MALTA — The Cassia County School District has hired a new principal, Melina Ficek, at Raft River Elementary School, after Tina Loock retired this year.
“I’m excited about the level of elementary experience Mrs. Ficek brings to the position. This experience and her obvious compassion for students and staff will serve her well as the principal and instructional leaders,” said Heber Loughmiller, who represents the community as a school board trustee.
Ficek comes to the district from Rock Creek Elementary, in Twin Falls. She was an elementary school teacher for nine years. She earned degrees from the College of Southern Idaho, Idaho State University and the University of Idaho, according to a district press release.
She chose an education career after watching a news report covering the teacher shortage in the state. She enrolled as a student the next day.
She remembers what it was like to grow up in a small town and how her teachers influenced her life. Education, she said, had always been at the back of her mind.
Ficek’s initial goals at the school will focus on relationships. She intends to be available for parents, students and staff and to work with community members and develop trust with families and teachers.
She believes “the school is the center of the community and education is the tool used to be successful, find happiness and opportunities.”
A first-generation college graduate she knows finding and using personal strengths to accomplish goals is one of the keys to student success.
Ficek is originally from Ontario, Oregon. She and her husband and four children and have lived in Idaho for 18 years.
She enjoys hiking and exploring outdoor areas and camping along with reading. She was hired from a pool of 15 applicants and her contract will begin Aug. 1.
The district first proposed an interim position at the school before the board moved forward posting the job.
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