Mader picked to lead schools

Former Hayden superintendent chosen for South Routt district

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— Former Hayden School District Superintendent Scott Mader has been tapped to lead the South Routt School District. Contract negotiations begin today.

After meeting with four finalists during the past two weeks, the South Routt School Board selected Mader to replace outgoing Superintendent Kelly Reed, who will leave the South Routt School District on June 30.

Mader served as superintendent of Hayden schools from 1998 to 2004 before moving to Denver, where he worked for the Colorado Department of Education for one year before becoming principal of The New America School. School Board president Tim Corrigan called Mader to give him the news Wednesday.

"He's very excited about the opportunity," Corrigan said. "The goal is to have someone in place by July 1; however, if that lags a week or two, we don't see that as a big problem."

The four finalists, chosen from a field of six applicants, included Mader; former Steamboat Springs High School Principal Dave Schmid; Kevin Chalfant, a high school principal in Peyton; and Dan Schmidt, a superintendent and principal in Idalia.

"We felt extremely fortunate to have such high-quality candidates," Corrigan said.

Each candidate spent a full day in South Routt as part of the interview process, search coordinator Jane Toothaker said. Each candidate had a formal interview with the school board as well as with a 12-member community interview team consisting of teachers, district staff and parents, Toothaker said.

"We did have quite a bit of time with each candidate, to really get to know them in a variety of settings and to really hear about their educational philosophy," Toothaker said.

The board's decision to select Mader was nearly unanimous, with Rodney Wilson being the sole dissenting voice.

In total, Mader has nearly 30 years of administrative experience, Toothaker said. While a regional manager with the Colorado Department of Education, Mader oversaw the accreditation process for the Denver metro area, including Denver Public Schools. Before coming to Hayden, he served as an administrator at a number of schools in Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota.

Mader holds a master's degree in secondary school administration from Chadron State College in Nebraska and an educational specialist degree from the University of Wyoming, Toothaker said.

Superintendent Kelly Reed announced his resignation in April to become principal at Redlands Middle School in Grand Junction. The school is part of Mesa County Valley School District 51, which has more than 40 schools and a total enrollment of more than 21,000 students.

"We're very appreciative of the three years of service Kelly gave this district," Corrigan said. "He was an excellent superintendent."

- To reach Melinda Dudley, call 871-4203

or e-mail mdudley@steamboatpilot.com

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