Curriculum leader leaving district

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Kelly Stanford, the Steamboat Springs School District's director of curriculum and instruction, will leave the school system this summer for a new position in Texas.

Stanford, hired in 2001 as the district's content standards director, has accepted an offer to become assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for the Cuero Independent School District in Cuero, Texas.

"I'm really excited about it," Stanford said Thursday. "It's a great opportunity."

Stanford is working with district officials in Steamboat and Cuero to determine transition plans for both school systems. Stanford will begin the 2005-06 school year in Cuero, but it's unclear when she'll leave the Steamboat Springs School District.

Last summer, Stanford's position was restructured and given a new title. As director of curriculum and instruction, Stanford is responsible for developing and implementing a district-wide staff development plan and executing a district-wide curriculum development plan, among other duties. She oversees the technology director, teachers on special assignment, the district grants writer, technology coordinators and library media specialists.

"It has been a very challenging position," she said. "I've learned a lot. It has been very fulfilling."

Stanford will leave the district as it enters year two of a four-year curriculum development plan.

"I feel very confident that, with a replacement in my position and with the learning support specialists and data and technology coordinators, they'll be in a great position to move forward and meet the goals of the plan," Stanford said.

The district will miss Stanford, Superintendent Donna Howell said.

"During my tenure here, Kelly has been a significant asset to the district both because of her skills and knowledge and her ability to work well with everyone," Howell said.

The district will "absolutely" fill Stanford's position, though it hasn't been decided whether the district will hire an interim director of curriculum and instruction until a full search can start or begin searching immediately for a long-term replacement, Howell said.

"Our work is about teaching and learning," she said. "Having someone who devotes all their time to curriculum, instruction, assessments and staff development is critical for the district."

Stanford is the wife of Steamboat Pilot & Today editor Scott Stanford. Scott Stanford will remain with the newspaper at least through the end of the year before moving to Texas to join his wife and their two children.

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