TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – With two new elementary schools opening this fall, the Twin Falls School District has had to make some decisions. Its most recent was hiring Tyler Matlock as principal of Oregon Trail Elementary School.

Tyler Matlock

Matlock, who will begin his new duties in August, will replace Shari Cowger who has been named principal of Rock Creek Elementary School. The other new school, Pillar Falls Elementary, will be led by Nancy Murphy, current vice principal of Perrine and Sawtooth elementary schools

“I’m looking forward to my new role,” Matlock said Tuesday morning, after the school board on Monday night approved his appointment. “They couldn’t have picked someone who’s more excited than I am to get going.”

Matlock, originally from Oklahoma, graduated from BYU-Idaho with a degree in education administration and then moved to Oakley where he taught middle and high school social studies and physical education. He moved to Twin Falls in 2013 and the rest, as they say, is history.

“I always tell people that I loved school so much that I went back to school for a living,” he said.

He already knows his new post well. For the past two years he’s served as the associated principal of both Oregon Trail and Harrison elementary schools. He also served as technology coach for the district, helping teachers utilize technology instruction in the classroom.

By the time he takes the helm at Oregon Trail this fall, he’ll have around 500 students. The school currently has 700, but boundary changes will take about 200 of those students to Lincoln and Bickel to help balance enrollment between the schools. He’ll still have plenty to do.

“My goal going into this is to build on the relationship that I’ve started with students, families and the staff, and just have a fantastic place for learning to happen,” he said.

He’ll likely lose some staff to the new schools this fall, he said, and so refilling those positions will be a priority as will be hiring his vice principal. He said the district will be looking to fill that position sooner rather than later.

“Hopefully the transition will go smoothly,” he said.