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High school staff bid Pahrump principal a fond farewell

It’s hard to say goodbye to a leader and boss that you will miss, which is something Pahrump Valley High School is experiencing.

The principal of Pahrump Valley High School Chris Brockman will be moving on to Beatty High School, where he will be principal of Beatty schools (elementary/middle and the high school) and Amargosa schools (elementary/middle).

Brockman took over the high school for Max Buffi in 2014 after being the assistant principal for five years.

The Nye County School District is interviewing for a replacement.

For Brockman, the move is bittersweet.

“It was difficult to make this decision to move to Beatty and Amargosa,” he said. “Who knows what the future will bring, and I can learn from being exposed to the rural schools. Nye County has some large schools that have over 1,000 students but also has some rural schools, and I am expanding my knowledge base by learning what their unique challenges are and I am excited about it.”

Brockman said he feels he has made a lot of improvements at the high school.

“I tried to improve the school, the environment, the culture and the graduation rate,” the principal said. “And it was a challenge in that respect. I think we are moving in the right direction.”

What they’re saying

The majority of Brockman’s colleagues are sad to see him leaving and had no problems sharing their sentiments about his departure and bidding a him a fond farewell.

“When he made the announcement that he was going to leave us, almost all of us had tears in our eyes,” said one colleague who didn’t want to be named.

Dave Harris teaches government at the high school and is sorry to see him go.

“I am sorry that Chris is leaving PVHS because I liked him as a person and felt he did a good job as my principal,” Harris said. “I am also very happy for Chris because now there is less stress and a more enjoyable experience in going to Beatty. Chris will now get to know all his students and be able to help them, reasons why people get into this profession.”

Teacher Robin Williams will miss Brockman’s hard work to improve the environment of the school.

“The administrative team of Brockman, Miller, and Odegard has done a tremendous amount of work to improve the school’s climate and push PVHS in a student-focused, productive direction,” Williams said.

“Mr. Brockman’s leadership, no-excuses approach to problems, and ability to recognize the strengths of others and let them work without excessive micro-management has made a big, big difference these past few years,” Willams said. “He knows the school, the staff, and the students in great detail and that is something that has created shoes that will be very hard to fill.”

Physical education teacher and coach, Robert Hopkins liked the way Brockman improved the morale of the staff.

“Mr. Brockman has raised the morale of our teaching staff since he has been here,” Hopkins said. “He is a former coach and he knows how to make a team come together. I have enjoyed working for and with him.”

Journalism and English teacher Charles Larssen loved the principal’s leadership skills.

“Chris is an education general, motivating his troops when times are tough, and this school is on the right track because of his professionalism and leadership,” Larssen said. “He believes in the staff, students, and the mission statement, ‘We inspire ALL to be positive and productive.’ The PVHS family will miss him.”

Physical education teacher and coach Craig Rieger will miss Brockman’s leadership style.

“Thanks, Chris, for motivating staff and students to be their best,” Rieger said. “He would remind the staff of the basics: What’s best for the students and would you do that for your own child. Chris is a former coach, so he understands and supports athletics and other activities.”

More praise

High school teacher Tosca Arntz also is in the process of gathering written comments from the staff and she shared a few with the PVT.

Michael Winesky, music teacher in his first year, enjoyed the support he received from the departing principal.

“I know it’s my first year, but my fondest memories were your inspirational speeches,” Winesky said. “You are the best motivational speaker and leader I have ever experienced. I showed up to a few PLCs when it was staff meetings, feeling low, stressed, or discouraged, and left feeling, ‘Yes, I can do this.’ And it’s because of you. Thank you for believing in me to build up the music program. Good luck in Beatty.”

Dylan Moellendorf, in his first year as a social studies teacher, grew to respect his principal in a short amount of time.

“I don’t know where to begin,” Moellendorf said. “First, thank you for giving me the opportunity to teach here. I love my job and think we have some outstanding students. I also love the fact you have given me the opportunity to try new things, challenge me and have included me in the school advisory group. This has been an amazing year. Also, I think you are a great guy and in less than a year you have gained my respect. You wear your heart on your sleeve and I know you truly love this community and the kids.”

Brockman plans to depart after graduation, May 26.

Contact sports editor Vern Hee at vhee@pvtimes.com

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