Richard Wildenhaus, former Moffat County High School athletic director and current Fort Morgan High School athletic director/assistant principal, said the transition into his new job and home has been smooth. One of his first major decisions was to move Fort Morgan into a new conference beginning next school year.

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Richard Wildenhaus, former Moffat County High School athletic director and current Fort Morgan High School athletic director/assistant principal, said the transition into his new job and home has been smooth. One of his first major decisions was to move Fort Morgan into a new conference beginning next school year.

Former MCHS athletic director enjoying new position in Fort Morgan

Quotable

“Most of my administrative duties (at MCHS) were over students. Here, basically I supervise, evaluate and observe teachers in the classroom, but I still get to work with all the students and teachers almost every day.”

— Richard Wildenhaus, former Moffat County High School athletic director and current Fort Morgan High School athletic director/assistant principal, on his new duties at Fort Morgan

Over the summer, Richard Wildenhaus moved his family almost 300 miles from Craig to Fort Morgan.

Wildenhaus, Moffat County High School’s former athletic director, accepted the athletic director/assistant principal position in May at Fort Morgan High School.

The school is bigger and his home is now on the other side of the state, but Wildenhaus said similarities outweigh differences between Craig and Fort Morgan.

“(Fort Morgan) isn’t much bigger with about 15,000 people and the community is very supportive, just as Craig was,” Wildenhaus said Tuesday. “The high school has about 850 students and 16 sports, but we compete in 4A and the schools aren’t much different.”

At MCHS, Wildenhaus also served as dean of students and helped in disciplinary actions on top of his athletic director responsibilities.

However, after earning his second master’s degree in educational leadership and an administrative license, Wildenhaus wanted to add assistant principal duties to his position at MCHS, something Moffat County School District administrators were unwilling to do at the time.

Wildenhaus had no comment on the hiring of Jeff Simon as MCHS athletic director/assistant principal, essentially the same position Wildenhaus sought before exiting to Fort Morgan.

The primary difference between his duties at MCHS and Fort Morgan, Wildenhaus said, is he now has a supervisory role over teachers.

“Most of my administrative duties (at MCHS) were over students,” he said. “Here, basically I supervise, evaluate and observe teachers in the classroom, but I still get to work with all the students and teachers almost every day.”

Wildenhaus said an advantage to Fort Morgan is travel isn’t as extensive as it was at MCHS.

Sterling High School is one of the schools Fort Morgan competes against that requires the greatest travel, and it’s only about 45 minutes away.

Traveling might lessen even more in the future because of the first major decision Wildenhaus had to make when he started his position at the beginning of August.

Fort Morgan is currently part of the Tri-Valley League, but will join a new conference next season — the Colorado 7 League.

“I was approached by a school that was interested in creating this new league, and my first response was we were happy with our league,” he said. “But, after talking with coaches about the offer, we looked at the pros and cons and sat down with all the coaches and by the end there was a strong consensus this was the best thing for our programs.”

Wildenhaus said the driving factor behind the decision was that it was deemed best for the school’s student-athletes.

“The Tri-Valley League is very competitive, but in this new league, we will be able to compete with schools more our size,” he said. “If our basketball teams can win even four more games and feel victory more often, then it is a positive.

“It is pretty exciting to develop a league from scratch.”

Besides growing professionally, Wildenhaus said the move has also been great for his wife, Colleen, and their two children.

“The elementary schools here are fantastic and our kids love the school and have made an easy transition,” he said. “My wife is teaching kindergarten and we have been able to find a nice place to live with great neighbors and a great community.”

Fort Morgan doesn’t have a swimming program like MCHS, but the school offers sports the Bulldogs don’t, such as tennis and gymnastics.

But, Wildenhaus again said the two schools have more in common than different, even down to dealing with inclement weather.

Wildenhaus has one season under his belt and is in the midst of another. He said he enjoys taking on new challenges his job presents.

“Our athletes compete hard and we have a good group of coaches who have bought into the system,” he said. “I have taken my extra responsibilities and rolled with them and I think been fairly successful.

“It’s been so far, so good.”

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Comments

Tammy Showalter 2 years, 3 months ago

Good for him! How admirable, he didn't accept being squashed by Moffat County admin...and has moved forward and upward!

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cory5611 2 years, 3 months ago

sorry are school district done this they seem to have issues with good teachers,coachs and who ever dose not do what they want

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ranchmama 2 years, 3 months ago

Are you kidding? Why would CDP write a story about a guy who was never fully invested in MOCO? Why would anyone around here care? He lived here for 5 minutes. Why not write about the many teachers who work for our District that are alumni? They obviously thought MOCO was good enough to come back to work for and to raise their own families here! How about supporting and maintaining that support for your own MOCO residents (NOT Morgan County). All you haters are more than welcome to leave! We don't want ya around here. B'bye!!

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cory5611 2 years, 3 months ago

I would support MOCOSD but they have refused to retain good teachers and coachs and have forced out teachers that were here for a long time I was born and raised here and one of my kids was born here and the other in Steamboat nothing has changed in the 30 plus years I have been here and never will go to the state site for the schools grades and they rank near the worst in the state and they are not getting any better

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ranchmama 2 years, 3 months ago

Apparently, you didn't have the same teachers I had. I had some great teachers that taught me so much. I have lived here for 34+ years. I proudly graduated from MCHS and my kids will graduate in the coming years. I have, also, worked at and volunteered in our schools so I do know about some of the imperfections in our school district. However, 90% of the employees are good at what they do. They are invested in their jobs and our children. I know they are not perfect (Who is? Not you or your run on sentence. Not me.). As with any company or business, there is always some weeding out that needs to be done, especially, when it comes to teachers texting instead of teaching. But I digress........my first and foremost point was that the Craig Daily Press should be doing a story on the AD at MCHS not the old one (who didn't get what he whined for) or on any number of teachers, aides, and coaches who give so much of themselves to their students, our children!

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