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Principal’s job to be discussed

Tamera Manzanares

— Hayden native and former South Routt Elementary School principal Troy Zabel may have two new jobs after tonight’s Hayden School Board meeting.

The board plans to formally hire Zabel as the new Hayden High School principal while deciding whether he also will lead the middle school, which was left without a principal when Colleen Poole resigned two weeks ago.

Board president Kurt Frentress said last week that the School Board was not leaning toward hiring another principal because of declining student numbers and budget cuts.

One principal may run both schools with the help of an assistant principal focused on the middle school, board member Brain Hoza said.

Poole’s resignation, in addition to former high school principal Nick Schafer’s resignation and the board’s suspension of superintendent Scott Mader have overshadowed other staff vacancies in the high school, mainly those of a cyberschool instructor, English teacher and band director.

But the School Board may have the opportunity tonight to hire final candidates for the positions tonight, said acting superintendent and Mike Luppes, who conducted interviews for the positions over the last several weeks.

“We’re hoping to have several positions in place to be approved,” he said.

The School Board named Luppes, who is principal of Hayden Valley Elementary School, as acting superintendent after suspending Mader on June 19.

Board members have declined to discuss the suspension, saying only that it is indefinite pending an investigation into Mader’s employment with the district.

Any discussion of the suspension tonight likely will occur in an executive session because personnel issues are confidential, Luppes said.

Board members also will discuss the lack of interest in an all-day kindergarten program at tonight’s meeting.

Residents had until July 1 to place a deposit, but the district received only half of the 18 deposits it needed to proceed with the program.

The kindergarten will be part-time as it has been in the past, said Luppes, who was not surprised by the lack of interest given the price — about $12.50 a day.

“We’ll be looking throughout the year for ways to make it a feasible and affordable program,” he said.

Also at tonight’s meeting, teachers will present the board with a new social studies curriculum that has been in the works for several years.

Organizers of a series of parent forums will inform board members about concerns that have surfaced at the meetings.


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