N. Routt director finalists named

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Hayden Middle School Principal Colleen Poole is among the finalists for the open North Routt Community Charter School director position.

North Routt School Board President Chris Gander identified Poole, Stephanie Anderson and Tom Booker as the three finalists for the director seat vacated after the previous director, Mary Bramer, was let go early last month.

One of the finalists has been offered the position, Gander said, and the North Routt School Board plans to meet with that person at its meeting Thursday night. School officials hope the details of a potential agreement will be finalized this week.

"Based on what came out of the interviews, this candidate has put a lot of thought and great ideas into it," Gander said.

All three candidates are North Routt residents -- an important factor for the School Board.

"That was a big priority for us because it's a community school," Gander said. "We were very fortunate to have three very qualified candidates apply."

School officials had hoped to interview candidates in mid-June, but scheduling conflicts and other factors delayed candidate interviews until last week.

"We wanted the process to be a little quicker," Gander said. "But we slowed down, did the right thing and tapped into the resources of the community."

One of the criteria for a successful candidate was the ability to market the young school to increase enrollment and funding opportunities, Gander said last month.

The North Routt Community Charter School opened three years ago to provide community- and place-based education for North Routt students. The school, in Clark, also eliminated two-hour round-trip bus rides into Steamboat Springs for many North Routt students.

The school's contract with the Steamboat Springs School District was renewed for three years earlier this year. Gander said the school is in good shape despite fluctuating enrollment and uncertainty over ownership of the school's property.

"I feel great about where we are right now," he said.

If Poole takes the job, it will mean some juggling for the Hayden School District, which recently lost high school Principal Nick Schafer, who resigned, and suspended Superintendent Scott Mader. The district has advertised for the principal's position and hopes to hire someone by July 21.

At a parent forum meeting last week, acting Hayden superintendent Mike Luppes indicated that a single principal for the building was a real possibility and that the five candidates in the running for the Hayden High School position were aware they might be running both schools.

Bramer, the only director the school has had, was instrumental in developing the academics and curriculum of the school, but new needs that arose as the school grew necessitated the search for a new leader, Gander said last month. Tonya Dean has served as the school's interim director.

-- Tamera Manzanares

contributed to this report.

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