Monday, February 28, 2005
The Steamboat Springs School District's search for new principals could be over by the end of the week.
Superintendent Donna Howell said she expects to hire principals for Steamboat Springs High School and Strawberry Park Elementary School by Monday, if not sooner. Highly regarded school leaders John DeVincentis (Strawberry Park) and Dave Schmid (Steamboat High School) are retiring at the end of the school year.
Steamboat Springs High School assistant principal Mike Knezevich and Fort Collins High School assistant principal Ann Sims are the finalists for the high school position. Rifle Middle School Principal Mark MacHale and Custer County Elementary School Principal Muriel deGanahl are the finalists for the Strawberry Park position.
The finalists were named in mid-February after an extensive interview and screening process led by Howell.
The final step in the search process begins today, when Howell leads a group of two parents and two Strawberry Park staff members on site visits to the schools of each elementary finalist.
The group travels to Rifle Middle School this morning to meet with some of that school's parents and teachers. The group then will drive to Westcliffe on Wednesday to visit with staff members and parents at deGanahl's school.
After returning to Steamboat late Wednesday, Howell will head to Fort Collins on Thursday with a group of high school staff members, parents and students to visit Sims' school. The site visit group will return to Steamboat on Thursday evening.
Site visits can be a valuable part of the search process, Howell said.
"What I have found is that you really get the sense of what the leadership style of the individual is because they've created a culture at their school," Howell said. Site visits also provide the opportunity to see the candidates in their settings, interacting with their colleagues.
"It's another piece of good information to have," Howell said.
A site visit isn't necessary for Knezevich, she said, because she has worked with him closely during the past year and has gathered input about him from high school teachers and parents.
After Howell chooses her top choice for each position, she'll proceed with contract negotiations, a process she hopes to complete during the weekend or by early Monday.
When the hirings are official, the district will begin a transition plan to help the new principals settle into their roles.
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