Two new administrators lead Denton and Grass Range schools

Miriam Campan
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
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Dan Schrock

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Scott Sparks

The 2021 school year has begun and students, teachers, parents and the two new administrators from Denton and Grass Range shared the excitement of the new academic year.

Denton Principal Scott Sparks
Denton’s Principal Scott Sparks has one foot in Lewistown and the other in Denton. In May of 2020 Scott Sparks was offered the best of these two communities: Lewistown (a place to live and coach) and Denton (a place to continue a career in education).  
“Being hired as the Denton principal seemed to be a natural fit. I’ve spent a good amount of time in Denton and after trying my hand in the auto business; I wanted to be back in school. When our superintendent decided to take another job, I thought this may be something I am interested in,” said Sparks.
An experienced educator, Sparks brings to the position administrative experience combined with the familiarity of the Denton school. The transition to his new position was “pretty smooth.”
Sparks said, “Denton school has a great staff and provides a great support system making the transition really easy. Also, I grew up with Rhonda Long who is now serving as the interim superintendent.”
With 2020, and the COVID impact on that year behind him, Sparks is looking forward to 2021 and has a plan for a “normal” school year.
“The biggest challenge for 2021 is making sure our kids are where they need to be academically. COVID was really tough on the youngest. Our second graders haven’t had a normal school year and those are key developmental years. We need to help them get caught up,” said Sparks.
Even though Sparks is the Denton School principal, he lives in Lewistown and continues to coach the boys basketball team in Lewistown.
“I live in Lewistown and do the drive everyday. I am still a big part of Lewistown. I’m very fortunate. I get to be a part of two great communities.”

Grass Range Superintendent Dan Schrock
Grass Range School Superintendent Dan Schrock is right where he wants to be – in Grass Range.
“I was attracted to the west side of Montana, but I really wanted to live in a ranch and farming community. Grass Range is that authentic farming and ranching community. I didn’t really intend to apply for this position, but was offered the opportunity and wanted to be in a community where the kids in school are paramount to the community,” said Schrock.
Schrock began his education career in Montana, relocated to Alaska for a short time and then pursued and received his Masters in Administration from Montana State University in Bozeman.

“I started my Masters in 2013, a watershed moment for me. I decided it would be now or never. As an administrator, I wanted to lead for the right reasons and to be someone that is focused on kids. I finished the degree in 2015. I did a year in Alaska and then landed in Ekalaka for three years,” said Schrock.
As the new Superintendent, Schrock has a leadership mission for the 2021-2022 Grass Range school year.
“Authenticity needs to be part of leadership, as opposed to complaining about the situation. I would like to think I bring a level of authenticity to this position. My mission statement is to ‘pay-it-forward’ and make every day matter. It begins and ends with the mindset of doing for others. In my mind I never stopped learning and growing, and professionals need that mindset.”