Schafer's resignation accepted

Hayden School District moves ahead with hiring process

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The Hayden School Board unanimously accepted Hayden High School Principal Nick Schafer's resignation Wednesday night.

There was little discussion of the issue because of a special board meeting earlier this month, as well as several parent forums organized to discuss the district's direction in light of negative rumors circulating since Schafer resigned May 27.

Although parents, teachers and administrators may be nearing closure over the issue, science teacher Mari Mahanna stressed that the students -- who will be the most affected by Schafer's departure -- need an opportunity to see their former principal before he leaves.

"We really think the kids are the ones who need a chance to say goodbye," she said, adding that a picnic might be arranged for students to say their farewells.

The district has been advertising for a new high school principal for two weeks and will be taking applications through Monday.

A committee comprised of two board members, two parents, two teachers, one principal and one student will screen applicants through June 24 and conduct interviews from June 30 through July 5. The committee hopes to recommend a final candidate to the School Board on July 7, Hayden Superintendent Scott Mader said.

Parents, teachers and students interested in being on the screening and interviewing committee will meet with Mader on Monday. There are more interested residents than spots, but schedule agreements likely will determine the final committee, Mader said.

Also at the meeting, Ann Willingham informed board members on issues discussed at Tuesday night's parent forum, which also was attended by Mader, board secretary Troy Wertenberger and board treasurer Patty Bruchez.

Better enforcement of school dress codes and a request for more information about mediation sessions between Mader and the district's three principals earlier this year were among parents' concerns, she said.

Willingham also suggested the School Board meet with teachers every two months to proactively approach potential problems.

"One of our concerns is we don't want to lose any more staff if there's any unrest going on," she said.

In other business:

n The board approved the accreditation of Hayden schools based on board members' and Mader's visits with principals. Administrators determined the schools' goals were in line with state standards. The state requires all school districts to have an accreditation procedure to ensure students perform at or above state averages on the Colorado Assessment Program testes.

n Board members adopted the 2004-05 fiscal year budget as well as a new literacy curriculum. They also agreed to hire a company to refurbish and paint the high school gym floor.

n The board accepted Mahanna's resignation from her position as the schools' health coordinator. The board also accepted the resignations of cyberschool coordinator Paul Van Horn and Hayden Middle School girls basketball coach Michelle Wilkie.

n The board agreed to hire Ty Zabel of Craig as the high school wrestling coach. Board members also approved a request to hire Ted Moss of Steamboat and Stephanie Davis of Grand Junction as full-time middle school math teachers. Brett Hoover of Nevada will be hired as the new literacy teacher at the middle school.

-- To reach Tamera Manzanares call 871-4204 or e-mail tmanzanares@steamboatpilot.com

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