An administrator at Natrona County High School has been named the top educator at Pathways Innovation Center.
Ron Estes, who spent eight years at NCHS, will serve as assistant principal and be the highest-ranking official on-site at Pathways. He’ll work with Principals Shannon Harris, of NCHS, and Brad Diller, of Kelly Walsh High School, in overseeing Pathways. The Natrona County School District has said previously that a high school leadership team will act as the administration of Pathways.
Estes’ appointment comes at pivotal time for Pathways. The school, which takes students from the district’s other high schools for part of the day and teaches them skills like welding or carpentry, is currently at a quarter of its 1,000-student capacity. District officials have rolled out a plan to increase enrollment at the facility.
Pathways’ first principal, Chad Sharpe, will be stepping down from his post. He is taking a teaching position elsewhere in the district, the district announced last week. Officials cited personal and family reasons for Sharpe’s departure, which comes at the end of Pathways’ first year.
District spokeswoman Tanya Southerland said the leadership structure, in which Estes will be on site at the school and will work with Diller and Harris to lead the school, is a new approach by the district. She said she didn’t know if the new approach was related to the enrollment push.
Estes was an assistant principal at NCHS and spent several years in the same role at Dean Morgan Junior High before that. He was named Wyoming assistant principal of the year this year by the Wyoming Association of Secondary School Principals, according to a district press release.
Estes said he was “honored to be continuing forward with the great educational opportunities at Pathways Innovation Center,” according to the release.