Crystal River Elementary, Basalt High principals named |

Crystal River Elementary, Basalt High principals named

Matthew Koenigsknecht
Staff Photo |

Roaring Fork School District has named Matthew Koenigsknecht as the new principal for Crystal River Elementary School and Peter Mueller as the new principal for Basalt High School.

Koenigsknecht is currently working as a Ritchie Principal Intern at Harrington Elementary School in the Denver Public Schools. The Ritchie intern is matched for one year with a mentor principal who has been selected because of high proficiency in developing and empowering individuals to grow as leaders, allowing Koenigsknecht to earn his principal licensure through the graduate program at University of Denver.

“Matthew is already familiar with the Roaring Fork Valley. Prior to Harrington Elementary, he spent last summer as the assistant program manager for Summer Advantage USA at Basalt Elementary School,” said Superintendent Diana Sirko. “As a result of his time last summer in Basalt he is excited to take advantage of the many outdoor opportunities our valley offers.”

He has spent six years in the classroom as a language arts teacher in the Denver Public Schools, providing equitable, data-driven, reflective instruction for second-, third- and fifth-grade students at a “distinguished” elementary school while working with more than 50 percent English language learners and 88 percent free/reduced lunch population.

He earned his undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis and is a candidate for a master’s in educational leadership and policy studies from University of Denver with an expected completion date in June 2016.

He succeeds Heather Cremeans, who resigned earlier this year, saying, “The diverse interests of the school and community have made it challenging to move the school forward.”


Mueller is currently project director at The Nature Conservancy, leading the Conservancy’s effort to restore, protect and enhance the Dolores River. Prior to the Nature Conservancy, he was the middle and high school principal at the Telluride R-1 School District from 2004-2007. He was also director at the Rocky Mountain Academy in Evergreen, a K-8 school, where he was responsible for hiring, evaluating and guiding instruction for 22 full- and part-time teachers.

“Peter is also very familiar with the Roaring Fork Valley having spent almost 10 years as a teacher at the Colorado Rocky Mountain School and five years as the director of CRMS’s outdoor program,” Sirko said.

Mueller graduated in 2001 from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and earned his undergraduate degree in government from Colby College in 1987.

He succeeds David Schmid, who is retiring.

“I am really excited to be working with both Peter and Matt,” said Chief Academic Officer Rob Stein. “I have known both of these educators for at least a few years, and had the opportunity to see them work. It has been a pleasure getting to know them through this search and selection process. They both bring unique gifts to our schools and communities.”

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