Steamboat Springs High School’s new principal focusing on college readiness, school pride
On Monday, Feb. 27, Steamboat Springs High School named Jay Hamric, the school district’s director of teaching and learning, as permanent principal, beginning in the 2023-24 school year.
“We had an excellent pool of applicants for the position, but ultimately Jay rose to the top,” said Superintendent Celine Wicks in a news release. “Jay’s ability to interact and engage with students is commonly described as ‘magical,’ and we couldn’t think of a better person to be at the helm of SSHS.”
Hamric has been in Steamboat nearly six years with his wife, who teaches fourth grade in Steamboat. He has previously served as assistant principal at Steamboat Springs Middle School. He said his family’s involvement in the school district has given him the opportunity to build relationships with students and teachers alike.
Hamric has a few items on his list he hopes to check off in his new position as principal. He said a top priority will be to continue developing strong pathways related to career or college readiness out of the high school for students. He hopes to do this through courses and different initiatives to help students with a variety of interests head out into their next chapter of life.
Along with continuing to strengthen academic aspects of the school, Hamric plans to focus on fostering a positive culture within the school community.
“We have an amazing staff, we have to build a strong, trusting relationship between school administration and the teaching staff as well as with the students and the parents,” Hamric said. “That trust means being dependable, being consistent, being credible, and being transparent.”
Internally, Hamric hopes to raise school spirit and pride. He plans to elevate the high school’s SAIL principles of Spirit, Accountability, Inclusion, and Leadership, so that students not only carry this value with them in school, but out in the community as well.
“Jay lends a lot of experience and knowledge to the position, he’s familiar with our staff and with our students, so he not only understands the challenges the school faces, but also positive things that we can build on for the future,” said Assistant Principal Luke DeWolfe.
As director of teaching and learning, Hamric had heavy involvement in creating the school district’s newest strategic plan. He also played a role in creating support systems for students with language and cultural barriers. Additionally, Hamric has served as the high school’s football coach the last two years.
Over the course of his 18-year career in education, Hamric has served as a school administrator on three continents for four different school systems. He held the role of high school principal in West Virginia, school director in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and elementary, middle and high school principal roles at schools in China.
Hamric received a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology with a teaching certification from the College of William and Mary, where he was a fullback on the football team. He later went on to obtain a master’s degree in educational leadership and administration from Lehigh University.
Kit Geary is the county, public safety and education reporter. To reach her, call 970-871-4229 or email her at kgeary@SteamboatPilot.com.
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