There's a new Maverick stirring up dust in the Rim Country Middle School corral.
Yvette Harpe will replace Tim Fruth as the school's assistant principal and athletic director.
For the past 10 years, Harpe has been a classroom teacher at Meridian Middle School in Boise, Idaho.
Fruth will move to Payson High School where he will serve as assistant principal to Sue Myers.
RCMS principal Frank Larby said he was sorry to see Fruth go, but is excited about his new associate.
"It's great to have her," he said. "Being from out of state, she brings a different perspective which is always good. She has a good background and her interest and experience in sports will help her in her duties (as athletic director)."
The RCMS assistant principal's position will be the 33-year-old's first taste of school administration. She graduated from Boise State University in 1993 with a bachelor's degree in education, and 10 years later earned her master's in educational leadership from Northwest Nazarene University.
Harpe says she enjoyed her years in the classroom, but her goal was to become an administrator so she could help improve education on a bigger scale.
The new assistant principal brings a well-rounded background in education having taught math, science, reading and English to sixth- through eighth-graders.
She also coached volleyball and basketball on the middle-school level.
"I'm looking forward to this and I'm excited about my new job," Harpe said.
Her duties at RCMS will be much the same as what Fruth's were -- she'll oversee discipline and attendance as well as be involved in the day-to-day operation of the school.
As athletic director, she will help supervise coaches and schedule White Mountain League games for Maverick sports teams.
But first, she plans to take time to learn how the school functions.
"It's a highly performing school, so I'm not coming in to try and make a lot of changes," she said. "Obviously they are doing a lot of things right and I want to see what I can contribute."
Harpe is aware she will be stepping into a controversy that centers around the school switching from the middle school concept to a more traditional junior high model. Some RCMS teachers have embraced the change, others continue to oppose it.
Harpe says she has taught in both types of schools and is ready to face the challenge of switching from middle school to junior high.
She learned about the opening at RCMS from family friends of her parents who live in Payson.
She drove to Payson to interview for the job and immediately took a liking to both the school and the community.
"Everybody has been so friendly to me and very helpful too," she said. "Frank also says a lot of good things about Payson."
Harpe had the opportunity this week to get better acquainted with her fellow administrators. She and other administrators were in Tucson attending a leadership conference.
When not working, Harpe enjoys reading, writing, outdoor activities and rodeos.
She and her husband, Tom, have a son and a daughter.