Although many people haven’t been to school in person for a while, Robert Mars, the now retiring principal at Shadow Ridge, certainly hasn’t been forgotten. He’s managed to hold the school together through a very difficult time and frustrating situation. However, Mars plans to retire at the end of this year and move on to another phase of his life.
Q: What are your plans for retirement?
A: My immediate plan is to visit my mother who lives outside of Buffalo, NY. Due to the pandemic, it’s been nearly two years since I’ve seen her, and I want to spend several weeks with her. I’m looking forward to seeing her, other relatives, and friends and giving my sister, who has been my mom’s sole caregiver, some relief. There are several projects around the house that she wants me to do and the list keeps growing. Being retired will give me the opportunity to be with her for several weeks, not just a few days, which usually occurs when I’m working. It will also give my sister some rest as she has been the sole caregiver for several years. Afterwards, I’m uncertain exactly what I will do. I’ll see what opportunities present themselves and where I feel I can continue to make a difference and have a positive impact on others.
Q: What do you think will be your most lasting impact on the school?
A: As the principal at Shadow Ridge HS, I’ve only been in the building with students for eight of the approximately twenty four months I’ve been here, and, during the last three months, we’ve only had one third of our student population present. That being said, during this time we have been able to accomplish quite a few things. Most notably, we increased the number of Nevada State College – Dual Credit course offerings. Previously, we offered two periods of dual credit classes in one subject. This year we offered thirteen periods in four different subjects. At the same time, we maintained and even increased enrollment in our AP (Advanced Placement) classes. Students have the ability to graduate from Shadow Ridge HS with over 24 college credits. Our school is currently undergoing a complete WiFi upgrade which will serve students and staff for the next 15 plus years. Additionally, we have been able to provide significant financial support to academic, athletic, career and technical education, and performing arts classes. In doing so, our students and teachers will be well positioned for future success.
Q: What did being a Mustang mean to you?
A: Being a Mustang means you have a sense of pride in your school and community. You treat others the way you want to be treated and always strive to do your very best. I frequently use the term “Mustang Family” and I mean that very sincerely. The students and staff at Shadow Ridge HS are truly part of a family, the Mustang Family, and I am proud to be a part of it.
Q: What are your feelings about ending your long educational career at SRHS?
A: When I first arrived at Shadow Ridge HS, my intentions always were to stay until I retired. My plan was to retire in 2023 or 2024, after my youngest daughter graduated from college. The early retirement incentive offered by CCSD was something that had never been offered before, may never be offered again, and was too good to pass up. I am extremely proud and humbled to have served as the principal of Shadow Ridge HS and to end this portion of my career as a Mustang.
Q: We know you had to travel pretty far to get to school, was the lengthy car ride worth it in the long run?
A: From home to Shadow was 35 miles each way and would take anywhere from 45 to 60+ minutes, depending on traffic. Even though it was a long drive, I absolutely LOVED coming to shadow every day. The other day I actually told my wife that I could not think of one day when I woke up in the morning and said, “I don’t want to go to school today.” The next principal of Shadow Ridge HS will be fortunate to serve at a school with such outstanding students, parents, teachers, and staff. The lengthy car ride was definitely worth it. Plus my mom loved that I would call her and be able to talk with her for the entire drive 🙂
Q: What do you hope for in the new school principal and will you have any say in who is chosen?
A: My hope is that the new principal continues to strike a balance between the importance of academics and athletics/activities. The new principal should continue to make decisions that are “good for kids” and not be afraid to question things if he/she does not feel that they make sense for students or teachers. The new principal needs to “love kids” and attend all types of events that students participate in. I sent out an email to parents, students, and staff members asking for their input on the qualities and characteristics they would like to see in the new principal. This information is shared with our SOT (School Organizational Team) and they will select key criteria that will be shared with the Region 1 office. The School Associate Superintendent will conduct initial screenings/interviews of candidates and then three to five will be interviewed by the SOT. The SOT will select a top candidate and this candidate, along with one or two others, to be interviewed by the superintendent. One member from the SOT will be invited to sit in on the interviews with the Superintendent. In the end, the Superintendent uses input from the SOT and makes the final principal selection.
On behalf of all the students at Shadow Ridge, we’d like to thank Mr. Mars for all that he’s done for SRHS over these last couple of years!