Amy Bohmer hired as Soda Creek principal for 2020-21
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Since taking over as interim principal at Soda Creek Elementary School in November, the one word Amy Bohmer uses to describe the transition is busy.
Now, Bohmer has been officially hired as the principal for the 2020-21 school year, and she is thrilled.
Bohmer was assistant principal at Soda Creek for six and a half years, until Michelle Miller stepped down to take a job in Eagle Valley.
She’s jumped into the Design Advisory Group for the school’s upcoming renovations and helped to train a new assistant principal — Emily Barnhart.
The mid-year transition also brought the chance to introduce some new ideas and initiatives, according to Bohmer. “The opportunity to hear the changes people are interested in making and put those into place has been exciting,” she said.
They’ve started forming Professional Learning Communities in working toward creating a more collaborative environment. Bohmer also described efforts to systematize their support systems in terms of providing resources and interventions in areas like special education and behavioral issues.
“Amy has contributed to Soda Creek’s success over the past seven years,” Steamboat Springs School District Superintendent Brad Meeks said in a news release. “Her dedication and commitment to the Soda Creek community has resulted in achievement gains and recognition and, just as importantly, in making Soda Creek the warm, inviting and student-centered place that it is today.”
Before her six and a half years as assistant principal at Soda Creek, Bohmer taught eighth grade English and history for 12 years at Steamboat Springs Middle School.
Bohmer began her career more in a business direction but was drawn toward education and ended up getting her master’s degree and teaching certificate at Colorado University Denver alongside Heidi Chapman-Hoy, the current principal at Steamboat Springs Middle School.
It was Chapman-Hoy who lured Bohmer to Steamboat in 2001, after Bohmer spent a couple years teaching in Denver.
The two friends also ended up getting their administrator certification together through an online program at Adams State University.
After her 15 years of teaching, Bohmer said she made the decision to head down a new path. She’d served on numerous committees and liked “seeing where things needed changing, working through that and then making those changes with colleagues.”
She never thought about leaving education. “I do love this career,” she said. And she loves the Steamboat Springs community, having raised her three kids here, all of whom are now in high school.
One of the biggest developments Bohmer said she has seen — especially over the past decade — has been an added emphasis on the “social emotional piece — we’ve added a lot of support for kids and families, and that’s been amazing.”
There is also the use of restorative justice — which involves all stakeholders in resolving conflicts. Where in the past there was often remaining friction, now there is a lot of work getting kids to a place where they can heal and move on.
And yes, Bohmer admitted, she herself has been sent to the principal’s office.
Next year, Soda Creek will be implementing a new mindfulness curriculum, which teaches kids things like how the brain works, and self-regulation strategies. And they are always balancing those elements with continued academic rigor, she said.
Another goal for next year, explained Bohmer, is solidifying a vision and mission statement for Soda Creek, that can “help ground people in the work they do.”
As the new preK through eighth grade school is built in Steamboat II, that will add both challenges and excitement over the next couple years, Bohmer acknowledged. To make more space — which Bohmer said her school desperately needs — some staff and students will be leaving.
Some will do so eagerly, and others may have no choice. But in terms of the end product — the new school and Soda Creek no longer over capacity — will be great for the whole community, she said.
“Amy is a passionate educator who believes in building strong relationships with staff, students and parents,” Meeks said in the release. “She invests the time in working with all stakeholders, while developing shared leadership capacity within the staff. Amy believes in the value of every student and works diligently to meet their needs and will continue to lead Soda Creek to new successes.”
Recently tasked with answering the question of why she teaches, Bohmer came up with the following statement.
“I believe that each and every child deserves the opportunity to feel supported and loved in a community that is home and that all students deserve to be surrounded by caring adults that will do anything and everything to help them achieve excellence.”
To reach Kari Dequine Harden, call 970-871-4205, email kharden@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @kariharden.
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