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Former Billings superintendent takes new job overseeing schools in Africa

Posted: 2:45 PM, Jul 18, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-18 17:57:28-04

BILLINGS- Former Billings Schools Superintendent Terry Bouck didn’t stay retired for long.

Less than two years since he stepped down from the top job at School District 2, the long-time educator is off on a new adventure, half a world away.

In October, Bouck starts work for the U.S. State Department as the regional education officer for the entire African continent.

“I’ll go to about 20 to 21 schools a year. There are almost 40, so I’ll see them every other year,” Bouck said Wednesday in Billings.

Now, this isn’t your typical assignment for a 69-year-old retiree, but Bouck says you just never know when opportunity knocks.

“We want to make sure their education internationally meets the standards of students in public schools throughout the U.S.,” he said.

Helping influence the curriculum for thousands of American students abroad turned out to be an opportunity too good to pass up.

Another key part of the job will be to help line up funding and scholarships as tuition for many of the private and international schools range anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000 a year.

“.Some of the schools around the world are four to five thousand kids, some are as small as 50 or 60. There are needs all around, and to provide consultation and dollars where appropriate will make me feel good too as a professional,” Bouck said.

Most importantly, Bouck says his wife Kristi is also up for the new adventure.

“Yeah, we’re excited. We’re sad about leaving Billings. We love the community and the people and certainly the support that we have for schools here,” he said.

This will actually be Bouck’s second go-round in Africa. During the early days of his career, Bouck worked for six years as assistant superintendent – and eventually superintendent at the American International School in Lagos, Nigeria.

Bouck was hired as Billings schools superintendent in 2012 after serving as an administrator in Gig Harbor, Wash. In 2018, he ran for an open Montana House seat as a Democrat and lost in the primary.

Reporting by Jay Kohn for MTN News