Myers Named Phs Principal

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Sue Myers is back in the saddle.

In a move that seems to have surprised just about everybody, Payson Unified School District Superintendent Herb Weissenfels talked the retired Frontier Elementary School principal into becoming the next principal of Payson High School -- at least for a year.

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Sue Myers

"It is a surprise," Myers said. "I think I wasn't quite ready enough (to retire) because my work had been so much of my life."

Weissenfels thought as much when he decided to lure her out of her one-year retirement.

"In all honesty, I think she was a little anxious to get back in the swing," he said. "Retirement was probably a little quieter than she wanted, and she's got this in her blood."

While the appointment is subject to school board approval, Weissenfels felt comfortable confirming a rumor that spread through the community faster than the Pack Rat Fire.

"I ran it by a couple of people on the (selection) committee -- just the idea of it -- but in light of the short time and (because it's) a temporary thing, I just did it," Weissenfels said. "All the people involved are excited about it.

Both Weissenfels and Myers emphasized that she will serve as interim principal for one year, but neither refused to rule out extending her term another year, or longer.

"For right now, it's a one-year deal, and we will open it up again at the right time to look for principals," Weissenfels said. "I told her she was more than welcome to apply at that time."

Myers came to Payson to open Frontier Elementary School eight years ago. She was previously superintendent of the Pine-Strawberry district.

"The students who will be seniors next year were fifth graders when I started in Payson, so that's kind of nice," Myers said. "Also, I started in high school. I was a high school English teacher for 10 years."

Although the decision was only made Tuesday, Myers is already carrying around a note pad filled with suggestions.

"People are telling me things everywhere I go," she said. "I have this long list started of things people think I should do."

The students are at the top of her list.

"The students are the No. 1 reason we're there and there need to be as many opportunities for them as possible," she said.

To make sure that happens, Myers plans to lean heavily on the PHS staff.

"There are two good vice principals and I'll have their help, the counseling staff is awesome, and we have wonderful teachers," she said. "I want to honor the staff that's there."

Myers also plans to draw on the community.

"I think we need to make the place look better, and I will be calling for community suggestions on how to help us do that."

Weissenfels said that's a big reason he wanted to lure her out of retirement.

"She had an excellent reputation for being a people person, which is just super," he said.

"I think it's going to make for a good year and the teachers that know (about her appointment) seem to be very happy about it."

One of her immediate goals is to learn the name of each student -- all 900 of them.

"I could do that at Frontier where we had 380 students," she said.

Myers is replacing Phil Gille, who retired after 14 years as PHS principal -- the longest tenure ever for a school administrator in the Payson school district. Gille is moving to Cuthbert, Ga. where he will teach math at Andrews College.

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