TORRINGTON – Torrington High School announced Tuesday afternoon the hiring of Gabe Bartlett as the new Dean of Students/Athletics Director at THS.
“Torrington High School is proud to announce that Mr. Gabe Bartlett will be joining our staff as Dean of Students and Activities Director,” THS Principal Chase Christiansen said in an email to the THS staff. “Mr. Bartlett brings a unique blend of skills to THS. His experience working with youth and families will transition well into the high school environment. We are excited for the energy, positivity and leadership that Gabe brings to THS and the community.”
Bartlett will replace outgoing assistant principal/athletics director Dave Plendl, who is retiring at the conclusion of summer school.
Bartlett is no stranger to Torrington and the THS. He graduated from the school in 1995 and is currently serving as the head boys’ soccer coach. His father, Doug, was also a long-time THS coach.
Bartlett’s top priority is the dean of student portion of the job and sees the athletic director’s position as a perk.
“The most important part is the Dean of Students. My background, my experience in that is what drew me to the position,” he said. “The AD position is a nice perk on top of it.”
Bartlett brings plenty of experience working with youth as a juvenile probation officer, a position he’s held for nearly 20 years between the states of Nebraska and Wyoming.
“I’ve worked closely with families and with the population that goes to high school – mostly 12 to 18-year-olds,” he said. “I’ve been here the past eight years through thick and thin so I thought I could lend my knowledge and experience to see if I could help the school out the best I can.”
From the athletic director’s position, Bartlett is no stranger to the Blazer programs.
“I’ve been around the athletic department pretty much growing up. I lived in the gym. I lived at the football field, at the track. I remember what Torrington was and still is. Torrington, throughout the state, is respected for everything that has happened and is happening,” he said. “I want to keep that going. I want to make sure the coaches and student-athletes have everything they need to be successful. I’ll do my darndest to get it done.”
He wants to get as many students involved in extracurricular activities as possible.
“I want all students to feel like they can be involved in any activity and feel it’s a welcoming, safe, enjoyable experience,” Bartlett said. “It shows if you are involved in any extracurricular activities, it helps you get to graduation.”
Despite the new position, Bartlett hopes to continue coaching soccer moving forward and has the backing of the THS staff to continue his coaching career, as well.
“It’s a big deal to hire something that this means something too,” Plendl said pointing to a Trailblazer logo. “It’s not just going to a job. We got a top candidate who is a THS alum and that means a lot. They understand the history of the school. The good history. The proud history of the school.”
Bartlett officially begins his new position Aug. 5.