Retiring principals look back at their 132 years in education
Starting this summer, they hope to have more time to drink coffee, read the paper and phone old friends. After that, they haven’t decided too much, because their busy schools don’t let them slow down enough to think about retirement plans.The Roaring Fork School District will say goodbye in June to 132 years of education experience with the retirement of longtime school administrators Wendy Moore, principal at Roaring Fork High; Karen Harvey, assistant principal at Basalt High; Pat Waddick, principal at Crystal River Elementary; and Mike Wells, principal at Glenwood Springs High.”Finding replacements who can fill their shoes will be a monumental task. We will miss their expertise and wisdom,” superintendent Fred Wall said. “One of the reasons we have had great success in the RFSD through the years is due to the depth of talent of our Leadership Team.”The school district opened national searches on Thursday for the high school principal positions in Glenwood Springs and Carbondale. The hiring process will follow for the assistant principal spot at Basalt High as well as a new assistant principal position for a combined Crystal River and Carbondale elementary school, scheduled to move into one expanded building in fall 2006.Well-known for taking education but not himself too seriously, GSHS principal Mike Wells has the distinction of serving in administration at the school for a quarter-century. He said his best accomplishment is “our graduates.” His most memorable experiences are “watching students grow and achieve.” Wells has worked education for 35 years, teaching government, history and reading in Illinois for 10 years before coming to the valley.Devoted to education with a love of theater, Wendy Moore has served as principal at Roaring Fork High for seven years. Her 33-year education career includes 18 years in administration and 17 years teaching language arts, drama, technical theater and Advanced Placement classes. She has directed in the theater for 30 years and plans to do more when retired.Moore said she will miss the energy of teenagers and “the devotion of this town to its high school.” Crystal River Elementary leader Pat Waddick also has been a principal in the district for seven years. She served as assistant principal at Basalt Elementary for four years before coming to Carbondale, as part of a 34-year career in education.Waddick said she is most proud of seeing the young students learn to read, especially as the increasing number of second-language students has become a challenge.”I feel good about what we’ve done, and we’ve done it together,” she said.A relative newcomer to the district, Karen Harvey has served at Basalt High for four years. Her 30 years in education includes 26 years in the Jefferson County schools as a special education teacher, counselor and administrator. The leaders say they will miss the energy and interactions with students and teachers and are proud of assembling strong teams of teachers.Moore seemed to sum up the principals’ contributions to the district: “Education has been a marvelous career. It has given me a daily opportunity to make a difference.”Suzie Romig is the RFSD’s public information officer.
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Interstate 70 is closed in both directions between the Glenwood Springs and No Name exits because of a crash, a Garfield County alert sent shortly before 10:30 p.m. states.