Steamboat Springs Former Steamboat Springs High School Principal Mike Knezevich is one of three finalists to become the South Routt School District's new secondary principal.
Knezevich interviews today for the position overseeing Soroco High School and Soroco Middle School. His interview will be one of the first tasks for new South Routt School District Superintendent Scott Mader, who began work Tuesday.
Mader was superintendent of the Hayden School District from 1998 to 2004 before he moved to Denver. There he worked for the Colorado Department of Education and as principal of The New America School before moving back to Routt County.
Along with reviewing principal applications, Mader said he was busy getting his office in order during his first day on the job.
"I think it'll take me a few days to get my feet on the ground and to know exactly what kind of transitions will take place," he said.
Mader said he wants the first round of interviews, including calls to references, to be completed by early next week so the district can hire a new principal soon.
Mader is filling the position vacated by Kelly Reed, who took the position of principal at Grand Junction's Redlands Middle School, part of Mesa County Valley School District 51.
Knezevich is seeking to fill the position vacated by James Chamberlin, who accepted a position with East Grand schools as the district's newly created director of student achievement.
The other two finalists are Marilyn Flammang, who has served as an elementary school principal in Basin, Wyo., and as an elementary school teacher in Rock Springs, Wyo.; and Phil Thomas of Goodland, Kan., who was an elementary school principal in Burlington from 2003 to 2005.
The Steamboat Springs School Board voted June 9 to not renew Knezevich's contract for the 2008-09 school year. He could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
New Hayden School District Superintendent Greg Rockhold also began work Tuesday.
Rockhold, who moved from Paris, Tenn., said he is living out of a suitcase during his first week on the job as he waits for his belongings to arrive.
His top priority coming into the district is focusing on the reading programs at the elementary school to create a base of learning.
"Success down the road is centered on being able to read, write and comprehend," he said. "I want to focus a lot on elementary abilities and build from there."
Rockhold said he is also considering the implementation of "Breaking Ranks," a teaching method that he described as district-driven, instead of coming solely from administrators. He said this method of examining district data would complement the teamwork the district already enjoys.
"From what I've seen, the teamwork amongst staff is already in place here," he said. "I see the Hayden schools are very focused on student success."
Rockhold was the principal of a ninth-grade school in Tennessee and is replacing former superintendent Mike Luppes, who retired.
Of the three new superintendents in Routt County, the last to start work will be the Steamboat Springs School District's Shalee Cunningham, who begins July 10.