The Moffat County School Board entered into executive session Thursday night. Shortly after the session ended, board president Jo Ann Baxter had an announcement.
“We have approved our new assistant superintendent,” she said.
Brent Curtice, a Paonia resident, will assume the role July 1. He replaces outgoing assistant superintendent Christine Villard, who announced her resignation earlier this year.
Curtice, who currently serves as principal for Paonia Junior-Senior High School in the Delta County School District, attended the board meeting. Today he will be making the rounds in the district to meet with administrators and faculty.
Curtice has worked in the Delta County School District for 23 years — first as a teacher and coach for seven years, and then as a principal for 16 years.
Before that, he worked as a teacher and coach in Jackson Hole, Wyo.
He received undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley and is a Colorado native.
Curtice said he and his wife are planning to move to Craig in June. They are both pleased with the new opportunity, he said.
“For us, it’s a great, wonderful opportunity for us to come up here and enjoy all this,” he said. “Moffat County happens to be one of the places in Colorado that my wife and I really love. We love Craig, we’re Western kind of people. We hunt and fish, and we have a huge hobby list.”
In Paonia, Curtice leads a school of roughly 265 students. The Moffat County School District has more than 2,400 students.
Curtice said he is ready for the increased responsibility.
“It’s a time in my career when I wanted to lead at a higher level and embrace the challenges at a district level,” he said.
Throughout the past decade in Colorado public education, Curtice said there has been a shift toward standardized testing.
“I embrace the challenge of the shift,” he said. “It’s great. I think we’re really at the point in education where we want to show how good our kids are at achievement tests. We want to embrace accountability from evaluations all the way down to our kids growing and getting better day in and day out.
“That’s why we’re in this business, so when we look back, we know our kids grew equal to other kids in the state and in the nation.”
Curtice said he’s inheriting a school district that’s in good shape, but there’s always room for improvement.
“Looking at the past years, Moffat County has done an incredible job of bringing learning to students,” he said. “Like any district, we want to get better in growth, we want to get better in performance and achievement. And, that’s why the state has laid us into these unified improvement plans, to look deeper into that detail.”
Although Curtice won’t officially assume the position until July, he plans to work with Villard throughout parts of May and June.
“We’re going to have as good a transition as we possibly can,” he said. “Losing Christine (Villard) is 10-plus years of knowledge and that will take time to regain. She’s been such a wonderful asset to this community and this district.”
Curtice said he is looking forward to serving the school district.
“I’m very much a servant leader,” he said. “My style is servant leadership, meaning ‘service beyond self.’ I really believe in helping people get better at their craft and doing everything I possibly can to help them move forward.”
Click here to have the print version of the Craig Daily Press delivered to your home.