Three Hobbs schools began the year with new assistant principals.
Jason Parrish returns to Hobbs High School to fill a vacancy created by the transfer of Nick Bartlett while Joe Clarkson and Diana Salinas have been promoted to newly created assistant principal positions at Murray and Southern Heights.
Those schools’ large populations and the fact that Murray also houses a pre-school child development program resulted in a need for more administration, according to HMS Supt. TJ Parks.
Parrish is a 1998 HHS graduate who first went to work for the school district as a social studies teacher at Houston. He shifted to Hobbs High School three years later as a world history and sociology teacher, then later made the move to Lovington High School where he taught and won a girls state basketball championship as head coach.
But returning to Hobbs High was always the goal, Parrish said. “It was time to come home and be in Hobbs where I wanted to be from the beginning,” he said.
Salinas feels the same way – if not more so.
She grew up a block away from Southern Heights Elementary. Not only did Salinas attend the school as a child, she began her career there as a substitute, then steadily moved up the education ladder as an assistant, computer lab manager – she attended college while working full time – bilingual teacher and reading coach.
Since 1997, her entire career has been spent at Southern Heights. “I’m familiar with the neighborhood and culture of the school,” Salinas said.
Elementary-aged children may be a new subgroup for Joe Clarkson but Hobbs schools are not. Now in her 26th year with the district, she spent 21 years teaching English at Highland and another four at Heizer. “I really like working with everybody and I love seeing all of the kids,” Clarkson said after Wednesday’s first day of school. “I love helping the teachers however I can and doing everything to make our children successful in the classroom.”