Plans may be changing for a departing member of Moffat County School District, but he knows he’s leaving things in good hands.
Joe Petrone said farewell to colleagues Thursday night as part of the Board of Education meeting, though it was under slightly different circumstances than when he’d announced his intention to end his contract a year early at the beginning of the school year.
“It’s bittersweet because I’ll be moving on to a new opportunity that came up very recently,” he said.
Originally making the decision in order to spend more time with family, last week Petrone accepted a dean position with Colorado State University Global Campus, an online program. Not prepared to retire, he liked the idea of a job with different kinds of requirements that would allow the best of both worlds.
Starting with MCSD in 2009, Petrone said the thing he has enjoyed most about his job in Craig has been connecting with the community, as well as the members of the school board he has come to know closely.
“This is a great group,” he said. “It’s so obvious that their commitment is at the highest level for their support for kids and for the wider community. Hopefully all counties are like this, but I think it’s unique here, at least it felt that way to me.”
Part of Petrone’s comfort with leaving comes from knowing his successor will handle the superintendent role well. Brent Curtice, previously the assistant superintendent, was selected for the position in February and since then, the two have been working regularly to prepare Curtice for the objectives of managing the district’s affairs.
“It’s been splendid, and the transition has been so smooth,” Petrone said.
Curtice described the experience similarly, saying Petrone has been a great mentor to him, particularly in the past few months, as he’s learned the best way to approach the job.
“I think the world of him, and one quality of his I really enjoy is his ability to take action immediately whether on celebration or concern with parents and really get through it,” Curtice said. “The other thing is that he’s one of the best people I’ve ever seen at problem-solving and critical thinking. He can look at a problem and think about it in so many ways in a matter of seconds.”
Likewise, Petrone said Curtice will be a good fit as superintendent.
“He’s good as the best and better than the rest,” he said. “I think there’ll be great things to come, new ideas and innovative approaches.”
Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Education.