Sunday, November 16, 2003
With 12 combined years of School Board experience between them, Paul Fisher and Tom Sharp have seen the Steamboat Springs School District through some trying times and momentous decisions.
The district will bid both farewell tonight, when Fisher and Sharp step down from their roles and are replaced by Jeff Troeger and Michael Loomis.
Fisher, the board's president the past two years, points to the School Board's "constancy of purpose" with many issues, such as policy governance, the Knowledge and Skills-Based Pay system and strategic vision, as its top accomplishments.
There also were the negatives, most notably the feud between former superintendent Cyndy Simms and Strawberry Park Elementary School Principal John DeVincentis.
"I think it tarnished the district, Dr. D., the superintendent, the School Board and every employee unnecessarily," Fisher said.
But even out of the negative came a positive, he said.
"It's good to see that while all the adults were doing their thing, the kids were still getting educated well," Fisher said.
Fisher said he's confident the district is being left in excellent health to a capable board and superintendent, Donna Howell, who may provide the backbone for any legacy left by the School Board that Fisher led.
Those who know Fisher and his work on the board point to his timeless commitment and dedication to district issues and his leadership.
"I think Paul has left some huge shoes to fill," board member Tami Havener said.
Board members said the same of Sharp, a local attorney who was unavailable for comment.
"I'm definitely going to miss Paul and Tom," Havener said. "We were a very cohesive group."
Debates and discussions among board members always were respectful, and each member brought unique approaches and perspectives to the table, board member Paula Stephenson said.
"I think it's the best group I've ever worked with," Stephenson said.
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