Pair of principals usher in new era at Grant, GIM

Mike Moore photo
New Grant Elementary and Glenrock Intermediate School principal David Sunday visits with fourth grade student Korbian Hill in Karalee Thornock’s classroom Sept. 10.

Mike Moore


With a new school year now underway, both Grant Elementary and Glenrock Intermediate are under new leadership with new principals at the helm.
David Sunday, who ventured from an assistant principal position at Midwest School in Natrona County officially became the new principal for both schools and Boxelder Rural School, but isn’t alone as he settles into his administrative role.
He is joined by Emily Larsen, who serves as the assistant principal for Grant Elementary and Glenrock Intermediate, but is currently focusing most of her time with kindergarten through third grade students at the elementary level.
“This is Emily’s first year as an administrator, so she is getting her feet wet and has done a fantastic job so far,” Sunday said.
Sunday spent the previous four years of his career at Midwest in Natrona County, and was a teacher at Centennial Junior High before that.
His move to Converse County came out of a desire to lead a school building. Now he has three.
Between meeting new staff, hundreds of new students and parents, Sunday said the experience has been a positive one in the opening weeks of the new school year.
“We’re newbies to the district and the students and teachers have been great,” he said. “We’re one big family.”
Sunday was born in State College, Pennsylvania and spent his youth bouncing around between a handful of states with his family.
He graduated MSU-Billings in 2004 with his bachelors of science in elementary education, before spending a few years teaching. He later attended Grand Canyon University and graduated in 2008 with a Masters in education administration.
Since then, he has taught in Nevada, Montana, along with Wyoming locations including Rock Springs and Natrona County.
Moving to Glenrock meant bringing his wife, four kids and two dogs with him. He enjoys the “typical Wyoming hunting and fishing,” along with keeping up with hockey and being with his family.
He says he is grateful for the school district giving him the opportunity to lead.
“These guys were willing to take a chance on us leading these schools in the right direction,” he said.
Larsen grew up in Johnstown, Colorado, but has been in Wyoming for quite some time with her family. She graduated from Kelly Walsh High School in 2008 and attended the University of Wyoming at Casper College to earn her bachelors of science in elementary education, graduating in 2012. From there, she earned her masters from Walden University through online courses.
Her move to Glenrock to assume the assistant principal position is her furthest move from family she’s ever experienced, she said.
While earning her masters, she started working at Pineview Elementary, which is within Natrona County School District #1. During her tenure at Pineview, she taught first grade all the way through fourth.
Her decision to move into administration came from the relentless urging of her peers. With that, she took the plunge and obtained her administration certification from the University of Wyoming last year.
So far, her transition from teaching to leading has been a positive experience, she said.
“It’s been wonderful,” she explained. “Everyone has been welcoming. I’m still learning and getting my feet wet, but I’m looking forward to building that community with the addition of me in it. This tight-knit group has really encompassed us.”
She made the move with her two dogs, and is excited to explore what Converse County has to offer for the three of them as she settles into her new home.
In her free time, Larsen can be found spending time outdoors, fishing, hiking and snowshoeing.
“Anything outdoors, really,” she said.
With the school year just getting underway, roadmaps and goals under the new administrators to bring the schools up to where they need to be are still being ironed out, Sunday explained.
Although a lot has yet to be unearthed about how the two proceed in leading the schools, one thing is for certain. They both agree there needs to be an easier transition for students moving up from the elementary to intermediate level in terms of curriculum.
“We’re working on building a system pre-k through sixth grade and building community through two buildings,” Sunday said. “There is some disconnection now, and we want to fix that. We always have room for improvement.”


Glenrock Independent

Physical Address:506 W. Birch, Glenrock, WY 82637 Mailing Address: PO Box 109, Douglas, WY 82633 Phone: (307) 436-2211

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