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Friday Gallery April 27, 2012

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Ron Hitchcock

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Schools are heart of community, says new superintendent

Hitchcock hopes to bring small-town experience to bear on Payson problems

Payson’s new superintendent of schools, Ron Hitchcock, has small-town values in his blood. He grew up in Springville, Utah, population 29,605, where his Mormon community taught him the importance of family and community. “If you’re in a village or a town that looks at the students as their collective responsibility ... you have a safety net regardless of what the county or city would do,” said Hitchcock. He had to use the values learned in his youth when he moved to McKenzie, Ore., after raising his five children and his wife Sandie’s two children. McKenzie has a population of 5,530 people living near the McKenzie River. The district has only 340 children, most not living with their biological parents.

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