Silt business owner steps forward to fill Re-2 board vacancy

Ryan Hoffman
John “Brock” Hedberg
Staff Photo |

The Garfield School District Re-2 Board of Education is expected to appoint John “Brock” Hedberg to fill a vacant seat on the five-member board at its next meeting April 26.

Hedberg, owner of Hy-Way Feed and Ranch Supply in Silt and a current member of the Garfield County Fair and Rodeo Board, was in attendance for a board workshop Tuesday afternoon. He was the sole applicant for the seat representing District D, which includes most of Silt, Peach Valley and ends near the western boundary of New Castle.

Tara Rumery, who was elected to the seat in November of 2015, had to vacate the position in March because she moved outside of the district.

Hedberg is no stranger to the district. The married father of three graduated from Rifle High School in 1998. Currently his eldest daughter is attending Cactus Valley Elementary School in Silt.

His interest in the school board has been elevated in the past year or two. Being as involved in the community, Hedberg said he has heard some concerns in the district and had some of his own, especially following the previous board’s falling out with the district’s former superintendent last fall.

Hedberg said his daughter at Cactus Valley has had “great teachers” and he would like to see those teachers stay in the district. Teacher retention was frequently pointed to by candidates as a concern leading up to the November 2015 election.

Rather than sit on the sidelines, Hedberg said he wanted to get involved and the vacancy provided a well-timed opportunity.

The district had hoped to generate some more interest in the position, said Anne Guettler, board president. However, Hedberg’s name has been floated in the community for some time and one of the most important qualities any board member can have is passion, Guettler said, adding that Hedberg has that passion.

The current board has worked extensively on evaluating and constructing operating practices since last November’s election. In that regard, there will be a bit of backtracking in order to bring Hedberg into the loop, but having a full board ensures that it can continue pressing on with the important work ahead, Guettler said.

Among the topics covered Tuesday was the issue of time commitment. As several board members cautioned of the demands and occasional reality of missing a meeting or two, Hedberg said the pending position would be first among other commitments. He added that his current stint with the county fair board would be winding down after this year’s event in August.

“This is my No. 1 priority going forward,” he said.

Although Hedberg has served on other boards in the past, he noted the school board would be an entirely new undertaking with a steep learning curve. In talking with past board members, he stated the general consensus is it takes one year to learn the ropes.

While Hedberg will work on getting up to speed, he and the other board members will have more time to work with Brent Curtice, who was officially hired in March to become the district’s new superintendent.

Curtice confirmed on Tuesday that the Moffat County School District Board of Education voted on March 31 to relieve him of responsibilities to the Moffat district effective April 15. After a brief executive session Tuesday, the board announced that Curtice’s start date would begin June 1, rather than the originally agreed to July 1 start.

Additionally, the board announced it would pay Curtice $615 per day for work prior to the new start date, with the number of days to be negotiated between the district and Curtice. Under the terms of the originally agreed to contract, he will receive an annual salary of $160,000.

Curtice spent much of his spring break visiting some of Garfield Re-2’s 10 schools. During this transition period, he said he hopes to visit all of the remaining schools in the district before the end of the 2015-16 school year.

Hedberg is slated to officially be sworn in at the April 26 meeting. Afterward the board will go through a reorganization process to re-elect officers, Guettler said.

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