AZTEC — A familiar face has returned to the halls of Aztec High School.
Athletic Director Kerry Taylor retired effective Sept. 20 after being hired as an assistant principal and athletic director prior to the 2012-13 school year. Dean Hill, a former Aztec High School principal and dean of students, will fill Taylor's position temporarily.
"Mr. Taylor resigned to retire. His family is still down south, and he has a son who is a senior. He did us a good job, but it was time for him to get back with the family," said Aztec Municipal School District Superintendent Kirk Carpenter. "Mr. Hill will fill in for this year, and, then as a district, we will look at what we are doing with that position next year."
Hill has been away from Aztec High for four years. He spent time as the superintendent of the Bayfield School District in Colorado and has been a Piedra Vista High School teacher for the last two school years. When Aztec administrators learned Taylor was retiring, they called Hill to see if he would come out of his own recent retirement.
"It has been insanity. I am roller skating on marbles," Hill said of his first week back at Aztec High. "Of course, this week is homecoming week, so there are lots of events going on and lots of opportunities to have a lot of fun."
Hill preceded current principal Warman Hall at Aztec High. Before that, he was a teacher and the dean of students.
"It has been an easy transition coming back here with the familiarity I have with everyone," Hill said. "Mr. Hall was my athletic director when I was principal, and a lot of people are still here from my time here. Of course, working with Mr. Carpenter is also great. He has been a great friend over the last 20 years, and I have worked with him since 1992. It is a fairly seamless transition."
Hill's experience as an administrator and familiarity with the school is what made Carpenter ask him to come back.
"He won't have to get used to the culture. He understands our people, and he is a strong administrator who we are excited to have," Carpenter said.
Working with athletes directly is something Hill said he will enjoy over the next eight months.
"As a principal, often times you don't get to spend a great deal of time with all the student athletes. It is refreshing to be with those kids who work really hard and who are excited about the school and sports," he said. "It is a wonderful thing."John Livingston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-564-4648. Follow him on Twitter @jlivi2.