Shake-ups throughout school district

Two administrators submit resignations, Stanford set to return

— A former Steamboat Springs School District administrator could be returning to her old post, and two other administrators have submitted their resignations.

Kelly Stanford, the district's former director of curriculum and instruction, will return to that position at the end of the school year, pending approval by the School Board on Thursday night.

"I'm very excited to have the opportunity to come back," Stan--ford said. She is the wife of Steamboat Pilot & Today editor Scott Stanford.

Kelly Stanford would replace Ann Sims, the district's director of curriculum and instruction. On Friday, Sims withdrew her name from consideration of a renewal of her employment contract after meeting with Superintendent Donna Howell.

The possible hiring of Stan--ford fills one of three vacancies that recently have opened in the district's central office.

The School Board also will act Thursday on the resignations of technology director Cathleen Nardi and nutritional services director Darcy Trask. Both submitted their letters of resignation during the past two weeks.

The Steamboat Springs School Board is scheduled to act on the recommended hiring of one district administrator -- and the resignation of two others -- at its meeting Thursday night.What: School Board meetingWhen: 6 p.m. ThursdayWhere: Steamboat Springs High School media center Call: 879-1530

Nardi has directed technology instruction in Steamboat for 11 years and said she would be open to teaching in a classroom if a position opens up.

"I spend less time in the buildings, and I'm not working with teachers and students as much as I would like to," she said. "And I am very much a people person."

In her resignation letter, Trask wrote that her decision came with "very mixed emotions" and was caused by a combination of factors, some of which were dictated by the School Board.

"I would strongly encourage the board to focus on the need to attract and retain qualified staff at all levels in the organization," she wrote.

Trask also said personal matters led to her decision.

On Tuesday, Sims said she could not make a three-year "verbal commitment" to the director of curriculum and instruction position, a commitment she discussed with Howell.

"Personally and professionally, I did not feel that I could commit to the job for three years, and as a result, it would not be fair for me to continue (as director)," Sims said.

The contracts of district administrators, including school principals, are up for renewal annually. The superintendent is the only district employee with a multi-year contract.

Sims said she may not have withdrawn her name if a multi-year contract had been available for her position.

"In Colorado, if you give a three-year contract, you have to commit those resources and put them aside," Howell said as an explanation for why the district chooses to renew contracts annually. She said most Colorado school districts renew contracts annually. Howell is in the first year of her four-year contract.

Sims also said her career path necessitated a move, possibly to the Front Range.

"I have immediate plans to pursue a doctoral degree in education," Sims said. "That will be more convenient if I'm back on the other side of the mountains."

Stanford was an administrator in the district for four years. She left her position in May 2005 and began work that month as the assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for the Cuero Independent School District in Cuero, Texas.

She said that although that district is comparable to Steam--boat in terms of student population, the economic differences are vast.

"I've learned to really value the resources that Steamboat has, and that's very exciting professionally and very exciting as a parent," said Stanford, who has daughters in the second and sixth grades. "I've been in a place that's struggling, and I think you learn from that."

Howell said Stanford's salary, based on previous years and the district's salary schedule, likely would be more than $80,000.

Sims said she would work with Stanford to ensure a "seamless" transition and continued development of programs for students.

"I'm here until the end of June, and my goal is to continue the really good work we've been doing," Sims said, citing progress with programming for gifted and talented students in addition to English as a Second Language instruction. "I will continue with long-range planning so that there will not be a lull. (Stanford) will be fantastic. She'll pick up right where I left off."

-- To reach Mike Lawrence, call 871-4203 or e-mail

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