S. Routt to fill vacancy

Board will offer principal job to teacher on interim basis

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The South Routt School District will ask one of its teachers to fill a principal vacancy created when Troy Zabel accepted a position with the Hayden School District earlier this week.

The South Routt School Board approved a motion Thursday night to offer its elementary school principal position to Kim Rabon on an interim basis. Rabon, a four-year employee of the district, teaches the elementary school's multi-age first-second-grade class.

"When I heard Troy's decision (to leave the district), she was one of the first people to come to mind," School Board President Hank deGanahl said.

Rabon has an administrator's license and a desire to move into a leadership position, deGanahl said. Her experience in the district and her close working relationship with Zabel should make her a natural fit for the position.

"We don't anticipate any change in what's been going on down there," deGanahl said, referring to the success of the elementary school in recent years.

But first Rabon must accept the offer.

"I fully expect her to take it," deGanahl said. "She's ready to get on board."

The School Board chose to offer the position on an interim basis to an existing employee because there wasn't enough time to conduct an extensive search for a permanent replacement.

"We need a principal on board by Aug. 1," deGanahl said. "We'll have a full-blown search next year."

The School Board will encourage Rabon to apply for the permanent position once the search process begins, he said.

On Wednesday, Zabel, the South Routt Elementary School principal since 2000, accepted an offer to become the principal of Hayden High School. Zabel is a Hayden native and former Hayden teacher and assistant principal. He lives in Hayden with his wife and three children.

"I have an investment in Hayden," Zabel said. "It's home and where we chose to raise our kids. I really feel I can make a strong difference. It's an opportunity I couldn't pass up."

The Hayden position became available after former Principal Nick Schafer resigned unexpectedly in May. Schafer cited philosophical differences with district administration as his primary reason for leaving.

South Routt School Board members praised Zabel for his leadership and said he will be greatly missed.

"It's going to hurt," board member Rodney Wilson said. "Those are big shoes to fill. We were lucky to have him as long as we did."

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