Head of Steamboat Montessori School to step down in June
A search to replace Michael Girodo will start right away
Michael Girodo, head of school at Steamboat Montessori School, will be stepping down from his role in June.
“There’s never a good time, but things are going well, the school is in a good place, and my family and personal needs have kind of led me in this direction,” Girodo said.
He started with the school in 2017, coming from a job at a Boulder Montessori school. Girodo said one thing he is proud of over his time at the school was helping ensure the institution’s financial and academic stability.
The school is a public charter school authorized through the Colorado Charter School Institute, and last year, it received a five-year extension of that authorization, the longest the group allows.
“We had really put a lot of effort to align Montessori curriculum with Colorado State Standards and not water down either of them,” Girodo said. “I think it is really a remarkable feat that the teachers have really worked hard to do.”
On Wednesday, the Charter School Institute announced that Steamboat Montessori achieved a “Performance with Distinction” rating for the 2020-21 school year, putting it in the top 25% of all public schools in the state with reportable academic data. This is the third year in a row the school has earned that rating.
An announcement from the school Wednesday praised Girodo’s leadership during the pandemic, saying his “steady hand” allowed the school to operate five days per week, in person for all of the past school year.
A search for a new head of the school will start right away, and there are hopes to find the right hire before the end of this spring’s term.
“Our duty as a board is to ensure that our school is best equipped financially and operationally to meet the needs of a growing community both now and for the future,” Chair of the Steamboat Montessori Board Jessica Valand said in a statement.
“Over the coming months, we will work with Michael to ensure full operational stability at Steamboat Montessori, making a particular effort to draw upon the passion, talent and vision of our amazing teachers and staff as we embrace the changes and opportunity to come,” Valand continued.
The move comes as the school is preparing to expand to offer its first middle school class in the fall of next year.
Currently, the public charter school serves children between kindergarten and sixth grade and also has a private preschool. Overall, Steamboat Montessori has 161 students and is the only Montessori school in Northwest Colorado.
“We have never been in a more stable financial and academic place, so the timing is fortuitous for us to begin our search for new leadership to take us to a new era,” Valand said.
The search will be conducted by a committee of school board members, faculty and staff, as well as some parents of students. The committee will be charged with identifying job search goals, the job description, deadlines for applications, requirements for candidates and how long the search process will take.
“We take on this responsibility with renewed energy and committed to our purpose of lighting up the spark of intrinsic intelligence in each and every student,” Valand said. “We feel that there has never been a time where public access to Montessori education was more important.”
To reach Dylan Anderson, call 970-871-4247 or email danderson@SteamboatPilot.com.
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