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Arizona native returning to West to help run GSMS

Tamie Meck
Staff Writer

The new assistant principal at Glenwood Springs Middle School sees his personality and leadership style as a very strong match for the school and the area.

“It’s an exciting place, very nurturing and welcoming,” said Robert Faris, who will join the GSMS staff on Aug. 4.

The school has been without a full-time assistant principal for nearly a year.

“I am very excited and looking forward to being a part of what I have seen to be a very dynamic district,” said Faris. Faris is currently a middle school teacher at Crystal Lake Middle School in Crystal Lake, Ill.

Faris was selected over two other final candidates for the job. None of the candidates had prior administrative experience.

Farris was chosen for his expertise in team teaching and in instructing the core curriculum, and for his broad background in social sciences. Faris was also a head girls basketball coach in Illinois for six years and is a national-level certified soccer coach.

“He brings excellent credentials to the position,” said Fred Wall, Roaring Fork Re-1 District superintendent. Wall said he is confident that Faris will fit nicely into the administrator’s position.

Faris believes in the collaborative efforts of administration, staff and parents in the education of children.

“I perceive my role as administrator as helping teachers continue to support students,” and in helping teachers develop themselves in the craft of teaching.

Faris, 47, is the father of four children. A former businessman, he began teaching 10 years ago. With a child in middle school, one in high school, and two in college, Faris said his personal experiences with school and raising children, combined with his teaching and business experience, will help make him a better administrator.

Although he lives in the Midwest, Faris is originally from Arizona. Most of his family still lives in the West. Faris and his wife, Liz, have spent a lot of time on the Western Slope, vacationing and visiting family.

“I’ve been dreaming of living in Colorado for the last 10 years,” he said. “We feel very comfortable in the area.”

While it isn’t uncommon for prospective teachers and administrators to turn down jobs in the area after taking high housing prices into consideration, the Farises are undaunted.

“I’m not shocked by it, but it did take a little mind adjustment,” said Robert Faris. But property taxes are far lower in Colorado than in the Crystal Lake area, he said. Lower monthly tax payments on a comparable house will simply be replaced by higher principal and interest payments. “It’s the same house, it’s just a hunk of money more,” he said.

Faris joins incoming GSMS principal Ginny Sayer, an assistant principal from Lewis-Palmer Middle School in Monument, Colo. Sayer, who replaces outgoing principal Joy Porter, will start her job in June.


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