RIFLE — New principals were selected for two Garfield Re-2 District schools recently, effective with the 2013-14 school year.
Rick Elertson, an associate principal and athletic director at Whitnall High School in Greenfield, Wis., will be the new principal at Coal Ridge High School, which serves New Castle and Silt. He will replace David Morgan, who is retiring after the school year.
The Re-2 school board, at its May 14 meeting, also approved Kathryn Senor as the new principal of Wamsley Elementary School in Rifle. She will replace Desha Bierbaum, who resigned her position effective at the end of the school year.
Senor has deep roots in the area. She shares the name of another district school, Kathryn Senor Elementary in New Castle. But that building was named for her grandmother-in-law.
Senor herself is a Rifle High School graduate, both of her children attend Garfield Re-2 schools, and she has been an instructor in the district for 14 years, having taught first and second grade.
She was also the instructional reading coach at Elk Creek Elementary in New Castle, and most recently served as the Success For All District Reading Coach, a position funded through a Success For All grant.
“I’m going home,” Senor said in a district press release of the principalship at Wamsley, where she previously taught first grade.
“I learned from so many veteran leaders throughout my career that you don’t just pick a school,” she said. “The school and the leader have to match. The school kind of chooses you, and I couldn’t be happier with this match.”
Elertson is a Wisconsin native, but said he is excited for the move to Colorado.
He began his career in education in 2001 as a fifth-grade elementary school teacher in Milwaukee Public Schools. He taught eighth-grade U.S. History, and then became a middle school associate principal.
“I am one of those people who can honestly say that education chose me,” Elertson said in the district release. “What I love most about education is getting to be a part of a process that shapes the hopes and dreams of students. I view every day as an opportunity to inspire courage, hope, and persistence in all students.
“I am most excited about the unknown,” he said of his new job at Coal Ridge. “Change brings a renewed spirit to all of us, and I am very excited to be a part of the CRHS journey toward becoming a school of excellence.”
The district interviewed four candidates each for the Coal Ridge and Wamsley positions.