Steamboat’s Nancy Spillane to take over troubled Denver school
August 8, 2012
Steamboat Springs — Longtime Steamboat Springs resident and educator Nancy Spillane is taking over as interim director of Denver's Paddington Station Preschool, which has been rocked in recent weeks by allegations of child pornography by one of the school's longtime teachers.
In a note to parents posted on the school's website Tuesday, school administrators announced that Spillane will be the school's "interim head of school" effective Monday.
"Nancy is an educator of the highest caliber, and our community is extremely lucky to have her on board," read the note from Paddington Station board members Betsy Crane and Nick Kemp.
"Nancy, together with our dedicated staff and volunteers, has already begun to affect the changes that will restore Paddington Station School to the caliber and experience we have all treasured for so many years."
In a note Sunday to parents, Crane and Kemp wrote that the interim head of school's mandate "will be broad and encompass a review of the school's policies and procedures and the establishment of new ones where indicated."
"Our pool of candidates are among the most experienced and respected educators and administrators in Colorado," the note continued.
Spillane founded Lowell Whiteman Primary School, which this month was renamed Emerald Mountain School, and served as its leader for 18 years until her retirement in June 2011. She and her husband, Jim, spent six months traveling abroad immediately after her retirement.
When reached by telephone Wednesday afternoon, Spillane said she could not discuss her hiring. Paddington Station has hired a public relations firm to handle the surge in media attention from the recent controversy.
The elite preschool and kindergarten has been reeling from the July 24 arrest of longtime teacher David Moe, who has been charged with possessing and distributing child pornography. Moe resigned from the school last week.
Pippa Hambidge, the school’s founder and director, resigned from her position as head of school late last week. The Denver Post reported that investigators are looking into an alleged incident 10 years ago in which Moe was accused of inappropriately touching a 3-year-old female student. The incident was not reported to law enforcement authorities or human services, a violation of state law.
Authorities also have revealed that Moe maintained an 800-page journal dating back to 1997 that detailed his encounters with children, including students at the school. Read The Denver Post’s story here.
Paddington Station was founded in 1993, the same year Spillane founded Lowell Whiteman Primary School.
To reach Brent Boyer, call 970-871-4221 or email bboyer@SteamboatToday.com