Scott Roberts and Ed Edington places a strip of duct tape around the body of HHS Principal Ben Yocom during a fundraiser. Students purchased the tape at per foot. The money will be donated to Share Your Christmas.

Ben Yocom said his time as principal at Houston High School was the most rewarding of his life. It made leaving a difficult decision.

Yocom accepted an offer last week to become superintendent of the Plato R-V School District. He will replace Leon Slape, who is retiring from the post, when his duties begin July 1, 2011.

“This decision did not come without a large amount of thought, prayer, self-reflection and close talks with my wife and family,” said Yocom, who in May will complete his fourth year as HHS principal. “I have developed life-long relationships with numerous individuals within the community. Make no mistake, leaving Houston will be very difficult for me to do. I have given a lot of my time, passion, thoughts and whole being to the Houston district and do not regret it at all.”

An advisory committee of nine HHS faculty members was announced Monday, according to Dr. Dan Vandiver, superintendent, to assist in the search for a new principal. They will screen applications on Jan. 3 and conduct interviews Jan. 6-7. The administrative team will also hold separate interviews and select three to four finalists for interviews Jan. 10 with the board of education.

A Reeds Spring native, Yocom joined the Houston R-1 School District in 2007. He was previously the principal at Cuba High School. He was initially drawn to HHS by the school’s A+ designation and accreditation with distinction, as well as the opportunity to move closer to home.

“The high school has made great strides under the Professional Communities format, and that is a credit to our staff,” Yocom said. “The students I have worked with over the years have impacted me significantly, and that is something that I will never forget. Houston has a great tradition in all facets of the school. I hope my service at this district contributed to that tradition.”

Yocom, who obtained his superintendent certification four years ago, said he was offered the position at Plato on Nov. 22. He accepted the job two days later and shared the news with his staff at HHS that day.

He said it was his professional goal to serve five years as high school principal. With one year at Cuba and four in Houston, he will complete those five years this May.

“I have been awaiting the right opportunity to come along, and I felt led to believe that Plato was that opportunity,” Yocom said. “Plato also has a great tradition of academic excellence. Leon Slape has done an outstanding job with that district during his tenure and he leaves big shoes to fill. I am excited about serving the Plato R-V district as superintendent and hope that I can further that outstanding tradition as well.”

This decision did not come without a large amount of thought,prayer, self-reflection and close talks with my wife and family….Make no mistake, leaving Houston will be very difficult for meto do.”

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply Cancel reply