By Dustin Shipman EBS Contributor

Final greetings from the superintendent’s office for the 2015-2016 school year. We are officially finished with the school year as of June 10 at 11:30 a.m.

This is the time of year when transitions for students, staff and facility are a top priority. Here at the Big Sky School District, as well as in schools all over the nation, kids and adults say goodbye to friends and colleagues for the summer, while some say goodbye more permanently as they move on to different journeys in life.

We’ve had much success this year in the district, and we’re saying goodbye this year to staff who, for various reasons, are moving on. One such teacher is Sue Barton, who’s retiring after 13 years. Sue has had a long career in education and I honor her commitment to students as a retiring educator.

We also say goodbye to Nancy Sheil, who is leaving the district after four years, as well as Lander Bachert who is leaving after three years. We say goodbye to Josh Mynatt and Matthew Peebles, both of whom are leaving the district after half-year emergency placements in music and health enhancement.

We say goodbye to counselor Katy Thomas, who is leaving the district after two years. And we say farewell to Jerry Hesson and Melanie Hesson, food service workers leaving the district after one year. Lastly we are saying goodbye to Marie Goode from our district clerk office after nine years of service to the district.

While we will miss all of our departing staff, we know they will transition to great things in the next stage of their lives.

While change in staff at a small school such as ours is challenging, we’re also happy to welcome new staff to the district and to the Big Sky community.

We welcome Marlo Mitchem as our International Baccalaureate and curriculum coordinator. Mitchem has over 15 years experience in teaching and coordinating IB curriculum. We also welcome Brian Squillace as a middle school language arts and social studies teacher, who will bring more than14 years experience working with both IB and state schools.

We welcome Cindy Mueller as a middle school/high school math teacher, who has been teaching IB math and business for the last six years. We also welcome Kate Eisle to teach middle school/high school science. Kate has a Ph.D. in life science and significant experience teaching at independent and public schools.

The district has made a firm commitment to find the best teacher and staff member for each and every position. Regardless of how early we started recruiting, we still have some openings at this date and will fill those quickly in anticipation of a full staff prior to the start of the 2016-2017 school year. We are excited to spend the summer planning and preparing for next year.

I invite the community to join me in saying bon voyage to all those leaving the district, and thanks for all you have done for Big Sky’s students. For those coming on board, I hope the community will all echo me in saying welcome to one of the greatest schools and communities in the world. Have a great summer!