Sirko tabbed to continue as Re-1 superintendent |

Sirko tabbed to continue as Re-1 superintendent

Diana Sirko

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The Roaring Fork School District Re-1 board has opted to stick with interim Superintendent Diana Sirko as the district’s lead administrator going forward after this school year.

The Re-1 Board of Education on Thursday formally announced Sirko as its choice to fill the superintendent position under a likely multi-year contract.

“Diana brings a unique skill set to our district,” board President Matt Hamilton said in a prepared statement.

“With a deep understanding of state-mandated educational reform initiatives under way and deep respect for our local community, she has been able to quickly establish a rapport with all facets of our community,” Hamilton said.

A formal job offer cannot be made before Jan. 7, 2013, according to state statute. The board will consider a contract with Sirko at its Jan. 9 meeting. That meeting is to be held at Basalt High School.

Roaring Fork Re-1 includes public schools in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt.

“I welcome the opportunity to work with staff and our communities to build on the successes of the district, and to continue our quest to provide the best education possible for all of our students,” Sirko said in the press release issued Thursday.

The board recently met with both Sirko, a former Aspen School District superintendent, and former Denver Public Schools high school principal Robert Stein, about the Re-1 superintendent position.

Stein was originally selected to become the new Re-1 superintendent last May following a lengthy search to find a replacement for former superintendent Judy Haptonstall. The school board decided in January not to extend Haptonstall’s contract beyond the 2011-12 school year.

Stein was on the job for a short period of time in early July before resigning for family reasons after his wife was severely injured in a bicycle accident near Denver.

Sirko, a longtime Basalt-area resident who had just retired after a three-year stint as a deputy commissioner with the Colorado Department of Education, was then named interim superintendent. Sirko was also superintendent of Aspen schools for seven years from 2002-09.

During her brief time leading Re-1 schools, “she has demonstrated a deep commitment and passion for education,” according to the Re-1 board statement.

“Dr. Sirko is a constant presence in RFSD schools and at events, offering advice, encouragement, but most importantly listening with an open mind,” stated the board, which voted unanimously to offer the position to Sirko.

In addition to her knowledge of new state educational reforms around teacher evaluations and standards through her work with the state, Sirko will also oversee a significant effort at reform in Re-1 schools.

The school board recently agreed to enter an exploratory process after the first of the year to consider converting Glenwood Springs Elementary School to an expeditionary learning school. That decision came after the board rejected the Two Rivers Expeditionary charter school, which was proposed to open in Glenwood Springs next fall.

“Her willingness to ask tough questions and fully explore alternative models of education while demanding the district deliver a world-class education to every student make Diana well-suited to serve our communities,” Hamilton said of the board’s decision.

Sirko’s interim, $137,000 contract with Re-1 runs through June 30, 2013. The board will be negotiating a new contract to be considered at the Jan. 9 meeting.

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