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Outgoing Columbia Falls School Superintendent Dave Wick leaves long-lasting impact

Columbia Falls Superintendent Dave Wick is calling it a career after four decades in education.
Dave Wick
Posted at 3:41 PM, May 23, 2023

COLUMBIA FALLS - Columbia Falls Superintendent Dave Wick is calling it a career after four decades in education, leaving behind a long-lasting impact on the community he calls home.

“There’s never going to be another Dave Wick, that’s for sure,” said Columbia Falls seventh grade teacher Holly Ekstrom.

Dave Wick’s days of walking the hallways in Columbia Falls are nearing an end as he’s set to retire from his role as superintendent at the end of June.

“I’m just so grateful to have been in this community, it’s been such a privilege, and I feel like we have a great team here, and just being a part of the team and getting things done," said Wick.

Wick spent 23 years as principal of Columbia Falls Junior High School before transitioning into his role as superintendent.

He also served a short term as president of the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

“Representing about 60,000 elementary and middle school principals in the nation, it was a great honor,” added Wick.

Wick played a key part in helping the district secure funding for the construction of outdated school buildings. He saw the need firsthand.

“They had been trying to pass a new junior high since 1972, so that was a really great thing,” said Wick.
“You see the improvements being made at both the K-5 schools, that’s Mr. Wick, he’s had his hands in all of that, so improvement in the district is a big part of who he’s been,” said Columbia Falls Junior High School math teacher Dallas Sullivan.

Ekstrom said part of the reason she stayed in the district for 23 years is due to the trusting relationship Wick builds with his staff.

“You know to be a member of the Columbia Falls family, and that’s something super important to me, and that’s why I stayed, took the job here, and stayed here for this many years,” said Ekstrom.

Wick feels confident in the direction of Columbia Falls schools in the coming years but admits it takes a two-way street between parents and educators to navigate a constantly changing landscape.

“Ask parents to be involved and get to know their child’s teacher and their child’s staff, and once they do if they have concerns, bring them to us, we’re always listening to parents, and I think there’s a great partnership between home and school, and that’s what we really want,” said Wick.

Come this summer, science teacher Eric Morgan has a few tips of his own for Wick to focus on outside of the classroom.

“You know the one thing he is lacking is maybe some golf skills, and I’m hoping to help him with that in retirement," said Morgan.

The school district recently announced that Cory Dziowgo has been appointed as the next Superintendent of Columbia Falls effective this July.

He comes from Platte County, Wyoming where he served in the school district since 2016, first as a middle school principal and, then as interim business manager and interim superintendent, and has served as the superintendent since 2020.