Steamboat Springs Hayden School Board President Brian Hoza still couldn’t say Thursday when Mike Luppes would start as the district’s half-time superintendent.
At a special School Board meeting Wednesday night, board members approved a new administrative structure for the 2010-11 school year that includes a half-time superintendent and a full-time principal to lead the district’s newly formed 6-12 secondary school.
Also Wednesday, board members approved by a 3-2 vote making Luppes the half-time superintendent and Troy Zabel the full-time secondary principal. Board members Kurt Frentress and Tim Frentress voted against the motion.
After Wednesday’s meeting, Hoza said Luppes would start in his new position soon and reiterated Thursday that it would happen “as soon as possible.” But before Luppes can start, Hoza said his duties, hours and pay must be determined.
Luppes retired after the 2007-08 school year and was replaced by Greg Rockhold. The School Board on March 17 chose not to renew Rockhold’s contract for 2010-11. On Wednesday, they voted to relieve Rockhold of his duties for the remainder of the school year.
Rockhold didn’t attend Wednesday’s meeting.
The Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association allows retirees to work no more than 110 days in a calendar year. Whether Luppes came out of retirement or worked only within a 110-day contract would be up to him, Hayden Business Manager Jnl Linsacum said.
Luppes has coached the boys basketball team at Hayden High School since his retirement. Linsacum said he’s paid once a year and was paid last month for this season.
Reached at his home Thursday, Luppes said he didn’t know when he would start as the district’s half-time superintendent. He said that had not been discussed. Nor could he provide any information about what his duties would be. Luppes said there are a lot of factors he still doesn’t know.
“I have not sat down with the School Board or Brian” Hoza, Luppes said. “I’m not comfortable commenting until some of those conversations happen.”
Luppes was called to weigh in during an executive session at Wednesday’s meeting that was convened to discuss the district’s administrative structure.
Hoza said the School Board wanted to hear from Luppes because of his familiarity with the district. Hoza said Luppes could provide insight as to whether it would be feasible for Hayden to operate with a half-time superintendent or whether the position needed to be full time.
Board members didn’t discuss with Luppes whether he had interest in the job, Hoza said Thursday. But Hoza said Luppes had expressed interest in the past to the possibility of returning to the district in some capacity.
If Luppes isn’t able to start as superintendent this year, Hoza said there has been interest from others in the position. Hoza said it was important to have someone as superintendent for the remainder of the year to help the school system cut a projected $495,000 from next year’s budget.
By cutting ties with Rockhold, the district still is on the hook for his salary for the rest of the fiscal year, which runs through June 30. Linsacum said the school district still owes Rockhold more than $29,000 until his contract expires.
Hoza acknowledged that it
likely would cost the district more money to bring Luppes or someone else in to finish the school year. He said that decision wasn’t made lightly.
“Our decisions last night were all about moving forward,” Hoza said. “There was a concern that current circumstances were difficult and problematic for (Rockhold) to work with.”