New Sandrock Elementary principal excited to bring ’passion for education’ to Moffat County |

New Sandrock Elementary principal excited to bring ’passion for education’ to Moffat County

Jonathan Herring will take over as Sandrock’s new principal Aug. 1 following the retirement of longtime principal Kamisha Siminoe

New Sandrock Principal Jonathan Herring sits in the lobby of the administrative building for Moffat County School District March 31. (Joshua Carney / Craig Press)

For nearly 40 years, Jonathan Herring has pursued his passion of education as a teacher, administrator, and principal in bigger cities such as Kansas City and Las Vegas.

On Aug. 1, he’ll take over in rural Northwest Colorado at Sandrock Elementary, hoping to make a lasting impact on the elementary school in Moffat County School District.

Herring, who was born and raised in Colorado Springs, left Colorado to pursue a teaching opportunity in Missouri, where he stayed for eight years before landing in the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, where he stayed for the last 30 years.

Nearing the retirement benchmark in Clark County School District, Herring began to pursue opportunities outside of the state, which would allow him to retire and retain benefits in Las Vegas, while still being able to teach elsewhere and share his passion for education.

That brought him to Craig, where he said he felt a calling when he came across the Sandrock principal’s job on a job listing website.

“When I first started looking for another job, I was looking at Indian reservations only, but then when I came across the Craig opening, it was like it was almost bolded,” Herring said. “I thought, ’oh man!’ Something was calling me to Craig.”

Living in the Mojave Desert for the last 30 years, Herring was a bit concerned with the drastic change in weather that Craig and Northwest Colorado have to offer, but the opportunity to make a difference within the elementary school pushed him to pursue the position.

“I hate the snow. I lived in Colorado until I was 20 and left, so it’s been 43 years since I’ve really had to deal with snow,” Herring said. “But every time something would develop with the position, it would be like ’John, something is calling you to Craig.’ I don’t know what it was, but something was calling me here.”

Herring came to Craig for a March 8 interview, eventually receiving the job offer on March 11 to become the new Sandrock principal.

Herring is looking forward to his start date of Aug. 1, and eventually being able to impart some of his best practices at the elementary school.

“Sandrock’s in a good place; they’ve got all the basics in place, but how can I take that school a step further? That’s what I’m looking forward to,” Herring said. “What’s in my background that’s maybe the most interesting and features what I can bring is using data to inform instruction, and using the actual data that the kids produce based on assessments and observations, and helping teachers take a look at the data and making instructional decisions based on that data.

“That’s basically what I’ve been doing for the last 19, 20 years of my life in education,” Herring added.

The longtime educator will officially retire from CCSD on June 18 before moving to Moffat County to find housing and settle into his new community.

Managing Editor Joshua Carney can be reached at 970-875-1790 or

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