Principal finalists named

SSHS assistant, Fort Collins assistant get nod

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— Steamboat Springs High School assistant principal Mike Knezevich is one of two finalists for the position being vacated by retiring principal Dave Schmid.

Fort Collins High School assistant principal Ann Sims also was named a finalist Monday, Steamboat Springs School District Superintendent Donna Howell said.

Knezevich and Sims were named finalists because of their solid knowledge of instruction and Colorado state standards, Howell said.

"We had good, solid candidates," she said. "It was a matter of narrowing it down based on their experiences and the needs of our district. These were the two closest matches to the needs of the school district."

The district received 19 applications for the principal position. The district's administrative team narrowed the pool of candidates to six semifinalists, each of whom interviewed last week with a committee composed of teachers, parents, administrators and high school students. The semifinalists also were asked to take a test, critique videotaped classroom lessons and respond in writing to a specific job-related scenario. Howell selected Knezevich and Sims as the finalists based on the results of those evaluations.

Knezevich has been Schmid's assistant principal for the past six years. He was an assistant principal at Hinkley High School in Aurora before accepting the position in Steamboat.

Knezevich, who's excited and nervous about the selection process, said he's ready to become a principal after many years as an assistant.

Before becoming an assistant principal, Sims taught English, Howell said. Sims couldn't be reached for comment Monday night.

The finalists will have second interviews with the district this week. Knezevich will meet with Howell on Wednesday. He also will meet with high school staff and parents. Parents are invited to a meeting with Knezevich at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the high school.

Sims will meet with Howell, the district's administrative team and high school staff Thursday. She also will meet with interested parents at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the high school.

Despite his experience in the district, Knezevich hasn't been treated any differently than the other applicants, Howell said.

"We're putting the internal candidate through the same things as the other candidates," she said.

Howell will lead a site visit to Fort Collins during the week of Feb. 28. At least one parent and one high school teacher are expected to accompany her. The same week, Howell and several Strawberry Park Elementary School teachers and parents will visit the schools of Muriel deGanahl and Mark MacHale, who last week were named finalists for the Strawberry Park Elementary principal's job open because of the retirement of John DeVincentis.

DeVincentis and Schmid have led their schools to top rankings on the state-issued School Accountability Reports.

Howell will make the final hiring decisions for both the high school and elementary school principal positions. The School Board will have to approve the contracts she offers for each position. Howell hopes to have the hiring process complete by the first week in March.

-- To reach Brent Boyer call 871-4234

or e-mail bboyer@steamboatpilot.com

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