RFSD makes sound choice for superintendent
The Roaring Fork School District is set to move into a new era and Judy Haptonstall will be at the helm.The 57-year-old Haptonstall will take over for retiring Fred Wall as the next Re-1 superintendent in June.The five-member school board voted unanimously for Haptonstall, who has been with the RFSD for the past 18 years, the last 10 as assistant superintendent.This has been a long process and one that sometimes put Haptonstall in an awkward position as the a current member of the school district.The past few months have brought out a number of views concerning what direction the district should go in the future. With Wall’s retirement, some wanted the school board to look outside the district for the next superintendent.The search for Wall’s replacement was thorough and far-reaching. Candidates from around the state and nation sought the job. The district narrowed the candidates to 11, then Delbert W. Jarman, from Charleston, S.C., and Ken Ladouceur, superintendent of the Gilpin County School District, joined Haptonstall as the three finalists. Last fall, the Re-1 school board approved a plan for the search devised by the Colorado Association of School Boards. This involved a five-month process searching for qualified candidates from throughout Colorado and other states. The process also included focus groups and plenty of public input. The search was sound.Some will not agree with the decision. Some residents would prefer anyone but Haptonstall. Labeling her as part of the old guard isn’t fair to her or fair to the work that she’s done for the district for nearly two decades.Her time with the school district shouldn’t have made her an automatic selection; however, it obviously shouldn’t have been held against her either.The school district is in the midst of a tumultuous time. Growth and construction issues will continue to be a challenge. The large Latino student population that impacts the English as a Second Language (ESL) program, will also be a major factor for the school district to tackle in the future. With schools from Basalt to Glenwood Springs, RFSD is large and mixed with diversity and a variety of concerns.Haptonstall will definitely have a tough job ahead of her. The school board has made its decision and Haptonstall is a sound choice. She knows the school district and is very familiar with its strengths and weaknesses.She also brings stability to the position. After 18 years with the district, she’s here to stay. It’s now her time at the helm.Haptonstall has earned and deserves the opportunity to implement her vision and her ideas in shaping the future of the Roaring Fork School District.Congratulations to Judy Haptonstall, and good luck, you have a very challenging job in front of you.
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