Hayden superintendent to retire | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden superintendent to retire

Matt Stensland

— The Hayden School District has begun the search for a new superintendent after Phil Kasper announced he is retiring.

Hayden School Board President Brian Hoza said the board was disappointed to learn Kasper would be leaving.

“He’s been doing a lot of strong, positive things for the district and the community,” Hoza said. “We support him, and we understand his life decision.”

Kasper wrote a letter to let staff know he is retiring.

“I have seen much good in my career and remain convinced that should the political pendulum swing toward allowing educators and local decision makers to have the freedom to make the best decisions for educational policy and chart the course for the determination what’s best for their children, we will experience a renaissance that will astound even the harshest of critics,” Kasper wrote.

Kasper began the Hayden job in July 2015. He started his 43-year career in education as a teacher’s aid and bus driver in Montezuma Creek, Utah.

He has held the positions of teacher, principal, director of professional development, director of school improvement, director of human resources, director of administration and superintendent.

“I’ve burnt this candle at both ends for a while, and it’s just time (to retire),” Kasper said Friday.

Kasper will continue as superintendent until his contract expires at the end of June.

“I’ll stay as needed until the right person is found,” Kasper said.

During his tenure in Hayden, Kasper said curriculum development has been one his top priorities.

“Putting systems in place so teaching and learning is the priority in the district,” Kasper said.

The district now has in place a five-year strategy for making improvements.

Kasper has also worked to help develop the district’s master plan. He is in the process of completing an application for a BEST Grant that would help pay for new schools in the district.

Once retired, Kasper plans to return to a small farm he owns between Cortez and Dolores.

“That’s home, and that’s where family is,” Kasper said.

The school board is working with the Colorado Association of School Boards to recruit a new superintendent. The job opening should be advertised beginning next week.

“We’re anxious to find someone to transition us, and we look forward to him (Kasper) being a part of that transition,” Hoza said.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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