University high school principal is new to his job, but a familiar face in the halls

University High School in the Central Valley School District has a new principal, at least as new as one can get after growing up in the school and working there as a vice principal for the past few years.

Rob Bartlett first came to U-Hi as a child in 1984, when his father took a job teaching biology and coaching football there. He graduated from the school in 1997, although it was the old U-Hi on Ninth Avenue and not the current building on 32nd Avenue.

“I grew up as a Titan,” he said. “I bled crimson and gray.”

Teaching is in Bartlett’s blood. Both of his parents were teachers, as were his grandparents. Two of his three sisters will also become teachers.

“My grandfather was a teacher at Lewis and Clark and he taught social studies,” he said. “I just loved it. When you’re raised by educators, you’re there all the time.

In 2002, Bartlett got his first teaching job – teaching social studies in college high school. He was also a football and baseball coach.

“I loved college high school,” he said. “I’ll be honest. It was my dream. I’ve been doing exactly what I wanted to do since I was 6 years old.

He was satisfied with his work and hadn’t thought of doing anything else. But in 2012, his principal asked him to be the school’s dean of discipline because “he liked my style,” Bartlett said. “Really, I had never thought of going into administration.”

He took the job and never looked back.

“I knew this was my new career path,” he said. “I could reach so many more students and parents.”

After four years in this position, he became deputy director. He had held this position for seven years. Earlier this year, the university’s current principal, Keven Frandsen, announced his retirement, and Bartlett quickly applied for the position. He was selected for the position after an interview process that included feedback from staff and community members.

“I fill big shoes there,” he said.

He said his goal is to take a ‘family first’ approach and create a welcoming community where the whole child can be taught. “I’m just looking forward to welcoming the body of the study,” he said. “They’re great kids and there’s a phenomenal staff.”

Her advancement left a vacancy in the school administration, and the district hired Alison Daschbach, currently vice-principal of East Valley Middle School, to be vice-principal of the university.

When asked where he wants to be in five years, he has a simple answer. “I see myself leading U-Hi,” he said.

“I’m crazy excited to start,” he said. “It’s just a great opportunity to step in right now.”

Nina Culver can be reached at

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