Steamboat Springs Steamboat Springs School District veteran Sandy Hall, the principal at the district's middle school the last two years, has resigned to become superintendent of Mountain Valley School District in Saguache.
Hall cried as she spoke of leaving the school district after 16 years.
"The kids. This town has absolutely wonderful kids and parents. I will miss that and the middle school staff. It will not be easy," Hall said.
She takes over at Mountain Valley on Aug. 1. "I am excited and will have a lot of learning to do," she said.
Hall has worked in the district since 1985 as a special education teacher at Steamboat Springs High School and Strawberry Park Elementary School, assistant principal at Steamboat Springs Middle School and part-time director of content standards before taking a position as co-principal at the middle school in 1998 and principal in 1999.
Hall is enrolled in a superintendency preparatory program through the University of Denver to complete her doctorate.
Cyndy Simms, Steamboat Springs School District superintendent, said Hall has completed her multi-year work as an intern under Simms and is ready to move on to the next step.
"I didn't think of making the move this soon but I wanted to be in a community and a district that was small, (where) things are simpler," Hall said of this first step.
As part of Halls' internship, Simms said she ran a school board meeting during the beginning of the 2000-2001 school year in order for her to get hands-on experience.
"She's been wanting this for awhile," Simms said.
Hall said with the new position in a new district, she probably won't finish her doctorate in less than a few years because of the need to complete her dissertation.
Simms said a person doesn't need to have a doctorate to be a superintendent, although it is a good idea to be an assistant to a superintendent or work in a small district.
That's the path Hall has chosen.
Mountain Valley School District has about 200 students.
"I'm very sad," Simms said. "She's an excellent teacher and administrator. She loves to work with the kids and works well with staff and parents. She has a lot of drive and is ambitious. She'll be really missed."
Simms said the district is advertising for an interim principal to fill Hall's shoes until a proper hiring for a full-time principal can proceed in the middle of the 2001-2002 school year.
"It's the summer, people don't look to make a change in summer," Simms said.
Whomever accepts and is hired as the new middle school principal will act as principal for the 2001-2002 school year, while applications will open up for the 2002-2003 school year in November.
Simms said applications for the interim principal are due July 6, as the district only is advertising locally. To hire a full-time principal, the district will begin advertising nationally in November.
Simms said she is hopeful assistant principal Tim Bishop has an interest in the position.
The interim principal has the opportunity to apply for the full-time position when applications start being accepted.