New county superintendent embraces administrative role

Ennis resident Melinda Legg was recently hired as the new Madison County Superintendent of Schools after former superintendent Judy Osborn retired in January. Although she comes from more of a teaching background than school administration, Legg welcomes the opportunity to be involved in rural education throughout Madison County.

After moving to Montana seasonally in 2005, Legg and her husband Dave relocated to Ennis full time in June 2011. Prior to that, Legg taught and served as math department head at a school in Inland Valley, CA. Before taking the county superintendent position she substitute taught at Sheridan, Alder, Belgrade, Harrison and Ennis, and in doing so Legg noticed a level of enthusiasm from the students about their own education that isn’t always present in larger communities. In short, Legg feels that students here appreciate the fact that their education will help them to become a productive member of society.

“It really isn’t about their parents, their grades, their teachers, their superintendent,” Legg reflected. “They seem to get that the education is about them.”

While some might think that students from small rural school districts like those in Madison County might have limited opportunities, Legg sees it as just the opposite. With a smaller class size, she explained, students have more opportunities to form relationships with each other and get the individual help they need from their teachers.

“Without a doubt, any educator will tell you the key to the best education is small class size,” she said. “Maybe it’s a different education but it’s not a lesser education, I don’t think.”

While she’s still getting a feel for her administrative duties as county superintendent of schools, one of the projects she working on right now will be the county spelling bee on February 27. She also hopes to connect with local home school programs and serve as a resource for parents, she said, and so far she is really enjoying her work.

“I’m learning every day, asking a lot of questions,” said Legg. “Any time you can open yourself up to something new, you’re going to benefit from it.”

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