S. Routt extends principal contracts

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Both South Routt School District principals will return to their posts for the 2005-06 academic year after the School Board approved one-year contracts for secondary school Principal James Chamberlin and elementary school Principal Kim Rabon.

The seven-member School Board unanimously approved the contract extensions for Chamberlin and Rabon after reviewing their job evaluations during its Thursday meeting.

Superintendent Steve Jones said he recommended the extensions for both administrators. Rabon's extension came six months after she was hired to replace former Principal Troy Zabel on an interim basis. Rabon accepted the interim position in July after Zabel abruptly left the district to take the principal position at Hayden High School, his hometown district.

Rabon was a South Routt Elementary School classroom teacher for four years before being named the school's interim principal. She most recently taught the school's multi-age first- and second-grade class. Rabon, who had worked closely with Zabel, holds an administrator's license.

The district initially planned to conduct a search during the current academic year to find a full-time replacement for Zabel. But Jones said a variety of reasons led him to change his mind and recommend that the School Board hire Rabon full time.

Rabon is "committed to the district, has demonstrated strong leadership and is already qualified for the job," Jones said Friday.

Also, with the district already conducting an extensive and time-consuming search for a superintendent, Jones thought it was worth avoiding a similar search for a principal when the district already had a qualified one in Rabon.

Not all elementary teachers agree with Jones' recommendation.

He recently met with South Routt Elementary School staff to discuss his decision.

"What I heard was an awful lot of support for Kim to be the principal down there," Jones said.

However, he did acknowledge that some teachers expressed concern that the district wasn't going to use a search process to identify its next full-time elementary school principal.

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