Carbondale schools alum to be new financial director for Roaring Fork School District |

Carbondale schools alum to be new financial director for Roaring Fork School District

Nathan Markham

A product of the Carbondale public schools is set to become the successor to longtime Roaring Fork School District finance chief Shannon Pelland, who is retiring next year.

Nathan Markham, a 1999 graduate of Roaring Fork High School, has been named as the new director of financial services for the district, which includes public schools in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt.

Markham is a finance professional who is expected to bring experience in budget and strategic planning, risk management and team-building, according to a district news release.

Markham is set to start in the new position in September. The new school year begins Monday for students.

“The interview committee was struck by Nathan’s collaborative manner, deep understanding of budget and finance, and years of business experience,” Rob Stein, Roaring Fork Schools superintendent, said in the release. 

In addition to being a Roaring Fork High School graduate, Markham has deep family roots in the Roaring Fork Valley. Markham’s parents, Joe Markham and Cindy Nett, were both longtime teachers in the Carbondale schools before their retirement. They still reside in Carbondale.

“We are pleased to continue our tradition of hiring homegrown stewards of our financial resources, as Shannon also grew up in the valley and was a product of our schools,” Stein said.

Markham earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Colorado State University and a master’s degree from the University of Colorado at Denver. He has worked for SM Energy Company for 15 years in various capacities, including director of finance, assistant treasurer and manager of financial planning and analysis.

“As the son of two RFSD teachers, I believe in public education and am looking to do my part,” Markham said in the release. “I am excited to move my family back to Carbondale to be close to family, enjoy the small-town life, and experience all the valley has to offer.”

Shannon Pelland

The director of financial services position was created after Pelland announced her intent to retire in March. Pelland intends to stay on through this coming school year until June 2020.

This will allow Markham to work alongside Pelland for the 2019-20 school year. 

“Most districts our size have at least two staff members to accomplish all that Shannon does,” Stein said. “Because of Shannon’s extensive role and institutional knowledge, we want the new director of financial services to have a year of overlap.”

That way, Pelland can spend time creating systems to ensure sustainability of her efforts after her retirement, Stein added.

Pelland has been with the school district for 24 years, and has filled two roles during that time — director of financial services and assistant superintendent.

The district decided when she made her decision not to hire a new assistant superintendent.

“The responsibilities of each position do not inherently overlap,” Stein said at that time, explaining that the assistant superintendent duties would be distributed among other district office executives.

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