South Routt considers “superincipal” position
March 15, 2016
Oak Creek — The South Routt Board of Education meeting took an uncomfortable turn Tuesday during discussions about combining the district superintendent position with the secondary schools principal slot.
Board President Jules Palyo began a board discussion about the possibility of a "superincipal" position currently held by Superintendent Darci Mohr becoming a permanent district position.
Mohr began filling in as Soroco high/middle schools principal in early February following the sudden resignation of principal Lyn McCarty, and Mohr said she's enjoyed the opportunity to be in the schools with staff and students.
"I'm having a ball and really enjoying being in the building," Mohr said. "It's given me an opportunity to reestablish or establish a relationship with staff that I didn't have before."
The district is currently accepting applications for a new high/middle school principal through job postings that close Thursday and has received four completed applications so far, with interest from more potential applicants.
Palyo said he had conferred with a regional representative from the Colorado Department of Education about the concept of a superintendent-principal position, which about 40 other Colorado districts use, and heard favorable feedback suggesting the position could work in South Routt.
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Other members of the board of education said they were interested in learning more about the position continuing in South Routt.
"I think it needs to be up for consideration," said board member Brett Mason.
Palyo then said the board could consider posting the superintendent-principal job and accepting applicants for the position, which could include Mohr.
"We haven't offered the job to Darci, and Darci hasn't accepted," Palyo said.
Board member Sean Veilleux said he was interested in a leader who showed stability and longevity and said that was something he'd like considered.
Mohr was recently a candidate for another superintendent position in Rapid City, South Dakota, though she wasn't selected.
After some out-of-turn public comment about the possibility of hiring a superintendent-principal other than Mohr, she acknowledged the discussion had become uncomfortable.
"This is becoming quite odd," Mohr said. "Because people are talking about me not being here."
In tears, Mohr excused herself from the meeting, and the board agreed to take a recess, after which the discussion was quickly ended.
"That was a tough conversation, and it got a little out of hand, and it didn't follow the conduct of a regular meeting," Palyo said. "It took a big person to sit here and talk about this position."
The board agreed to discuss the possibility of the position in the future, but opted to continue with the secondary schools principal search for the time being.