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Bigfork superintendent to join Kalispell administrative team this July

by HILARY MATHESON
Daily Inter Lake | May 27, 2021 2:05 AM

Kalispell Public Schools' Board of Trustees on Tuesday unanimously approved Matt Jensen to fill a new district assistant superintendent position. His contract begins July 1.

Jensen is currently superintendent of the Bigfork School District, a position he's held for the past seven years. He has held principal positions in Bigfork from the elementary to high school levels during his career in education, which spans 17 years and also includes teaching and coaching positions.

"I am so thankful for the opportunity the Bigfork community has given to me," Jensen said Wednesday. "The staff are like family to me. I will take so many great memories and friendships with me, and I'm really proud of the work we've done here in Bigfork for the last 17 years."

He highlighted some of the district's achievements during his tenure at Bigfork, including a high school renovation, technology upgrades, and “being part of a team that passed the levy to increase teacher's salaries to be competitive in the Flathead."

"I would say the constant work of improving curriculum and instruction has probably been the most rewarding work," Jensen said.

Bigfork has posted a job listing for its superintendent position. The application window will close June 7; interviews are tentatively set for June 11.

After he finishes up at Bigfork, Jensen said his first goal stepping into the assistant superintendent role will be getting to know the administrative team and teaching staff and establishing how he can best support district objectives and projects.

"I'm really excited about the goals that the Kalispell school district has," he said. "And in the assistant superintendent position there are a lot of opportunities to collaborate with principals and other district leaders and teachers which I enjoy a lot."

Jensen, a 1999 graduate of Flathead High School, said it's a special opportunity to return to the district in a role where he can contribute to the work educators are doing.

"I have a lot of positive memories and it's a great opportunity to give back to the community that has given me so much," Jensen said.

Jensen holds a master's degree in education administration from the University of Phoenix. He obtained his superintendent endorsement from the University of Montana.

This is the second full-time assistant superintendent position for Kalispell Public Schools and was recently established to help with the responsibilities of managing a growing district that remains the largest in Flathead County with nearly 6,000 students and a staff of about 750.

Jensen will support the superintendent by working with school staff "to build vision, set priorities and develop long- and short-range plans for the day-to-day operation of the school district."

Other candidates interviewed for the assistant superintendent position included John Farley of Washington and Teresa Rensch of California.

Reporter Hilary Matheson may be reached at 406-758-4431 or hmatheson@dailyinterlake.com