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Mader resigns

Mike Luppes will be superintendent of Hayden schools

Tamera Manzanares

Hayden superintendent Scott Mader has resigned, and Hayden Valley Elementary School Principal Mike Luppes has been hired to replace him.

The Hayden School Board on Wednesday voted to accept Mader’s resignation and hire Luppes. Mader’s resignation was based on an agreement with the board. The Pilot & Today asked for details of the agreement; however, Luppes declined to release those details, saying they will not be effective for seven days.

“I think this is definitely a chapter that needed closing as quickly as possible. … We have time to put things into place,” said Luppes, who has been acting superintendent since Mader was suspended in June. “We will come up with a good workable solution for the elementary school.”

Luppes plans to hold meetings with elementary school staff soon to determine the best scenario for new leadership at the school. Possible solutions range from appointing an interim principal until spring to appointing a teacher leader at the school with Luppes supervising overall school activity, he said.

The School Board suspended Mader at a special meeting in June pending an investigation into matters relating to his employment. Mader’s resignation was not based on any decision or findings related to that investigation, according to the district.

“I’ve had some very good years here, and the district has been very good to me,” Mader said Wednesday night. “We’ve accomplished a lot of things while I’ve been here. … There are a lot of people who took part in those things.”

Though his feelings are mixed, Mader said he has tried to handle the circumstances in a positive and professional manner in order to set a good example for his children, some of whom are old enough to understand the situation.

Mader has been with the district since 1998. He plans to retire, though he hasn’t completely discounted the possibility of seeking another position. As it stands, he and his family plan to stay in Hayden, he said.

The School Board held a special meeting Aug. 11 to hire staff and propose changes to the district’s budget. Among the proposed changes was the possibility of paying a new superintendent while continuing to pay Mader’s salary of $86,064 for another year. District officials did not say Wednesday if the district is buying out Mader’s contract, which is effective through June 2005, as part of his resignation agreement.

The board had budgeted a salary and benefits package of $105,538 for a new superintendent; however, details of Luppes’ contract were not released Wednesday.

During the Aug. 11 meeting, the board hired middle school literacy teacher Gina Zabel as the middle school dean of students, a part-time position. Zabel was one of two staff members interviewed by a small group of parents, staff and administrators for the job, Luppes said.

The action resulted in an internal shift at the middle school, which opened up a math teaching position.

The board on Wednesday filled that opening by hiring Lars Jacobson of Arizona, who also will be the high school assistant football coach.

The board also determined at its special meeting Aug. 11 that Marin Campbell of Steamboat Springs will be the new English teacher at the high school.


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