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Bayfield High School hires its second principal since April

Jason Wayman will be arriving from Gallup, N.M., in time for 2024-25 school year
Jason Wayman served as Montezuma-Cortez High School principal from 2012 to 2019. He has taken a job as the next principal of Bayfield High School. (The Journal file)

Bayfield High School will have a new leader with extensive Four Corners ties entering the 2024-25 calendar year.

The school named Jason Wayman as its next principal in June, according to a news release on the Bayfield School District’s website. Wayman will be coming to Bayfield from Gallup, New Mexico.

BHS initially hired Sam Ryan of the Norwood School District to be its next principal in April, but district spokesman Bob Bonnar told The Durango Herald that Ryan had ultimately accepted another job in Colorado – prompting the district to pivot toward Wayman, a Cortez native.

“From what district leadership told me, (Wayman’s) a real known commodity. … They’re really excited that he came up in the applicant pool after posting the position (again),” he said. “It’s just one of those situations where things just really, really fell together neatly for the district.”

Wayman spent the past five years as director of instruction overseeing eight to 11 schools with the Gallup-McKinley County Schools district, according to the release. Wayman started his education career as a middle school math teacher before becoming an elementary principal and preschool director. He was principal at Montezuma-Cortez High School from 2012 to 2019.

“I’ve been helping the schools work on parental engagement through student-centered conversations and teachers reaching out to build relationships with families,” Wayman said in the release.

Bonnar said Wayman and Bayfield School District Superintendent Leon Hanhardt previously collaborated with each other when both were high school principals in Southwest Colorado.

Bonnar also said Wayman knows the area, adding the Bayfield area will in turn have a good feel for him.

Wayman said he wants to find a balance between incorporating his past experiences with trusting in staff members to do their jobs, according to the release.

“I’m walking into a school district that has had a ton of success, so it is a fine balance between what I know works and what has already been working at the high school,” he said. “I need to find what areas I can help in and what areas are running well that I can just help keep running well.”


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