Hayden School District announces superintendent finalists

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— Hayden School District has narrowed down its list of superintendent candidates to four and will begin conducting finalist interviews next weekend.

Hayden Board of Education President Brian Hoza said the district publicly announced the candidates at last Wednesday’s board meeting and is now in the process of finalizing details for the interview schedule, slated for April 4 and 5.

Susan Goettel, of Meeker, Eric Harting, of Castle Rock, Trudy Vader, of Florissant, and William Watkins, of Kodiak, Alaska, are Hayden’s four remaining candidates to replace retiring Superintendent Mike Luppes.

“The board is very pleased with the quality, experience and potential fit with the Hayden School District and our district communities that these candidates bring to this selection process,” Hoza said in an email. “The Colorado Association of School Boards selection team we are working with has been quite instrumental in assisting us through a very inclusionary, relevant and efficient search process for our district.”

Goettel worked in the Meeker School District starting in 1997 as a special education teacher. Most recently, she served as the acting superintendent in Meeker for the 2010-11 school year and was hired as full-time superintendent from 2011 to 2013.

Harting has been with the Douglas County School District since 2012 and is currently the principal of Arrowwood Elementary School in Highlands Ranch.

Vader has been the principal at Cripple Creek-Victor Senior High School in Florissant since 2009.

Watkins has 20 years of experience in elementary, middle and high school instruction and is currently the director of instruction for the Kodiak Island Borough School District in Alaska.

Luppes said the district would like to announce a hire at the April 16 regular school board meeting. Following next weekend, he said the district would be conducting whatever necessary background checks it needs to in advance of the announcement.

“We think we have a very good selection,” Luppes said. “We are very pleased with the finalists.”

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll

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