Snake River superintendent to retire
Russell Hammond, who has been the Snake River School District superintendent for the past seven years, will retire July 31.
Hammond started his education career in 1971 in the Blackfoot School District after graduating from Idaho State University.
"I taught social studies and was a counselor at the Blackfoot Junior High," said Hammond. "I left education for 16 years to own and manage a construction business with my father.
"I returned to the Blackfoot School District in 1989 as a teacher and was one of the original staff of Second Chance alternative high school.
Two years later, Hammond joined the Snake River School District as a school psychologist.
"In the 19 years with the district, I have been school psychologist, special education director, elementary principal and superintendent," he said.
Hammond has a B.A. degree, MEd. and an Ed.S from ISU. He has been wtate president of the Idaho School Psychologist Association, state president of the Idaho Association of Special Education Administrators and Region 5 president of the Idaho School Superintendents Association.
The conditions of the facilities was the highlight Hammond pointed out. The facilities include:
° an auxiliary gym
° wrestling room
° new entry way
° upgrading heating/air conditioning systems in all schools
In his years as superintendent, the patrons have approved two levies and one bond by nearly 80 percent.
"I appreciate the communities' support of the schools," Hammond said.
"I won't miss the job but I will miss the people and the community, the staff, administrators and teachers," he said. "The board has been good to work with."
Hammond and his wife, Linnea, have seven children, all of whom graduated from Snake River. They also have 27 grandchildren.
Hammond said, "Snake River prepared all of my children to use their talents.
"One of my daughter is a nurse practitioner; another is a dental hygienist and the third is a special education teacher," he said. "One of my sons is a college professor; another is a sculptor; one is a construction manager at the Site; and another is a creative director for an advertising firm in Chicago."
"I was able to help build a relationship with the school and community," Hammond said. "All are working to find what's best for the students.
"My biggest disappointment is the budget cuts the district has sustained in the last three years," the superintendent said. "We operate on 20 percent less than we used to.
"I have concerns with the direction of education in Idaho," he said. "It's important the relationship remain teacher-student. Computers are just tools."
Future plans include remodeling grandma's house, Hammond said. He and his wife plan on doing some traveling and are hoping to serve an LDS Church mission next year.
A reception in Hammond's honor is scheduled from 4-5:30 p.m. this Wednesday in the Snake River High School cafeteria.
Also retiring are first grade teacher Susan Plant, fifth grade teacher Julie Martin, paraprofessional Sharon Elison and bus drivers Ed Crawford, Glenna Hale and Linda Anderton.