MABTON - Long time Mabton junior and high school assistant principal Denny Brown assumed the helm at Mabton Middle School in its inaugural year, which started this past Tuesday.
Although Brown hasn't been given the official title of principal as of yet Brown is the lead administrator at the middle school and will continue his role as athletic director for the high school and the new middle school.
The first couple of days have gone well, Brown said.
"A lot of the distractions are gone, but we're still working out some bumps," he said of separating the junior high students from the high school students.
Currently, there are 137 seventh and eighth grade students housed in four portables just west of the high school softball fields. Next year, when sixth graders will join the middle school, Brown said an additional protable will be added, which will provide two more class rooms.
Brown spent seven years as the assistant principal at Mabton High School and before that, was an administrator for 11 years in Mattawa.
Now his role has changed.
"My focus is on the middle school students, their achievement and the middle school staff," he explained. "We're approaching this as a team."
Brown will also assume head coaching duties for the middle school football team, but is quick to point out that while he might have the title his two other coaches will share the coaching duties, as well. Brown, who has coached in Mattawa and Zillah, is looking forward to working with long-time coach Rick Reed and Mabton High School teacher Rick Maldonado.
Three of the seven teachers at the new middle school are involved with sports programs, something Brown said he likes to see.
Due to Brown's extra responsibilities during the football season Mabton High School boys basketball coach Brock Ledgerwood will help out with the high school's athletic director's duties during that period.
Ledgerwood said it was discussed at the end of the last school year when Brown expressed interest in coaching.
"I only have a certain list of things to do," he said. "I'm more like an assistant."
Ledgerwood, who said he's had a desire to try his hand at being an athletic director for some time, will make sure things run smoothly for Friday night football games, take care of scheduling officials and transportation for all fall sports.
Ledgerwood will also ensure academic eligibility for all high school athletes.
When winter sports rolls around Ledgerwood will assume his head coaching duties for the boys basketball program.
"This will give me some good experience, and doing it under Denny, I know I can't mess up too bad," he added.