Hayden Superintendent Luppes resigning; national search set to begin

— After more than two decades of service in multiple teaching and administrative positions, Hayden Superintendent Mike Luppes confirmed Thursday that this will be his final year with the district.

Luppes said he officially submitted his resignation in November, and he will continue as Hayden’s part-time superintendent until his contract expires June 30.

A few meetings next week are dedicated to gathering staff, administration and community input as the district sets out to hire a full-time superintendent to replace Luppes. The new superintendent's contract will go into effect July 1.

On Tuesday, there will be an administrative meeting in the afternoon followed by a district staff meeting at 4 p.m. for those interested in offering input on the search. At 5:30 p.m., there will be an open-forum community session in the Hayden Middle School cafeteria.

“We would love, love to have a group of people there who express what they want to see in a new superintendent,” Luppes said. “Hopefully, we’ll have a good field of candidates, and community and staff will be involved along the way.”

The district has hired the Colorado Association of School Boards to run the school and community focus groups.

Luppes said he will offer any helping hand he can in the search process, but he added that his role will be “very minor” and that in the long run, this is a national search for the Hayden School Board and CASB.

Official announcement of Luppes’ retirement will come shortly after the Hayden School Board’s next meeting Wednesday. Luppes said everything will be finalized with the community and administrative meetings, and shortly thereafter, a job announcement will be posted.

“We’re hoping by our spring break, around the first of April or so, we will have a replacement hired and ready to start July 1,” Luppes said.

Luppes first started working in the Hayden School District in 1987, beginning as a classroom teacher and later taking over as principal of Hayden Valley Elementary School. He later accepted the full-time district superintendent position, retired and then returned in 2010 on a part-time basis.

Luppes also has been the Hayden High School varsity boys basketball coach since 2008.

The district was forced to hire a part-time superintendent because of fiscal shortfalls three years ago, School Board President Brian Hoza said. Since Luppes' return, Hoza said the district’s fund balance rose from about $240,000 to more than $1 million today.

“Mike has provided some amazing stability for us,” Hoza said. “He’s been able to pull us from a really low fiscal fund balance and some difficult times when numbers were dropping and numbers were tight, and get us on sound feet.”

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll

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