School board working with Stein on new contract
The Roaring Fork School District board this week began working on a new contract for current Assistant Superintendent Rob Stein to become the new head superintendent starting this summer.
The move follows the announcement last month by Superintendent Diana Sirko that she plans to leave at the end of June, a year ahead of schedule, to pursue other career opportunities.
The school board approved a contract in principle with Stein early last year for him to assume the superintendent’s role for the 2017-18 school year. But that agreement left his salary to be determined.
The board is making the necessary change to Stein’s start date and finalizing the other terms of his new contract, according to a Friday press release from the school district.
“We are so fortunate to have had Dr. Sirko leading this district for the past few years and to have her continued leadership through the rest of this year as great things have happened in our district during her tenure,” school board President Mary Elizabeth Geiger said in the release.
“Our negotiations last year put in place a succession plan and we are thrilled to have Dr. Stein take the reins in June,” she said.
Stein, who was selected as superintendent of RFSD schools in 2012 before a family emergency called him away, said he would be honored to take the district reins.
“I do not take this opportunity for granted, and hope that I am worthy of the challenge,” he said. “I feel fortunate to be a member of the Roaring Fork community, and promise to keep the needs of our children at the forefront.”
“We owe a debt of gratitude to Diana Sirko, under whose leadership a sense of trust and stability was restored, a long-term strategic plan was established and a commitment to the success of every child was renewed,” Stein added.
He said he’s confident that the district has a strong executive team in place to make the transition a smooth one, and that “there’s no such thing as a lame duck under (Sirko’s) leadership.”
Sirko was appointed interim superintendent after Stein left in 2012 and was given a two-year contract later that year. Stein rejoined the district as assistant superintendent and chief academic officer the following year.
After Sirko asked for a contract extension in 2014, the board agreed to a two-year term for her to continue as superintendent with Stein as her successor. Sirko cited several new career opportunities that may not be available next year, and said it was best to leave at the end of the current school year.
Under Sirko’s leadership, the district was able to sway voters last fall in favor of a $122 million bond for capital improvements in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt. Included in that package is a $29 million overhaul of Glenwood Springs Elementary School, a brand new $34 million pre-kindergarten-through-eight grade school at the district’s Eastbank property south of Glenwood, and safety and technology improvements at virtually every other school in the district.
The bond issue also includes $15 million to provide affordable rental housing for teachers and other key staff in each of the three communities. Sirko has said she would like to continue as a volunteer in helping to develop the housing program.
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Fans, players and coaches on both sides of Stubler Memorial Field seemed to know it would come down just the way it did, regardless of who had the ball at the end.