A typical day for Lolo School Superintendent Michael Magone is anything but typical.
Tasks range from taking time to play hopscotch with students to crosswalk duty, collaborating with teachers, budgeting and trying to find common ground on important facilities issues with community members, Magone said.
“I love working in a small district that gives me that opportunity,” he said.
Earlier this spring, he was recognized for his efforts by his peers when Western Montana Association of School Superintendents members named him Superintendent of the Year.
“I thought they were very thoughtful and kind and it meant a lot to me,” Magone said.
It comes as no surprise that Magone avoided a big announcement of the recognition, however well-deserved it is, said Clint Arneson, Lolo school board chairman who has worked with the spotlight-avoiding Magone for a decade.
“What stands out to me is that Mike has a good heart,” Arneson said. “He’s a gentleman and when he gives recommendations to the board there’s always the background of, is this in the children’s best interests?”
Putting students and staff first is something Magone does daily, not just during board meetings, Arneson said, adding the superintendent has cultivated an environment of teamwork.
“I think kids and staff are thriving at Lolo,” Arneson said.
“It really is a privilege to work with a group of people who do so much for education and students,” said Magone, who will begin his 11th year as Lolo’s superintendent this fall.
Previously, he worked as a teacher in Columbia Falls, a high school principal in Eureka and superintendent at Target Range School. He also took a break from education to practice law, but ultimately decided education offered a greater opportunity to make a positive impact in the world.
“I missed that,” he said. “Missed the energy – the positive energy.”
Reporter Alice Miller can be reached at 523-5251 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.