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Schools blaze new administrative trail





PHILLIPSBURG -- Mike Gower is used to covering more than one administrative position.

Gower has been Phillipsburg Elementary School principal since 2003. He added Phillipsburg USD 325 superintendent to his title in 2010.

Beginning in July, besides being Phillipsburg superintendent, he's also superintendent for Logan USD 326.

Crystal Laurin, who has taught fourth grade at the elementary school for seven years, will take over Gower's former duties as principal.

Gower plans to use the time he was devoting to being the elementary principal to his new Logan duties.

"I'm willing to give anything a try for a year," he said.

Kellen Adams, formerly at Hays Middle School, will take over as K-12 principal in Logan, said Judy Stanton, USD 326 board clerk.

Both boards of education approved the change earlier this year.

"Money savings drives everything," Gower said.

With Gower splitting his time between the two districts, board clerks will be key.

With email, texting and phone calls, "it doesn't matter which office I'm in," he said.

Logan's former superintendent, Larry Lysell, has taken a position at Palco USD 269.

Earlier this spring, representatives of USD 269 approached the Natoma USD 399 district about sharing a superintendent, said Aaron Homburg, Natoma superintendent and principal.

"With budget cuts, schools have to think outside the box," Homburg said, "and look at things we haven't looked at before and share services."

"We're pioneers," Gower said. "I'm not against being a trailblazer."