Steamboat Springs Two Steamboat Springs School District employees concluded their tenures with the district last week, and their positions were combined into one.
Facilities Director Rick Denney and Transportation Director Ed Dingledine are no longer with the district as of June 30, after their positions were eliminated as part of district staff reductions for the 2010-11 school year.
The district trimmed about $1.8 million from next school year’s budget.
The district created the position of director of maintenance operations and transportation to satisfy the duties of both. Having one position will save the district more than $50,000 next year.
School Board President Robin Crossan said Tuesday that most districts have one position that combines maintenance operations and transportation.
“It’s a cost-savings measure, as well,” she said.
Superintendent Shalee Cunningham was out of town Tuesday and didn’t return a call requesting comment.
Late last month, the district hired Pascal Ginesta to serve as director of maintenance operations and transportation. Ginesta’s wife, Debbie, is the administrative assistant to the superintendent.
The Ginestas moved to Steamboat four years ago from Grafton, Ohio. Pascal Ginesta said he had visited Steamboat his entire life and that it was the right time to move his family to the Yampa Valley. They have two sons, 13-year-old Jacob and 17-year-old Aaron, students in the district.
During their time in Steamboat, Ginesta said, he has worked as a project manager for a construction company in town.
Ginesta previously spent 23 years in the U.S. Navy Reserves, serving in a transportation unit. He was deployed twice, during the Persian Gulf War and the Iraq war.
Ginesta, who starts Aug. 1, said he’s excited about his new role, continuing with existing projects and helping the district move forward.
“I look forward to making a positive impact on the school district,” he said.
Denney and Dingledine said Tuesday that the district told them their positions were being eliminated next year as part of staff reductions. Dingledine resigned, and Denney retired.
Denney, who spent 22 years with the district, said he chose not to apply for the director of maintenance operations and transportation position because it potentially could have affected his benefits and seniority based on Colorado’s Public Employees’ Retirement Association. He also said economic reasons came into play.
For now, Denney said he’s going to spend time with his son, 13-year-old Garrett, something he hasn’t been able to do much during the summers as he worked to complete projects for the upcoming school year.
Denney said projects he’s most proud of are the universal playgrounds at Soda Creek and Strawberry Park elementary schools, the expansion of Steamboat Springs middle and high schools and the construction of Soda Creek.
He’s open to a career change but said he wouldn’t mind staying in education.
“Really, watching and seeing those kids go through the system and having a good educational facility to do that in is very fulfilling,” Denney said.
Dingledine, who spent seven years as the district’s transportation director, said he didn’t apply for the new position because he doesn’t have the maintenance background.
He started looking for jobs and has been hired as the transportation supervisor for the Durango School District.
He said updating the district’s bus fleet, getting security cameras on buses and outfitting drivers with 800 MHz radios were among the projects during his tenure that stood out.
“Looking back, I think the best thing was the people I worked with there,” Dingledine said. “I liked the staff and the people I worked with, not only in my department, but districtwide. It was a great district, a great place to work with great administration in a great community.”
District Finance Director Dale Mellor said Denney made $67,092 and Dingledine made $57,963. He said Ginesta would be paid $75,000, for a savings of $50,055.