Moffat County School District Board of Education member KC Hume, left, congratulates Jill Hafey on being named the new principal of Sunset Elementary School, following the board's Thursday night meeting. Hafey, currently the assistant principal at Craig Middle School, was chosen from three final candidates who interviewed earlier this week.

Photo by Andy Bockelman

Moffat County School District Board of Education member KC Hume, left, congratulates Jill Hafey on being named the new principal of Sunset Elementary School, following the board's Thursday night meeting. Hafey, currently the assistant principal at Craig Middle School, was chosen from three final candidates who interviewed earlier this week.

Jill Hafey named Sunset Elementary principal at school board meeting

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The Moffat County School District Board of Education announced Sunset Elementary School's new principal at its regular monthly meeting Thursday night. Jill Hafey will take on the job, after she was chosen from three potential candidates who interviewed this week.

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Jill Hafey

Brent Curtice, superintendent-elect for the district, was the one to make the announcement, stating that Hafey stood out as the best choice, which enabled the selection committee to make the choice official sooner than expected.

“We look forward to our future with the new leader who will join our ranks,” he said.

Hafey received the news at the same time as everyone else in the meeting, and she was quickly met with applause and congratulations.

Of the three candidates up for the principal job, she was the only one already based in Craig, having served as assistant principal of Craig Middle School for five years and a number of years teaching at Ridgeview Elementary prior to that.

Hafey said she had a hard time expressing how she felt about the information, other than “delighted.”

“This is my dream, truly,” she said. “This was the step that I wanted to take.”

In other action, the board also:

• Honored retiring members of the district, including Paula Kinkaid, Susan Nicholson and Brenda Gray, of Sunset; Terri Harjes and Liane Davis-Kling, of Moffat County High School; Judnita McIntyre, of Ridgeview; Leila Steele, of CMS; and Dorothy Lefevre, with district food services.

• Heard from MCHS teacher Krista Schenck, who presented the Ed Townsend Memorial Scholarship to recent MCHS graduate Caitlin Harjes.

• Heard from former MCHS teacher Craig Conrad about plans to condense the school’s woodshop program and have it absorbed by the vocational agriculture program. Conrad, who taught shop at MCHS for 26 years before resigning in 2008 to pursue other career opportunities, read the names of multiple alumni who were impacted positively by the program and stressed that if the school starts to lose its electives it will have a continued negative effect for all students and the entire district.

He went on to offer to do what he can to help the shop program survive financially with the board’s help. Curtice said he would continue to meet with Conrad to discuss how this might be possible.

• Heard a budget proposal from MCSD Finance Director Tinneal Gerber, who discussed how the district’s funding looks for the 2014-15 fiscal year. A brief overview of her presentation showed projected expenditures of $19.7 million for the year with $19.1 million in revenue from various local and state sources.

Gerber said the district will likely need to use about $600,000 from the $6.2 million in its general fund to cover the deficit.

MCSD will host a forum for public commentary on the budget at 4 p.m. June 5 in the boardroom at the administration building at 775 Yampa Ave., where more details will be available.

The budget is scheduled to be submitted for board approval June 26.

• Heard reports from board members about news from schools in the district, including the Axis Steel PAC fundraiser, which raised more than $11,000 for Moffat County organizations; the graduation of more than 100 preschool students from the Early Childhood Center and a proposal for the program to be offered on a full-day basis; the results of Passport to Reading; and various end-of-year activities

• Heard a report from Curtice on plans for June, which include attending a number of conferences as both a guest and a speaker, the ongoing work of Understanding by Design throughout the summer and the formation of Moffat County Global, a group consisting of MCSD, GOAL Academy and home school families, among others, to address finding the best options for all students in the region.

Among Moffat County Global’s projects in the near future is working with Moffat County students in Dinosaur to provide additional educational opportunities, as well as providing summer school options through both MCSD and GOAL Academy’s online programs.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Education.

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