Soda Creek principal to take extended leave |

Soda Creek principal to take extended leave

Celia Dunham and Michele Miller to fill in for Judy Harris

Jack Weinstein

— The co-principals at Strawberry Park Elementary School, and Steamboat Springs School District Superintendent Shalee Cunningham, will fill in at Soda Creek Elementary School during an extended absence for Principal Judy Harris.

Harris sent an e-mail Tuesday to parents to inform them that she would be away from the school for treatment after her recent breast cancer diagnosis.

“I am doing very well, have a great prognosis and am ready to begin a series of treatments with this first step,” she wrote.

Harris couldn’t be reached for comment.

Cunningham said Strawberry Park co-principals Celia Dunham and Michele Miller would mostly split principal duties at Soda Creek. Cunningham said she would serve as their backup and fill in if Dunham and Miller had conflicts or were needed at Strawberry Park.

Dunham said she and Miller split time spending half days at Soda Creek this week but likely would spend full days at the school next week. Dunham said she and Miller met with Harris before she left to figure out what’s going on in the building but that they weren’t entirely unfamiliar.

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“The principals of the two elementary schools work closely together all the time,” she said. “We know about each other’s buildings. We’re looking forward to working with students and staff at Soda Creek.”

Dunham added that helping out at Soda Creek would be an opportunity to learn more about what’s going on at the school, which could help facilitate the sharing of ideas in the future.

Dunham said she and Miller would be in touch with Harris and update her during her absence. Harris won’t be checking her voicemail or e-mail while she’s away, but Dunham and Miller will address those messages during her absence.

Harris wrote that she hopes to be back during the week of Oct. 12.

“We have a fun dance sponsored by our (Parent Information Committee) on Thursday, Oct. 15, and I plan to have my disco dancing shoes on by then!” she wrote.

Cunningham said Harris’ return likely will be temporary. Dunham and Miller will continue to split principal duties during those absences.