Missoula County Public Schools Superintendent Rob Watson will be overseeing his final high school commencement ceremonies this week, and KGVO News caught up with him for details on the events.

“Commencement happens actually starting on Thursday, June 2,” began Dr. Watson. “Our Willard graduation will happen on Thursday. That's actually one of the ones that will be inside. We're going to do that at U of M at the Music Recital Hall. Then the urban high schools, Sentinel, Big Sky and Hellgate will be on Saturday, June 4, and those will be at Washington Grizzly Stadium. Sentinel will be at nine o'clock, Big Sky at 12 noon, and then Hellgate at 3:00 p.m.”

Dr. Watson said he always gets excited to see so many students cross the stage after four years of high school to receive their diplomas.

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“For our faculty and our students, they’re all getting pretty excited for graduation,” he said. “This is a great time of year as students wrap up their studies, and for the faculty to see that success of watching a kid walk across the stage, so I think it's just an exciting time for all of us.”

Dr. Watson was asked to look back at the COVID pandemic and its effect on the 2022 high school graduating class.

“Nothing was perfect, of course because it was COVID, but we I felt like we kept our kids engaged,” he said. “We kept them learning. We kept them moving forward, which is probably the most important thing we could do. And I think all of us learned a lot and I'm sure our kids are in that same boat. They learned a lot about perseverance and being resilient in a crisis.”

Watson has served as the MCPS Superintendent since 2019, taking over for Mark Thane. He oversaw the district through the COVID 19 pandemic. He has accepted a position in Helena working for the School Administrators of Montana.

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