Steamboat Springs Steamboat Springs School District administrators may have found the next principal of Strawberry Park Elementary School.
Two applicants for the position are visiting with school staff Friday, Superintendent Donna Howell said.
"They are going to be meeting with staff as a second interview," said Howell, who would not reveal the names of the applicants. "I'm checking references, and we are bringing them back in to see if they are a good fit."
In May, then-principal Mark MacHale announced he'd leave the district to become the superintendent in Dolores. He rep-laced John DeVincentis as the school's principal two years ago.
Howell said she wanted to withhold the candidates' names because she did not want to put them in an uncomfortable work situation with their current employers.
"I'm not sure whom they have told," said Howell, who confirmed the applicants are considered finalists. "We'll release the names Friday after we have a face-to-face."
The principal position isn't the only opening in the Steamboat Springs School District. As of Wednesday, the district had more than 25 available jobs, and many more had already been filled.
Anne Muhme, assistant to the superintendent, said the district does not have as many vacancies as last year, when more than 70 new staff members were hired.
"We still have quite a few positions open, but these things come in waves," said Muhme, who noted the district has hired three gifted and talented program teachers, along with Joanne HiltonGabeler, the district's new director of curriculum and instruction.
"We got a good jump on our hires this year," she said. "We've been working on hiring for months now. As soon as a vacancy opens, we try to jump on it. It's just that with so many positions, it takes a while."
Soda Creek Elementary School Principal Judy Harris said she receives the bulk of applications in June.
"Usually, teachers who work in other districts know on June 1 if their contracts are up," she said. "Also, June follows college graduation for new teachers."
Harris said Soda Creek's only full-time vacancy is for a special needs teacher, for which she has already conducted interviews.
Steamboat Springs High School leads the district with 12 vacancies, and five of the openings are athletic coaching positions. An art teacher, Spanish teacher and a biology teacher also are among the vacancies.
Muhme said committees composed of principals, teachers and parents conduct the interviews for the district.
"We try to gather everyone's input, but the (Steamboat Springs School) board approves all hires," she said. "Even down to the substitute teachers."