A week of lasts for RMHS Principal Tony Anson

By JESSICA ROBINSON

Twenty-eight years ago, Riverside Middle/High School Principal Tony Anson made a goal to retire, which is being fulfilled in 2019. The last week has been completed with a list of last things for Anson as principal including his last Big Horn School District No. 4 board meeting and graduation ceremony. 

Anson grew up in Lyman and graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1987 with a master’s in education and agriculture education.

His career at Riverside Middle/High School started in February of 1989 as the ag teacher and FFA advisor. The career would stretch for 15 years until he was hired as the principal in 2004. 

He said that in the 15 years he was the ag teacher, he had at least seven principals. That’s an average of a principal every two years.

Barbara Anne Greene photo
Outgoing Chapter president Sterling Foss and Advisor Ashley Spatz presented Tony Anson with a few gifts to recognize his contributions to the chapter.

The last principal they had, Anson was the lead teacher. He said he spent as much time dealing with issues while teaching.

Anson told the school board that if they hired him as principal, he would get his endorsement and give them 15 years. 

In regards to getting his endorsement, Anson went to school that summer and did a year of internship.

Being a teacher and principal were both enjoyable to Anson. In regards to being the ag teacher and FFA advisor, he said, “There are a lot of activities and a lot of stuff you do with the kids and get to work real close with the kids. We built a pretty competitive FFA chapter when I was here.”

The FFA chapter for Riverside was the No. 1 chapter for three years while Anson was the advisor. 

Becoming the principal meant that Anson dealt with students in a different way. He said that he was afraid that he would be dealing with kids in a disciplinary way. However, he found out that was not the case.

He got to deal with the students on a personal basis. As the ag teacher, Anson said he had his group of kids. As the principal, all of the students became his kids.

As for working for the district and Basin, Anson said that it didn’t look attractive on the outside, but the more you are around, it becomes attractive. He added that the people were extremely nice and the community was a place he wanted to stay and raise his kids.

His kids graduated from Basin and went on to be very successful, he said.

Anson doesn’t have any plans for his retirement. He wants to keep his summers open so he can hunt, camp and fish. Anson said that he has had offers to drive grain and beet trucks. 

Big Horn County School District No. 4 recognized Anson at its meeting on May 14. They presented him with a clock for his 30 years of service to the district. 

“Tony Anson means a lot to this district,” said Supt. Dave Kerby. “He’s done a great job for a lot of years.”

Kerby continued that he’s grown to appreciate Anson for who he is and what he does for the kids.