Hayden School Board to announce secondary schools principal finalists | CraigDailyPress.com

Hayden School Board to announce secondary schools principal finalists

Board to meet Wednesday in executive session to interview candidates

Scott Franz

— The Hayden School District will announce its two finalists for the Secondary Schools principal position during a board meeting Wednesday night.

The candidates, whose names superintendent Mike Luppes declined to release before the meeting, will interview with School Board members in executive session. After the interviews, the board is expected to announce the time and date of a special meeting next week where the new principal will be hired.

"They're two amazing candidates, and they just bring a little bit of a different mix of potential to the position," School Board President Brian Hoza said. "It's important for members of the board to meet all the candidates, and in a district of our size, it's critical we have a strong relationship."

Hoza said one of the candidates still being considered is a district employee.

Luppes said he was proud of the search process that invited community members to join the district in interviews with the candidates.

"A lot of times we would just make a recommendation to the board about a candidate, but we thought it would be more fair for the board and the community to meet and talk to the finalists before a decision is made," Luppes said. "We had a tremendous pool of candidates."

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Hayden initiated the search for their next Secondary Schools principal after Troy Zabel, a longtime Hayden resident who graduated from the high school himself in 1983, announced he was leaving to serve as a superintendent in the Bayfield School District, a 1,350-student district less than 20 miles southeast of Durango.

The district received 15 applications for the position, and a committee that included School Board members, parents and teachers interviewed the four finalists last week.

Also Wednesday night, the School Board is expected to formally approve a 2011-12 budget, a draft of which was presented to board members at a meeting last month. Hayden Finance Director Jnl Linsacum said the proposed budget includes about $80,000 in cuts after the district applies funds gained by a voter-approved property tax increase of $321,522.

"The thing that has helped us so much this year was the mill levy override, and we have to thank the public for that," Linsacum said. "That's why the state cuts weren't as drastic for us this year."

The district did not have to reduce any existing staff positions this year, although some positions that were vacated by retirement or resignations will remain unfilled. However, proposed cuts include a 10 percent reduction in school supplies budgets as well as a change in policy that would have students pay for travel expenses for extra-curricular activities.

Hoza said that as the district continues to examine its budget there's less room for cuts that won't have an impact on students.

"It's harder to find the places to adjust," he said.

— To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@steamboattoday.com

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