"Do or do not, there is no try."



Associate Principal

Every day as an engineer presents a series of puzzles, small and large, which Duane enjoys working out that make his job enjoyable. A University of Wyoming grad, he specializes in electrical and lighting systems and describes a good workday is when a plan comes together. That plan may start by celebrating the small victories won by either him or the team crushing a deadline. As he brings a skillfully unique perspective to his projects and client relationships, Duane relishes not just the finality of projects, but the daily steps of figuring out something tricky or just getting a task done. When multiple tasks are crossed off in a single day, his typical workday goes from good to pretty awesome.




One needs to be on their toes if they are dining with the Despains. Dinner conversation are sometimes made up entirely of movie quotes. The call for dinner may receive a cry in unison of “yippy ki yay” and rush to the table. No matter what food is passed around, one-liners fly fast like arrows from a quiver. Ranging from “it’s so fluffy” to “[Face it]. You’re a neo maxi zoom dweebie” no one leaves the table before Duane offers a solemn “may the Force be with you” to conclude dinnertime.


Growing up in Mammoth Hot Springs, WY, Duane was surrounded by the beauty of Yellowstone National Park along with seeing incredible acts of nature. You may have to ask him which one was more so, his craziest observation of a pack of coyotes take down a deer or his favorite memory being chased elk, deer, buffalo, and moose. Hopefully that latter memory was not all at the same time.


It’s easy to catch Duane out and about. Surrounded by his wife and four kids with two dogs, two cats and a tortoise named Turbo, the Despains are on the go with skiing, camping, backpacking, hiking, and time with friends. Combined with recognizing his wife as an inspiration, he’s also clear that chocolate is a strong motivation to life.