Hayden School District philosophy excites new superintendent
Eric Owen has been chosen to take on the Hayden School District superintendent position.
Owen, who comes to Hayden following many years in Woodland Park and Fort Carson, is originally from a rural part of Colorado and said he was looking to get back into a similar environment when he saw an ad for the Hayden School District opportunity. He knew he needed to apply.
“I love the idea that this is a rural community with good roots and that there’s one central focal point – everybody’s a Hayden Tiger,” Owen said.
Owen said he knew community relationships were a pillar of the Hayden School District from the interview process, during which he was repeatedly told of the importance the district places on maintaining strong relationships with the school, leadership and community as a whole.
He said he was most excited about executing the district’s strategic plan. He appreciates the way that it tackles key points such as career readiness and life skills while also focusing on community success. He finds particular interest in key descriptors that Hayden seeks to instill in graduates.
“As a school district, to say you are producing graduates that are critical thinkers, globally aware, independent, confident, well-equipped and courageous is amazing,” Owen said. “I mean, wow, if we could really create people that have those characteristics consistently, what a wonderful benefit it would be to not just the community, but to the world as a whole.”
In addition to being a longtime educator, Owen is also a student as he works toward completing a doctorate in education from Liberty University.
He also holds a license in elementary teaching from the University of New Mexico, a bachelor’s in business administration, and a master’s in curriculum instruction and educational leadership from the University of Colorado.
Owen taught elementary education for five years at Summit Elementary in the Woodland Park School District before serving as the assistant principal for Woodland Park High School and later Jordahl Elementary in the Fountain-Fort Carson School District. Following this he was principal for five years at Summit Elementary in the Woodland Park School District.
He has spent the last 10 years as principal of Mountainside Elementary in Colorado Springs. He said he will sorely miss that position but is excited about his new opportunity in Hayden.
“I’m thrilled. It felt like just such a wonderful fit with who I am as an individual,” Owen said.
Kit Geary is the county, public safety and education reporter. To reach her, call 970-871-4229 or email her at kgeary@SteamboatPilot.com.
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