Dingman, Shields drop bids for Hayden superintendent

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Meet the new candidate

The parent and community interview of Deborah Arrowsmith, a candidate for superintendent of the Hayden School District, is from 2:15 to 3:30 p.m. March 13, in the cafeteria at Hayden Valley Elementary School. For more information, call Superintendent Mike Luppes at 276-3864.

— Jacob Dingman and Joseph Shields, two of the four finalists for the Hayden School District superintendent position, dropped out of the running Sunday.

Dingman, the interim superintendent of the Clear Creek School District west of Denver, and Shields, the superintendent of the Vilas School District in southeast Colorado, were scheduled to interview for the Hayden position this week.

Hayden Superintendent Mike Luppes, who is retiring at the end of the school year, said he was caught off guard by the withdrawals.

"I visited with each of them last Sunday afternoon to see what their reasons were and if there was some common thread - a financial issue or picking up some kind of vibes," he said. "One took a position elsewhere, and the other just didn't feel like he was in a position to leave his present school district at this time."

Dingman and Shields' withdrawals left Hayden High School Principal Troy Zabel and Greg Rockhold, a principal in Paris, Tenn., as the remaining finalists. But Monday, Deborah Arrowsmith, a professor at Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio, was added as a third finalist.

"She was one of our original five (finalists), but she withdrew for some reasons before we had a chance to publish the finalists," Luppes said. "I called her up and asked her if she'd reconsider, and she agreed to come out for an interview."

Luppes is encouraging community participation throughout the candidate interview process. He set aside time for parents and community members to also address finalists during the interview week. The minimum salary for the superintendent position is advertised at $82,000 per year, plus benefits.

Rockhold, who has served as principal at the elementary, middle and high school levels, interviewed Monday. Zabel, who has served as Hayden's high school principal since 2004, interviewed Wednesday. Arrowsmith's interview is scheduled for March 13.

All three candidates have building-level administrative experience and have worked in small, rural school districts.

Arrowsmith has never worked as a principal, but she previously served as a teacher mentor for the Academy School District in Colorado Springs, the director of academic affairs at the Aspen Academy Private Preparatory School and as a gifted and talented teacher in the Cherry Creek School District in Denver.

Hayden School Board President Brian Hoza said despite the withdrawals of two finalists, he's pleased with the progress of the superintendent search.

"We are getting some good feedback from folks in the community who are participating in the process," he said. "It's important to get info from all different perspectives and hopefully we can target the best person for our district's future."

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