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Rick Duncan
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Rick Duncan

I graduated from Great Falls Public Schools in 1973, and attended the University of Montana that fall. I received a BA in Anthropology in the fall of 1979. While studying Anthropology, I took an opportunity to engage in an independent ethnography study and live with the Maxuci tribe of the northern Amazon Rainforest, studying the socio-economic impact of ranching and logging, and their inevitable displacement from their indigenous lands. In 1981, I received my Broadfield Social Studies endorsement from UM, and taught in Plains, Montana for the next 9 years. During that time, I also worked with the Montana Historical Society collecting oral histories specific to the building of Fort Peck Reservoir in the 1930’s. In 1990, I accepted a teaching position with the Teton County Public Schools in Jackson, Wyoming, where I taught AP History, AP Government and Anthropology. While there, the World Bank approached me, in 1996, to participate in a mission to Uganda to tour schools across the country and help to identify five schools as candidates for computers and internet accessibility. After receiving my MA in Educational Leadership from the University of Wyoming, I accepted the position as Co-Principal at Jackson Hole High School. In 2001, I became principal of Powell County High School in Deer Lodge, Montana, a position I held until 2004, until accepting the position of the District Superintendent. The high school district is one of only three County High School Districts remaining in Montana. The Deer Lodge Elementary District and the Powell County High School District Board of Trustees offered me the position as Joint Superintendent in 2022. For the past year, I have assumed the leadership of both districts as their Superintendent.

During my forty-four year career as a public educator, I continue to value the importance of public service and professional growth. As such, I sit on several boards, both educational and community service oriented. I have been an active member of the School Administrators of Montana in a variety of leadership capacities for more than decade.

I believe all children are unique and must have an inspiring educational environment in which they can grow. I trust that my experience will indicate that I have been transformational in providing a hands-on approach to leadership. I lead by example, through creating community bonds, and by encouraging and engaging both students and educators to greater levels of success. I been married for 33 years and have raised three children, each of which are also very community service minded.

Past AASA Montana Superintendent of the Year Winners:

2023 Montana Superintendent of the Year: Mike Perry

2022 Montana Superintendent of the Year: Brad Moore

2021 Montana Superintendent of the Year: Laurie Barron

About the Award:

The Superintendent of the Year program, sponsored by First Student and AASA, pays tribute to the talent and vision of the men and women who lead the nation’s public schools.

State-level winners are selected on the following criteria:

    • Leadership for Learning
    • Communication
    • Professionalism
    • Community Involvement

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