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Hobbs Celebrating Retirement After 35 Years With USD 440

Posted 5/18/2017

BENTLEY—An entire generation of students has known him as their principal, but next fall children at Bentley Primary School will have a new administrator. Current principal Larry Hobbs is retiring this summer after three-and-a-half decades working for the Halstead-Bentley school district, most of which was spent as principal at BPS.

He said these 35 years have gone by fast.LARRY Hobbs is retiring as principal of Bentley Primary School after 35 years with the school district. LARRY Hobbs is retiring as principal of Bentley Primary School after 35 years with the school district.

“It seems like all of a sudden it just kind of took off on me,” he said.

Hobbs said he has been reflecting on retirement and found that it has many similarities to graduation. Both milestones are a time to reflect on the past while also looking ahead to new adventures.

“You have to chose the right path, just like graduation from high school, which path do you want to go,” Hobbs said. “And for me, personally, where does God want me to go next? That’s kind of where I’m at.”

Since the time he was in kindergarten until now, Hobbs has always been involved in a school in some form or another, either as student, teacher or administrator.

He doesn’t have many specific plans for retirement but said he is open for anything. He added that church is a big part of his life, and he plans to continue teaching a fourth-grade Sunday school class with his wife at West Ridge Church in Wichita.

“That’ll keep me in touch with kids,” he said.

Over his career, Hobbs has been known for finding creative ways to make school fun for his students, whether that’s by taking the occasional pie to the face or by dressing as his “brother” who is the hillbilly principal of Possum Trot High School.

Hobbs said some of his favorite memories at the school have been things like the pirate competition they participated in about five years ago and the wheelchair races during the 100th day of school celebration. 

“The kids really enjoy that kind of stuff,” he said.

Another highlight for him was seeing one of his teachers, Marlys Gwaltney, receive recognition in a teacher-of-the-year competition for the central district this past year.

“I’ll still hold onto great memories that I’ve had and just really being thankful to the Halstead-Bentley community,” Hobbs said “They’ve been very gracious to me.”

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