Alt named Soroco principal

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The Soroco middle and high schools have a new leader in Dennis Alt, as the South Routt School Board voted unanimously Thursday to hire him as the district's secondary principal for the 2008-09 school year.

Alt's wife, Robin Alt, also was hired as a middle school English teacher.

Dennis Alt will take the place of former principal James Chamberlin, who accepted a position with East Grand schools as that district's newly created director of student achievement. Alt previously worked as a science teacher in Middle Park High School, part of the East Grand district.

Alt was hired at the conclusion of a search process that included interviews with four other candidates, including former Steamboat Springs High School Principal Mike Knezevich. Alt accepted a one-year contract for $70,290.

Also during Thursday's meeting, Bryan Hanson and Kip Kenyon of McKinstry Construction provided an update on the installation of the district's state-of-the-art biomass boilers and, despite the mess around the schools, assured the board there would be no delay opening the schools Aug. 14.

"If you walk in there, it's a pretty disturbing sight. It's shredded," said Tim Corrigan, board president. "But I'm convinced this thing will be done on time."

Hanson, the program manager, detailed some of the problems the company has overcome during the construction, including discovering sewer lines draining from the back of the middle and high schools directly into the ground.

"I feel like there have been hiccups along the way, but I feel like we've moved past them and we're on our way," Kenyon said.

The schools have all been retrofitted to use heat produced by the biomass boilers, leaving trenches, pipes and exposed ceilings throughout the schools.

Construction of the new South Routt Early Learning Center is also on schedule and nearly complete, Corrigan reported. The board discussed holding an open house for the public when the building is ready.

The board also voted to hire Christopher Swift as a high school science teacher, and Laura Bruch as a high school English teacher and English Language Learners, or ELL, coordinator.

The meeting was the first for Scott Mader, the new superintendent of the district. Mader replaced Kelly Reed, who took the position of principal at Grand Junction's Redlands Middle School, part of Mesa County Valley School District 51.

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.

- To reach Zach Fridell, call 871-4208

or e-mail zfridell@steamboatpilot.com

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