Knezevich tops agenda

2008-09 calendar also up for School Board action tonight

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Proposed calendar

Steamboat Springs School District's proposed 2008-09 academic calendar

First day

Staff: Aug. 19

Students: Aug. 25

Last day

Staff: June 8

Students: June 5

Thanksgiving Break: Nov. 24 to 28

December Break: Dec. 22 to Jan. 2

Blues Break: Feb. 16 to 20

Spring Break: April 13 to 17

On the agenda

5:30 p.m. Executive, or secret, session to discuss personnel matters including reviews of evaluations for building administrators and the school district's director of curriculum and instruction; and "for purposes of consulting with our attorney on the issue of the extension of time for renewal or non-renewal of the contract of Michael Knezevich"

6:30 p.m. Agenda review; Spotlight on Success featuring Michael Brumbaugh and cast introducing Steamboat Springs High School performance of "All Shook Up"

6:50 p.m. North Routt Community Charter School item

7 p.m. Public and staff comment

7:10 p.m. Action items including "Decision Regarding the Extension of Time for Renewal or Non-renewal of the Contract of Michael Knezevich from April 1 to June 9, 2008, or Renewal or Non-renewal of the Contract for the 2008-2009 School Year," and approval of 2008-09 school year calendar

If you go

What: Steamboat Springs School Board meeting

When: Executive session begins at 5:30 p.m. today; public meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.

Contact: Call Steamboat Springs School District offices at 879-1530 for more information.

— Steamboat Springs High School Principal Mike Knezevich's name stands alone on tonight's Steamboat Springs School Board agenda.

Contract renewals for Steamboat Springs School District administrators including Soda Creek Elementary School Principal Judy Harris, Strawberry Park Elementary School Principal Brenda Barr, Steamboat Springs Middle School Principal Tim Bishop, Director of Curriculum and Instruction JoAnne Hilton-Gabeler and assistant principals Jerry Buelter and Kevin Taulman are on the School Board's consent agenda, which typically is reserved for items expected to receive easy approval.

But the contract renewal for Knezevich is scheduled to be acted on as its own item at 7:10 p.m. in Centennial Hall. That action could simply be a postponement. Interim Superintendent Sandra Smyser said last week that she will recommend the School Board extend its timeframe for a decision on Knezevich's contract renewal until June.

A year ago, the previous School Board narrowly approved contract renewals for building administrators, passing them only on a 3-2 vote, with a dispute centered on contract language and benefits rather than specific individual personnel issues.

This year appears to be different.

Knezevich called a staff meeting Wednesday morning at the high school and, according to numerous teachers who attended the meeting, said Steamboat Springs School District officials had asked him to resign earlier this year. Knezevich told staff he did not plan to resign and said he had been given an opportunity to remediate his performance in some areas.

The issue could bring a crowd to Centennial Hall. Some high school teachers and staff have expressed support for Knezevich, although others have raised concerns about the uncomfortable discussion of his future employment.

Also on tonight's School Board agenda is approval of the 2008-09 school calendar, which has spring break scheduled for April 13 to 17, 2009. The Steamboat Ski Area is expected to close April 12 in 2009, causing some parents to raise concerns about not being able to vacation because they will be busy closing down their businesses.

"If break were immediately following the closing of the mountain, many families would probably take their own vacation a week or so later," Steamboat resident Chuck O'Connell said at a School Board meeting earlier this month.

Comments

palemorningdunn 6 years, 1 month ago

Mike Knezevich is a great person and school leader who cares first and foremost for those kids. This non-renewal is simply a parting shot by Smyser. She and Mike never saw eye to eye, probably because she didn't even know her way to the High School. How WEAK to do this as she's choosing colors for her new Eagle County office. WEAK.

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Brent Boyer 6 years, 1 month ago

All: Below you will find a link to a letter to the editor from Mike Knezevich disputing some of the information in Sunday's editorial.

Brent Boyer Editor, Steamboat Pilot & Today

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BigOil 6 years, 1 month ago

Brent & Company, It is sad that the dominant newspaper in our small town continues to manipulate stories about our school system and it's issues to increase your newspaper's readership and ultimately increase ad rates & profit as a result. It's a bit like the glass company who breaks widows to sell more glass. The "Our View" article regarding Mike was an absolute abuse of journalism in that it singled out a private individual, provided no facts, was completely based on heresay and offered no insight to the readers.

But you did a brilliant job of stirring the pot which keeps readership levels up which helps you sell more ads. Now you get to post & print a response letter from Mike that everyone will want to read which plays out perfectly for your business.

The problem is that these tactics take a toll on out community. Instead of striving to be a positive responsible steward of the news in our community, you are leveraging your position for profit first at the expense of accuracy and journalism of value. Over time, this erodes your credibility as a resource of community information. At the end of the day in a world of internet & 24 hour news your only value is that of Steamboat community news.

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stillinsteamboat 6 years, 1 month ago

I mean she's lucky she isn't the topic of the meeting tonight. There are many who don't think she is the best person for the job at sce.

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raver 6 years, 1 month ago

How can we take anything recommended by Smyser into consideration?She took the money and ran,she has no ties to our community,no connection to the kids,and no interest in the Steamboat Springs school district. Just because she is the interim,does not mean she has the knowledge or intelligence to be making decisions that will effect our students,staff and community long after she is in her new office in Eagle Valley.Gimme a break, this just gets uglier and more personal every day.How about the business of actually educating and caring about our students and their future?

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