While in the process of replacing its superintendent, Moffat County School District learned Friday it will have to fill another leadership position for the coming school year.
Thom Schnellinger, principal at Moffat County High School for the past five and half years, sent an e-mail to the community Friday announcing his resignation at the end of his current contract, June 27 of this year.
“It has been my distinct honor and privilege to work for the Moffat County School District on the behalf of this community’s children,” Schnellinger said in the letter. “This district gave me my start, entrusted me with a principalship and allowed me to assemble one of the finest groups of professionals that I have ever had the honor to work with.”
Schnellinger cited new opportunities for him as the reason for his resignation, but he declined to elaborate. While he said he has enjoyed his time in Craig and Northwest Colorado, he is excited about the possibilities in his future.
He emphasized on the phone Friday how fortunate he felt to be in his ninth year with Moffat County School District. He served as assistant principal for three years before becoming the high school principal.
“I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve come to a school district where I’ve learned a great deal,” he said. “I’ve been lucky to develop a lot of skills in this school district over the years. I’m excited about the future.”
School board members were busy evaluating superintendent finalists Friday when they learned of Schnellinger’s resignation and the need to find another key figure for MCSD in the coming school year.
It’s the school district’s new superintendent who will hire the next principal, giving whichever candidate the school board selects an important decision early in their tenure. School board member Darrell Camilletti didn’t see that as a problem, but rather an opportunity to push forward with the other new members in the district.
“The board’s relatively new. Four of the board members are new as of the November election,” Camilletti said. “The opportunity with a new superintendent coming on board is that we’re going to be able to put up expectations of what we want to see in leadership and hopefully the superintendent can use that.”
Schnellinger’s June 27 resignation will occur about a month after graduation and will present an extra challenge to the district over the summer. But it also gives the district a chance to start fresh.
“I think obviously with turnover there’s challenges,” Camilletti said. “Every time you have change come, it sometimes makes some people a little uneasy but it’s also an opportunity. I think there’s been some concern about the school’s performance and with a change in the board, change in the superintendent and whatever other administrators move on, it’s going to be about the (new) superintendent acting on the new ideas.”
Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org.