. “In looking back, I think I got a great education. You never really know that until later in life.” 

He is looking forward to his first day of school and his daughter’s first day of school.

“We get to start together,” he said.

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