By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
With an office scattered with boxes of new uniforms and basketballs, Troy Hauxwell had to maneuver a bit to get to his desk.
The new Chase County Schools Activity Director (A.D.), however, seemed to take it all in stride as he acclimates himself to the new job.
On top of that, he said good-bye to the community and school at Bethune, Colo., where he’s lived and worked the past 15 years, moved his family of six to a home in Imperial and left Monday for Lincoln and the annual coaches clinic.
In between, the family squeezed in a trip to the Colorado state swim finals, where oldest daughter Kaley finished second in the breast stroke.
It’s been a bit of a whirlwind, but Hauxwell said the family is excited about getting back to Nebraska.
He grew up between McCook and Indianola, attending the Republican Valley elementary and high schools, graduating in 1991. The high school consolidated recently and is now known as Southwest.
Many longtime area residents likely remember his dad, Neal Hauxwell, a 35-year UPS driver who had Imperial on his delivery route at one time.
His wife, Mercedes, is a McCook native. The two met in college at the University of Nebraska-Kearney and are now parents to four children.
Both still have a lot of relatives in the McCook and Culbertson areas, he said.
“We are excited to be here. The community seems incredible. Everyone’s been so friendly and hospitable,” he said.
He’s been working closely with 7-12 Principal Mike Sorensen and activities secretary Audrey Meeske as he learns the CCS system of purchase orders and gets answers to his questions.
As busy as he is now, he had a very full schedule, too, at Bethune, eight miles west of Burlington, Colo., on I-70, where he’s been since his 1997 graduation from UNK.
The past year at Bethune, similar in size to a Nebraska Class D school, Hauxwell served as high school principal, Athletic Director, and was head football and head boys/girls’ track coach. He also taught K-4 physical education.
As head football coach in 2010, his team beat undefeated Eads, Colo., who was ranked No. 2 in the state at the time. That overtime victory earned him Coach of the Week honors by the Denver Broncos organization, and eventually, he became a finalist for Coach of the Year.
He said they hadn’t really planned to be in Colorado that long. Mrs. Hauxwell also taught and coached 10 years in the Bethune school system.
All of their job responsibilities at Bethune made it difficult to get back to see family, he said. The move to Imperial, just an hour or so now from relatives, will change that.
CCS was one of three positions Hauxwell looked at when considering a move, but Chase County definitely stood out.
“When we came here, we were so impressed with how clean the town was, its wide streets and beautiful school facilities,” he said.
He said they were impressed, too, with the presence of Mid-Plains Community College in the community, and that Imperial still supports its own theatre, has a bowling alley and offers a lot of activities for kids.
The school’s veteran teaching staff, and its emphasis on technology such as the one-to-one laptop program, also says a lot about the community, the school board and the backing the school receives, he added.
They see Imperial as a family-oriented community.
In his new position here, Hauxwell said there will be a lot of changes from his responsibilities at Bethune.
For one, there are more athletic offerings at Chase County Schools. At Bethune, sports included football, volleyball, basketball and track. Here, CCS also offers cross country, wrestling, softball and golf.
As an “activities” director here, he also will work closely with the music, drama and other extra-curricular programs like FFA and FBLA in their scheduling and traveling plans.
In addition, like past A.D. Marc Mroczek, he will be teaching a couple periods a day, namely two junior high physical education classes the first two periods of the school day.
The Hauxwells’ children include daughters Kaley, 12, a seventh grader; six-year-old Faith, a first grader; and one-year-old Addison. Their four-year-old son, Haven, will be in preschool.
Hauxwell said he enjoys hunting, fishing and running. He competed in the Boston Marathon in 1996, after running a qualifying time at the Omaha Marathon. He and his wife have also been active with church youth groups.