Re-1 board inks contract with new superintendent
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The Roaring Fork School District Re-1 school board agreed Wednesday to a five-year, $155,000 annual contract with the district’s newly named superintendent, Dr. Rob Stein.
Stein, the former principal of Denver’s Manual High School during that school’s much-publicized makeover a few years ago, was selected May 5 to become the next superintendent of Re-1 schools in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt.
He replaces current Re-1 Superintendent Judy Haptonstall effective July 1. The school board earlier this year decided to end Haptonstall’s contract after the current school year.
“We expect to bring [Stein] in on a per diem in June so that he can begin meeting with district administration and building principals,” Re-1 school board president Matt Hamilton said after the special Wednesday meeting. “It’s important to start the transition on the strongest foot possible.”
The new superintendent’s contract was just one of a trio of administrative decisions impacting area schools this week.
Also Wednesday, the Re-1 board approved David Schmid to become the next principal at Basalt High School. He will replace Kevin Schott, who announced earlier this year that he would be stepping down after the current school year.
Schmid, a former Colorado high school principal of the year at Steamboat Springs High School, has been interim principal at Aspen High School since January.
Meanwhile, Re-1 Assistant Superintendent Brad Ray announced Wednesday that he has accepted the assistant superintendent position in the Garfield Re-2 school district, effective July 1.
Ray has been with Re-1 for eight years, including five as principal at Glenwood Springs Middle School and three in the district office.
He fills a position with Re-2 that has been vacant for the past two years due to budgetary constraints.
With the implementation of new state requirements regarding teacher accountability, the additional administrative support is now needed, Re-2 spokeswoman Theresa Hamilton said.
“I am excited about the new opportunity,” Ray said. “It has been a great experience with Re-1, where I have been privileged to work with people from whom I’ve learned a lot.”
Among the first orders of business for Stein will now be the hiring of a new assistant superintendent for Re-1.
The $155,000 salary for Stein represents a $7,000 yearly increase over what the district had been paying superintendent Haptonstall.
Re-1 board president Hamilton noted that the average pay for school district superintendents in the area is $149,000, while the national average is around $162,000.
“Dr. Stein is not your traditional candidate,” Hamilton said. “He brings a level of experience and professionalism that will serve him well in this position, and that will serve us well.”
Stein, 52, of Denver, graduated from Manual High School in 1978. He was tabbed by then-Denver Public Schools superintendent (now U.S. Sen.) Michael Bennet, in 2007 to turn the school around after it had been closed due to persistent low test scores.
Stein was credited for employing models borrowed from successful public charter schools to rebuild Manual and improve student performance there.
He has connections to the Roaring Fork Valley as well. He taught at the independent Colorado Rocky Mountain School in Carbondale in the late 1980s, and for the past two years has served on the CRMS board of trustees.
Since leaving Manual in 2010, Stein has been working as a consultant for Get Smart Schools designing a principal training program, and with Expeditionary Learning, where he developed and implemented a strategy for starting new schools.
His resume includes a doctorate degree from Harvard University, a master’s degree from Stanford University, a bachelor’s degree at Middlebury College, and he is fluent in Spanish.
The contract approved by the school board Wednesday also includes an allowance for a car and $300 per month mileage, and a $100 per month cell phone allowance, Hamilton said.
Schmid was named Colorado high school principal of the year in 2003 while at the helm at Steamboat Springs High School. He was appointed as interim principal of Aspen High School following the abrupt resignation of former AHS principal Art Abelmann last fall.
Aspen District Superintendent John Maloy on Tuesday named Ohio educator Kimberly Martin as the new AHS principal.
Schmid was “very impressive” in interviewing for the Basalt High position, Ray said in recommending Schmid to the school board for appointment.
“His resume is phenomenal, and he has a good reputation in the different places he has been,” Ray said. “It’s a real score for the district and Basalt.”
Re-1 board member Bob Johnson of Basalt was on the interview panel along with a group of BHS teachers, staff, parents and community members.
“He really commanded the attention of the room when we interviewed him, and proved he is someone who can lead the school going forward,” Johnson said.
According to a Jan. 24 article in The Aspen Times when he was appointed interim principal at Aspen High, Schmid spent 16 years as a teacher, followed by 19 years as a school administrator, including stints with Adams Twelve and Steamboat Springs.
Prior to taking the Aspen position, Schmid served as a leadership coach for the Public Education and Business Coalition and as a facilitator for the National Reform Initiative.
He was selected for the Basalt position out of 20 applicants and five finalists, Re-1 Human Resources Director Nikki Jost said.
Re-1 is also interviewing two finalists later this week for the Roaring Fork High School principal’s position in Carbondale, Jost said. Current RFHS principal Cliff Colia also announced recently that he will be stepping down after four years at the school and 23 years total in the Re-1 school district.
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