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School district administrator resigns

Kelly Stanford will move from education work to TIC training

— The Steamboat Springs School District’s director of curriculum and instruction has resigned from her position effective Feb. 23.

In a resignation letter e-mailed to all district employees this week, Kelly Stanford cited a lack of job security and issues between the School Board and administrators as reasons for leaving her post mid-year. A copy of the letter was forwarded from a district employee to the Pilot & Today on Tuesday.

Stanford is the wife of Steamboat Pilot & Today editor Scott Stanford.



Some district leaders, particularly School Board members, have questioned the need for a director of curriculum and instruction.

“There is not a communication that there is clear long-term support for the value of this position,” Kelly Stanford said.



A strained relationship between the School Board and the administrative team also affected her decision, Stanford wrote.

“Ideally, I would not pursue other job opportunities in the middle of a contract year; however, the climate established by the current School Board left me, I felt, with little choice,” Stanford wrote in the resignation letter to the School Board and Superintendent Donna Howell dated Jan. 22.

She is not the first resigning district administrator to express concerns about the relationship between the School Board and the administrative team.

Ann Sims, who held Stanford’s position during the 2005-06 school year, submitted a resignation letter in March 2006 that read, in part, “I have not seen this level of animosity, direct accusation, blatant disregard for authority, lack of compassion and lack of simple common courtesy displayed.”

Sims, like Stanford, said she did not feel valued as an administrator.

Board member Pat Gleason said he read Stanford’s resignation letter and took note of her concerns about the School Board’s relationship with the administrative team.

“I believe it’s a perception, and I believe it’s a widely held perception,” Gleason said. “Regardless of the truth, perceptions are the reality. If she believes that’s a widely viewed perception in the district, we have a problem.”

School Board President Denise Connelly also read Stanford’s resignation earlier this week.

“Unfortunately, that was the first we had heard of her feelings,” Connelly said. “I’m sure the rest of the district employees will pull together to complete the projects and work begun by Kelly. We wish her all the best in her future position.”

The director of curriculum and instruction’s primary responsibilities include developing curriculum for all grade levels and subject areas, administrating and overseeing the Colorado Student Assessment Program tests and district assessments, and overseeing the English Language Learners program, the Gifted and Talented program and the work of the technology department.

“I have mixed emotions,” Howell said about Stanford’s pending departure. “It’s going to be a challenge to get the work done, but I have such respect for her as a professional and a person.”

Howell said she is going to advertise the position as permanent, although the district has committed to funding the position only through 2009. Howell said she hopes the School Board will continue to see the value in the position.

“The work is important work,” Howell said.

Stanford has accepted a position with The Industrial Company to work on corporate training development. It will be the first time Stanford has worked in the private sector since graduating from college, she said.

“I am very excited to get the opportunity to work in a different setting, and TIC is obviously an incredibly successful company,” she said.

Stanford was Steamboat’s director of curriculum and instruction for four years before she moved to Cuero, Texas, to work as the assistant superintendent for the 2005-06 school year.

She returned to Steamboat before the 2006-07 school year began and was rehired to replace Sims.


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