Superintendent Jill Hafey resigns from Moffat School Board

Resignation effective Jan. 1

Superintendent Jill Hafey announced her resignation effective Jan. 1.
MCSD/Courtesy photo

Moffat County School District superintendent Jill Hafey announced to staff Thursday morning her intent to resign from the district effective Jan. 1.

Hafey, who has been in the position since July 2022, and has worked for the district in many capacities since 1998, informed staff that, despite pride in the progress the district is making under her leadership, the time has come for her to move on.

“I have cherished the time I have spent working with the dedicated professionals and talented students in our district,” Hafey wrote. “We have achieved significant milestones, and I am proud of the progress we have made in enhancing educational opportunities and ensuring the growth and development of our students. However, after careful consideration, I believe it is time for me to pursue new challenges and opportunities in the field of education.”

Hafey is a Moffat County High School graduate and has worked in the district for her entire career in education. She began as a teacher at Ridgeview Elementary and later served as assistant principal and athletic director at Craig Middle School before being elevated to principal of Sunset Elementary in 2014. Hafey was principal of Sunset Elementary for eight years prior to taking the superintendent position. 

“We are so grateful for all that Jill has done, both as an educator and a leader, in the years that we’ve had her in the district,” said outgoing Board of Education President JoAnn Baxter, whose third and final consecutive term in office will end this month. “As superintendent, Jill was instrumental in guiding the district through a difficult transition, and her contributions toward achieving greater success for our students have been recognized and valued by the board. I have full confidence in the incoming board to name an excellent successor to carry Jill’s work forward.

“Whatever comes next for Mrs. Hafey, I am certain she will continue to make a valuable impact in the lives of children, and I wish her well in her future work as an educator.”

Hafey faced a number of challenges during her short tenure as superintendent. At a March 27 board meeting, a large contingent of teachers stood and asked for more openness and transparency from Hafey. Chief among their complaints were the creation of two administrative positions as well as the restructuring of the middle school and high school. The elimination of some programs in the district were also a source of contention.

During a subsequent board meeting April 24, Hafey tried to quell the dissension with a presentation outlining the rationale for internal restructuring as well as providing rationale for hiring positions that were in question. Hafey also tried to provide context for the 70 open positions at the time, comparing MCSD to other Colorado schools that were also facing hiring struggles. MCSD entered the 2023-24 school year with many vacant positions.

Hafey’s April presentation was followed by a response to the board from Moffat County Education Association President Kim Serio, who dismissed Hafey’s explanations and stated that the association still had concerns and questions. Chief among these was the lack of staff input and “questionable hiring practices.”

Despite the challenges Hafey faced, there were also successes. Addressing concerns regarding a lack of communication, the district hired a communications director, began engaging staff in quarterly town halls and placed a renewed emphasis on regular newsletters. These efforts resulted in a majority of staff reporting improved communication in an August survey.

Following Tuesday’s election, Moffat County School District Board of Education will include three new directors. The new board will be seated at its regular meeting Nov. 27. The board will have the responsibility to initiate the search for and hire of a new district superintendent.

According to district spokesperson Cuyler Meade, the board will make a decision on an interim superintendent as soon as possible to fill the position for the remainder of the 2023-24 school year.

Hafey declined comment when contacted Thursday morning.

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