MCPS Superintendent Stepping Down


Missoula County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Rob Watson announced Friday, February 18, that he is leaving his position with MCPS effective June 30, 2022.


“It is with mixed emotions that I share this decision with you today,” Dr. Watson told District education leaders Friday morning. “My time with MCPS, including my former time as a principal, has been some of the most rewarding of my 29 years in public education. I will leave with many happy memories and proud to have served with each of you.”


While he is resigning his formal role in public education, Dr. Watson will maintain his connection to education as the new executive director of the School Administrators of Montana (SAM). The SAM organization has a 50-year history of advocating for public education in Montana. Serving more than 1,000 active members, SAM represents superintendents, principals, special education directors, educational technologists, county superintendents and others.


“I am thankful for this opportunity as I will be able to represent public educators across our great state,” Dr. Watson stated.


He continued: “While I have learned many important lessons during this pandemic, my most treasured memory will be how we all worked together to keep our kids learning. I have witnessed an incredible amount of empathy, compassion and grace. I am excited to carry these memories to the various decision-making venues in our state and remind everyone of the power of public education to change the lives of our students.”


Dr. Watson expressed deep gratitude for the opportunity to serve as Superintendent of MCPS for the past three years. He was selected for the position by the Board of Trustees in April 2019. For the seven years prior, he served as the superintendent of Bozeman Public Schools. He has been a principal at Bozeman High School (2009-2012), and was a middle school and high school principal for Missoula County Public Schools (2001-2009). Dr. Watson has also worked as a school administrator in Great Falls, and began his career as a math and science teacher in Anchorage, Alaska.


Dr. Watson has a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from Montana State University, a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Alaska, and received his Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Montana in 2009. He is a member of the Certification Standards and Practices Advisory Council for the Montana Board of Public Education.

In 2015, Dr. Watson was in the inaugural group, joining 27 fellow superintendents from around the country, to achieve National Superintendent Certification. In 2016, je was honored by the School Administrators of Montana with the GV Erickson Award, the highest recognition given to a school administrator for notable service and dedication.


In 2019, Dr. Watson was named Montana’s Superintendent of the Year.


“I am looking forward to wrapping up a great school year and establishing our plans for next year,” he concluded. “Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your superintendent.”