Hatch Bids Farewell, Board Pays Tribute

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Last week’s school board meeting marked Superintendent Lance Hatch’s final one with the Carbon School District (CSD). After serving four years as Carbon’s Superintendent, it was announced in May that Hatch would be leaving Carbon County for the superintendent position at the Iron County School District.

“It’s been an honor. I’ve loved working here,” said Hatch. “I’ve loved being apart of Carbon School District.”

Hatch is scheduled to start his duties in Iron County beginning in July, but before he left, the Carbon School Board paid tribute to the work he’s done over the last four years by gifting him a coal miner statue to remember Carbon County by. At the bottom of the statue it is engraved, “Noble Pride,” which Board President Jeffery Richens stated was very fitting for Hatch.

Richens also added that he has always remembered a saying Hatch said when he accepted the position in 2017. “When you start looking at the things differently, the things you look at change.”

“What I’ve come to understand is I have to change on what I focus on as much as what I see. It’s always a learning process for me to look at what is important,” said Richens.

When Hatch began his role at CSD, his goals were to help teacher teams collaborate effectively, increase reading district wide and help students create career paths. From each board member’s statement, every goal was met.

Board Member Wayne Woodward stated Hatch’s results speak for themselves and while the academical results are very important, who Hatch is speaks volumes and translates throughout the district.

“We are building more than just students who can regurgitate facts and figures, or read faster and comprehend more; we are building individuals and citizens,” said Woodward. “You have the compliment that is more than just making people smarter; it’s making people better and that will be very hard to replace.”

Four years ago, when Hatch accepted his position in CSD, he stated, “There is no skill more critical to the future of our children than being able to read well.” Hatch’s goal from the very beginning was to get the students reading. Board Member Lee McCourt recognized his accomplishments in her tribute.

“One of the big things I saw was getting those books out to those kids,” said McCourt. “I think it makes a big difference when it’s books that they like and their level.”

Board Member Melissa Swenson, who recently retired from serving Carbon High School as a counselor for 20 years, expressed that while she has worked with Hatch in two different areas over the years, the partnership they have gained has been a great one.

“I appreciate what you have done for the district and for me personally,” said Swenson.

Hatch brought an abundance of experience to Carbon after being employed in various positions in school districts throughout Utah. Beginning his career, he taught at the elementary level in Uintah School District and then moved onto principal at Monticello Elementary at the age of 29. He then served as an elementary supervisor at San Juan School District, principal at Ashley Elementary School District and human resource director at Uintah School District. Hatch will be able to add Superintendent at CSD to his list of accomplishments as he steps into to his new position at Iron County.

“I appreciate the opportunity and I’ve learned a lot,” said Hatch. “I will be taking a big part of Carbon with me when I go.”

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