The new superintendent for the Moffat County School District won’t have to go far when he relocates — his new office is right down the hall from his old one.
Brent Curtice was named the replacement for outgoing superintendent Joe Petrone on Monday night during a special meeting of the MCSD Board of Education.
Curtice, currently the assistant superintendent for the district, was on hand to officially accept the job offer as the board made the announcement.
Addressing the board and the public, Curtice said the career development reminded him of when he was first hired in 2011, but with a new level of responsibility on his shoulders.
“I don’t take that lightly,” he said. “I take it with excitement and enthusiasm, and what some people see as challenges, I see as opportunities. I look forward to our future together, and I hope you’ll hold me accountable for every day I walk.”
Each of the board members took the time to speak about the qualities they felt Curtice brought to the job, including leadership capabilities and a developed familiarity with the district’s needs.
Petrone said he was not at all surprised by the board’s appointment.
“I knew this three years ago,” he said. “It is so important that you have a person like Brent in this role, and I am so pleased it’s come to this point. In the next few months, we’ll be doing everything we can in unison to do what this board and this community needs to have done.”
The boardroom was standing room only with dozens of local residents of all ages coming out to learn of the decision, which had been whittled down from an initial search of 11 candidates found by Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates to five to three.
Among them were Moffat County High School seniors Derek Maiolo and Nicole Ferree.
“We wanted to see if Mr. Curtice would get the job because we’ve worked with him a lot before,” Maiolo said.
Curtice’s excitement had yet to wear off Tuesday, especially when an office prank in which co-workers filled his entire office with balloons and balled-up newspapers let him know his forthcoming position will be enjoyable and rewarding.
“We feel the momentum about what will be coming, what we’ll be doing and how we’re going to get there. It’s our time, and we’re all excited about the future.”
The details of Curtice’s contract still are in the works. Among his immediate job duties in the next few months will be to fill vacancies such as the soon-to-be open principal slot at Moffat County High School as well as his own replacement as assistant superintendent.
All in good time, he said. Among Curtice’s goals: tackling budget issues, increasing student achievement and further involving the community within the district.
Right now marks the transitional period where Curtice and Petrone will be working in tandem as the torch is passed.
“Dr. Petrone has been a great mentor and a great person to work with, and we’ll transition the most efficiently we can, and it will all be good for kids in the end,” Curtice said.
Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.