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Administrators to keep roles

School Board approves contract renewal package, 4-0


John F. Russell

— All seven administrators in the Steamboat Springs School District will keep their roles for the upcoming school year after the Steamboat Springs School Board approved their contract renewal package in a 4-0 vote.

The renewal comes after Superintendent Shalee Cunningham recommended the principals and assistant principals, including four administrators new to their roles, keep their places for the next school year.

Steamboat Springs High School Principal Kevin Taulman, who was hired on an interim basis this school year, will lose the interim designation. He said his first year as principal of the school, after the contract of Mike Knezevich was not renewed, didn’t offer many shocks. Taulman had served as the assistant principal for three years before taking the top job.



“Nothing shocked me. I knew what I was getting into. I had a pretty good grasp of where the staff was at, where the community was at and where the school was at,” he said.

He said making himself available and working closely with assistant principal Marty Lamansky were his major priorities throughout the year.



“Marty and I have worked very hard to be accessible to staff and other people and to be a close team,” he said. “I think people appreciate that they can come see either one for an answer.”

Lamansky, who moved from the speech coach and teacher to assistant principal role, said he was happy with his first year as an administrator and that he is looking forward to taking on new challenges next year.

“We’re looking to expand my role as far as the curriculum aspect of things and get a little more formalized, so I’m working more closely with curriculum with all the departments,” he said.

Co-principals questioned

The only question from the board about the renewal of administrative contracts came from board member Denise Connelly, who said she was unsure about the co-principals employed at Strawberry Park Elementary School.

“My initial understanding is we were going to do co-principals, and they would get their certification, and I don’t know what would happen,” Connelly said. “I struggle with the co-principal concept when I think either could do the job.”

The co-principals, Michele Miller and Celia Dunham, are in the process of earning their administrative certificates. They will finish one course during the summer and will take another class in the first semester of the next school year before starting a semester-long practicum.

Miller said the co-principal arrangement is a good setup for the school because the women also take over the role of Instructional Support Specialist for the school. Both women served as ISS before becoming principals.

“Doing the job of principal and ISS together, that’s two big jobs, so we’re very fortunate there are two of us to do it,” she said.

Miller said the biggest challenges for the women came from starting mid-year, after Brenda Barr’s departure.

“I think any time you start a school year, in any position, after the school year starts it’s (difficult) getting up to speed on schedules and people and who does what,” she said.

Cunningham expressed support for the co-principals in January, when she said things were “going swimmingly well,” and said she has no plans to change the co-principal arrangements in the foreseeable future.

After Dunham and Miller earn their administrative contracts, they will be certified to be principals on their own. In the interim, they have received emergency certification from the state.


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