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Bayfield Intermediate School hires familiar face as next principal

Will Machallister has served as interim principal since January
Will Machallister, interim principal at Bayfield Intermediate School, was hired for the position full-time ahead of the 2024-25 school year. (Durango Herald file)

Bayfield Intermediate School has chosen a familiar face for its next leader entering the 2024-25 school year.

Interim Principal Will Machallister was hired to become the school’s principal full-time beginning this fall, according to a news release from the Bayfield School District’s website.

Machallister, a former assistant principal at BIS, has been overseeing the school since January and will now have the interim tag removed. He was one of three finalists for the job.

“We were excited to recommend Will Machallister to the board for approval, and very confident in his ability to lead BIS moving forward,” said Superintendent Leon Hanhardt, in the release. “Our selection committee felt that, in addition to his experience with the Bayfield school district, Will also brings the qualifications to be a great leader for our school.”

Machallister looks to keep growing BIS to a point where it ends up becoming a “school of choice for this area,” the release said.

“I want our story – whether it be student connection, our teacher support network or our academic achievement – to be so great that people move to the area to be a part of it … and people from other schools visit to see what they can take back and implement within their own schools,” he said.

Born near Glenwood Springs and growing up in California, Machallister moved back to Colorado in 2007 and settled in the southwest corner of the state, the release said.

Machallister took a teaching job in Bayfield in 2020, later becoming assistant principal at BIS in 2022.

“I believe education is a child's vehicle to a better life,” he said in the release. “I think relationships are vital in student success, and I believe for all students to be successful they must feel three things – safe, welcome and wanted. When kids feel these things at school and in the classroom, they are willing to engage, try hard and persevere.”

Machallister’s wife, Nicole, is a counselor at Bayfield Middle School.

mhollinshead@durangoherald.com



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