Belle Fourche Principal Mathew Raba named Principal of the Year

Black Hills Backstory: Secondary Principal of the Year by the South Dakota Association of Secondary Principals
Published: Mar. 10, 2021 at 12:04 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - To become a Principal of the year you have to be creative, engaging, and drop the occasional dad joke.

“You know what they say about land... you can’t make more if it.”

Almost two decades in education, Mathew Raba has been named Secondary Principal of the Year by the South Dakota Association of Secondary Principals.

Raba said “I certainly don’t feel like the accomplishment is an individual accomplishment. I feel like the success of our school is based on the team of people that work here, the kids that go here and believe and buy into what we’re all about, and the parents have been supportive as well.”

While Raba is humble when it comes to the honor he gets emotional when reflecting on his inspiration.

Raba said “Excuse me and let me get myself together... My junior year of high school we had a new math teacher who came called Chad Coley. And I always liked math and was strong in math... after having him as a coach and teacher I had decided that that was career path I wanted to choose.”

And Raba continues that influence by encouraging and supporting his staff.

Raba said “One of the things that I really enjoy in this job is helping those younger teachers grow in their profession”

Cami Wenk is an English teacher at Belle Fourche High School and thinks Raba is pinnacle to Belle Fourche High School and it’s community.

Wenk said “He may offer some advice, he may give some feedback that may help us grow as teachers. He’s a big part of the community and I don’t know what it would be like without him to be honest.”

Raba, who’s married with two sons, has lived in Belle Fourche for over 20 years and depends on his wife, also a teacher, to succeed at work.

Raba said “The position requires a lot of long hours attending a lot of different activities. My wife is always there to pick up the boy and haul them here and there. There’s no way I couldn do this without her support.”

A support that benefits all that attend and work at Belle Fourche High School.

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