Steamboat Springs School District picks 4 superintendent finalists

Candidates to interview with public, board next week


— The Steamboat Springs School Board has chosen four finalists for district superintendent.

At a meeting Saturday morning, the board firmed up plans to interview Rosanne Fulton, Michelle Johnstone, Bradley Meeks and Lance Villers. The board voted, 3-0, to invite the candidates to interview. Board President Robin Crossan and members Lisa Brown and Denise Connelly were present, along with Anne Muhme and Judy Harris, who is taking over for Muhme as the district’s human resources director.

Board members Laura And-

erson and Brian Kelly were out of town.

The candidates will come to Steamboat on Thursday for a dinner with the board and then will be interviewed Friday by the board and two subcommittees of district faculty and staff members, students, parents and community members. The candidates will rotate among three rooms at The Steamboat Grand on Friday and then the board will meet at the Grand.

Everything will be open to the public.

“We’re trying to make it a very transparent process,” Connelly said. The interviews and meetings will not include public comment, however.

The finalists were chosen from 24 candidates, Crossan said. Connelly and Kelly spearheaded the search process, for which Crossan thanked them Saturday.

“We talked about using the criteria that was in the brochure that was posted on our website,” Connelly said. “We, individually, our board members reviewed the applications, we then had a meeting, an executive session, on Tuesday and discussed the applications … and narrowed those applications down to four finalists.”

The board met Saturday because Colorado Open Meetings Law requires school boards to make public the list of finalists at least 14 days before a person is appointed. The board could have a candidate in mind at its June 20 meeting. It is allowed to start negotiations before that 14-day window is over but cannot officially make a hire until June 25.

The finalists:

  • Fulton is K-12 assistant superintendent in the Tacoma School District in Washington, according to her résumé. She has held that position since 2009. Previously, her positions included director of K-12 schools in the Douglas County School District in Colorado, K-8 principal at Mapleton Public Schools in Colorado, and executive director of curriculum and instruction for Denver Public Schools. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Northern Colorado, a Master of Arts degree from the University of Colorado-Denver and a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Denver.
  • Johnstone is principal of Spangler Elementary in the St. Vrain Valley School District in Longmont, according to her résumé. She has held the position since 2007. She previously was a principal and an assistant principal at two elementary schools in Greeley District 6 and a fifth-grade bilingual teacher at schools in Longmont and Commerce City. Johnstone has a Bachelor of Arts from MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Ill., a Master of Arts from the University of Northern Colorado and a Doctor of Educational Leadership from the University of Northern Colorado.
  • Meeks is superintendent of Farmington Area Public Schools in Farmington, Minn., according to his résumé. He has held the position since 2003. His previous positions include superintendent of Aberdeen School District in Aberdeen, S.D., and principal and assistant principal positions in Sioux Falls and Elk Point, S.D. He has two Bachelor of Science degrees from Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D., a Master of Science from Northern State and a Doctor of Education from the University of South Dakota.
  • Villers is superintendent of the Custer County School District in Colorado, according to his résumé. He has held the position since 2006. His previous positions include secondary principal in Custer County and director, manager and financial officer at Horn Creek, a Christian camp and conference grounds west of Pueblo. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Southern Colorado, a Bachelor of Science degree from Evangel College and a Master of Education degree from Liberty University.

The chosen candidate will replace Superintendent Shalee Cunningham, who will become superintendent of the Novato Unified School District in Marin County, Calif. Her last day with Steamboat is June 30.

— To reach Blythe Terrell, call 970-871-4234 or email


Carrie Requist 5 years, 11 months ago

I am surprised not to see any internal candidates on this list. The board had said they were not going to do a formal search with a search firm and were only offering a 1 year position to allow the new board to pick a good long term superintendent. Without this due diligence, I worry about the quality of the applicants and the completeness of the background checks. Can the board please tell us why there are no local Steamboat people on the finalist list?


babette dickson 5 years, 11 months ago

The issue is that the Board members have the right to weed out the candidates (24 to start with) and write their finals without seeking consultation from the professionals working in the field i.e., our principals (not the candidates of course), our teachers, our administrators, nobody.... As I don't trust all the board members either, I question their competency in the matter. We really need to know very well who will be voted in next election in November to really trust a Board in charge of leading our Education. We are talking about our 2,000 kids future.


babette dickson 5 years, 11 months ago

The only way to verify your assumption is to grill them on Friday if they could... but they can't.. So we might never know you are right or wrong...

And I am very happy to deny your allegation: Our Principals, and Vice-, always put our kids first. This is a family of professional educators and the main reason we work together is to love and educate the kids of our community hoping they will have the most successful life they can dream of. We all make mistakes in our job and learn quick from them.

Stillin... you are mean powered... Why? How about changing your stupid anonymity to "gonefromsteamboat" because we really don't need your baaaad vibes.


stillinsteamboat 5 years, 11 months ago

Babette, no mean spirit intended, just speaking from experience. You as an employee maybe see things differently and are treated differently.


babette dickson 5 years, 11 months ago

I'd love to help any family who believes is not treated respectfully, is dissatisfied with the program and services provided to their child. I've been helping families, attended IEP with parents invitation. I don't believe my child is treated better than another child with special needs just because I am an employee of the school district. I've fought for my son's rights no matter what, and I will advocate for those who don't have the voice, no matter what. Give me names stillinsteamboat. Thanks. Daring is strategic.


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