Sirko’s No. 2 is lone finalist for opening in Aspen |

Sirko’s No. 2 is lone finalist for opening in Aspen

Janet Urquhart
Aspen correspondent
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

John Maloy, assistant superintendent of the Aspen School District, was selected Wednesday as the sole finalist for the superintendent’s post to be vacated by Diana Sirko.

The Aspen School Board voted unanimously to approve a resolution naming Maloy as the only candidate under consideration.

“The board decided it made the most sense to look internally first,” said Charla Belinski, board president. The district could have undertaken a costly, time-consuming, nationwide search for Sirko’s successor and not come up with a candidate of Maloy’s caliber, she said. Even with such a search, Maloy would have been up for consideration, noted the resolution approved by the board.

Sirko, who was hired after an extensive search seven years ago, said she recommended Maloy to succeed her, but the board reached its own decision, interviewing Maloy twice and hiring a search firm to take an objective look at him as a candidate.

“I get asked every day, do you think they’ll give John a chance?” Sirko said. “I think the staff will be very excited.”

Sirko announced last month she would step down in June to take a post as one of two deputy commissioners in the Colorado Department of Education.

The board immediately thought first of Maloy, hired as second in command in 2007, to replace her, according to Belinski.

“John was an obvious candidate, but not a given,” she said. “It was a thorough and diligent, thoughtful process.”

The district is fortunate to have Maloy already on its administrative staff, allowing it to make a seamless transition at the top post, several board members noted.

“I have always been so impressed by his intelligence and knowledge of what it takes to provide a high-quality education,” said Elizabeth Parker, board vice president.

A 14-day waiting period will occur before the district can make Maloy a formal offer. During that time, the community will have a chance to mull the board’s choice, Belinski said.

Maloy left a Midwest education firm, Alternatives Unlimited, Inc., where he had served as chief operating officer, to join the Aspen district. He was with the firm for about a year, following 10 years as a school district administrator, including four years as superintendent of schools, in Bloomington, Ind. His career as an educator has also included teaching and principal positions in Indiana.

“I know I have tremendously large shoes to fill, but I am up to the challenge,” Maloy told the board.

He will face the immediate challenge of preparing district budgets in the face of anticipated funding cuts at the state level for the next few years.

Maloy and his wife, Lori, a nurse at Aspen Valley Hospital, reside in Aspen. He has a daughter who will graduate from college this year.

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