Garfield Re-2 names new principals to district |

Garfield Re-2 names new principals to district

Jeena Williams

The Garfield Re-2 board of directors has hired two new principals in the district: Kelly Detlefsen at Cactus Valley Elementary and Jeena Williams at Riverside Middle School.


Detlefsen. a longtime Re-2 educator, will take the reins from Lisa Whitmore when Whitmore retires at the end of the school year after 26 years with the district. Detlefsen has taught in both Roaring Fork and Re-2 school districts, and in Re-2 has taught language arts, social studies and math. She has been an instructional coach at both Riverside and in her current role at Cactus Valley Elementary.

“When I joined the Cactus Valley Elementary School team last year as the instructional coach, I was impressed with the dedication and commitment of staff, students and parents. Everyone was and continues to be committed to making CVE a positive place where all are welcome and encouraged to learn, grow and achieve,” Detlefsen said. “I’m honored and excited to help lead Cactus Valley Elementary at this next level.”

She added: “Working with and learning from the staff, students and parents at Cactus Valley Elementary School and continuing our high expectations for all are exciting to me as a new principal at Cactus Valley. In order for our children to learn, grow and achieve, it takes all of us committed to working together. I am excited to continue to build upon the strengths at CVE as well as to continue to build relationships within the CVE, Silt, and Garfield Re-2 communities.”

Detlefsen holds a bachelor of arts in education from University of Northern Colorado, a master of arts in curriculum and assessment from Adams State College, and she received her principal licensure from Mesa State College.


Williams will take over at Riverside Middle School for Lacey Moser, who is leaving after five years at Riverside and nine years in Garfield Re-2.

Currently, she serves as the secondary induction specialist at Mesa District 51, a role that allows her to support, coach and guide new teachers in best practices as well as craft professional development opportunities for them.

While searching for principal opportunities, Williams said Garfield Re-2 caught her eye for many reasons.

“When I researched Riverside Middle School and Garfield Re-2, it quickly became clear that the district and school are committed, not only to high growth and high achievement for every student, but also to a nurturing and quality school experience for every student that focuses on the whole child. I wanted to work in a place with goals and values aligned so closely with my philosophy of what makes a school effective for kids and families,” she said.

Williams began her teaching career at Central High School as a language arts instructor. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Colorado Mesa University in secondary English education, a master’s from Colorado Mesa in education with an emphasis in English for speakers of other languages and also received her principal licensure from CMU.

Though she has been working with teachers, Williams’ true love is for kids.

“First and foremost, I have a big heart for kids — in seeing them grow and learn and think rigorously and work toward their full potential,” said Williams. “And as a leader in a building, my strengths lie in instructional leadership — in working with teachers to refine and improve their practice.”

Said Susan Birdsey, Garfield Re- 2 superintendent. “There is no doubt Lisa Whitmore and Lacey Moser will be missed. They have provided exceptional leadership to our District,. We had exceptional candidates for both positions. The fact that we has such strong candidates is a testament to the work that we are doing as a district and in our schools.

“Kelly Detlefsen and Jeena Williams will be great additions to the Garfield Re-2 leadership team. They both have demonstrated a deep knowledge of best practices in both the classroom, and in their respective leadership roles. We are lucky to have them,” Birdsey said.

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