Meskwaki principal Clyde Tarrence hired to lead GMG Secondary

Clyde Tarrence.

Meskwaki Settlement School will soon need a new middle school/high school principal.

During the Monday, May 13, meeting of the Green Mountain-Garwin (GMG) Board of Education held at the elementary school, the board approved as part of the consent agenda the hiring of Clyde Tarrence as the district’s new secondary principal beginning July 1.

Tarrence, who has been employed as the middle school/high school principal for Meskwaki Settlement School for the last six years, will take over at GMG for principal Jaimie Gargas who resigned effective at the end of the school year to move to Arizona to be near family.

When contacted by the newspaper on Wednesday, Tarrence said Gargas himself reached out when the position at GMG came open.

“I was actually contacted by Jaimie. I had applied for the [GMG principal] position previously.”

Tarrence, 60, of rural Le Grand cited several factors in his decision to accept the GMG position including not being quite ready to retire but ready for a “new opportunity close to home.”

“[Garwin] is seven miles from my house instead of 12. I’ve always kind of liked that community and I’m from a small community myself.”

The chance to continue working in the same conference was also a factor.

“I know the kids, I know the [Iowa Star] Conference.”

Before Meskwaki, Tarrence was a principal at Iowa Falls CSD. He also served as a principal at West Fork CSD and as superintendent for a school district in South Dakota.

Tarrence said that while he has enjoyed his time at Meskwaki, he felt now was a good time to step aside and make way for others to assume leadership roles.

“I feel good about the decision. I’m really looking forward to working with (Superintendent) Chris Petersen. I was impressed with the school board, too.”

Tarrence plans to meet with GMG staff next week. In the meantime, he’s got Meskwaki graduation on his calendar this weekend and the end of the 2023-24 school year to finish out strong – but he’s gearing up for the next chapter.

“It’s just time for a new, fresh start.”

GMG Secondary School is located in Garwin. Tarrence will join elementary principal Stacey Busch and newly hired superintendent Chris Petersen – whom the district shares with Baxter CSD – in leading the district next school year.