Strawberry Park Principal Celine Wicks to take reins of Steamboat schools
Celine Wicks, the current principal at Strawberry Park Elementary School, has been picked to become the next superintendent of the Steamboat Springs School District.
The board of education had chosen to bring in four candidates to interview with the board and three stakeholder groups in person on Thursday, July 21. After this, the board met Friday morning, July 22, where the board unanimously decided to offer Wicks the position.
“We were fortunate to have four very strong candidates willing to serve as our permanent superintendent,” Board President Katy Lee said in a statement. “The board unanimously agreed that Dr. Wicks is the right fit to lead us both through the short term and aligns perfectly with out vision for the long term.”
The board has designated Lee and Board Vice President Chresta Brinkman to negotiate a contract with Wicks over the next week. On Friday, July 29, the board has scheduled a special meeting where it will officially approve a deal for Wicks to become the next superintendent.
Before the board knew Wicks had applied for the superintendent role, Lee said her name surfaced to head the district on an interim basis when then Superintendent Brad Meeks retired on June 30. The board then appointed her to that role on June 27.
“Wicks brings extensive experience in monitoring student learning progress, supporting teachers, differentiating instruction to meet the individual needs of students and effectively integrating technology into the classroom,” according to a Friday news release from the school board.
Those were the same words the district used when Wicks was hired as the principal of Strawberry Park Elementary in 2019. At the time, Wicks said a big part of her focus was ensuring that teachers are getting support and professional development opportunities.
“As long as teachers are growing, we know students are growing as well,” Wicks told the Steamboat Pilot & Today in 2019.
Originally from Boston, Wicks spent nine years in the Douglas County School District south of Denver. Prior to coming to Steamboat, Wicks was principal of Rocky Heights Middle School in Highlands Ranch.
Wicks taught second, fourth, sixth and seventh grades before becoming an administrator. She has also spent part of her career in training and development of adult learning and is an adjunct professor in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Department at the University of Northern Colorado.
At the end of May, the board hired the consulting firm McPherson and Jacobson to lead the search and set an aggressive timeline to find a new superintendent that hoped to have someone in place by Aug 1.
The board set a pay range from $190,000 to $230,000 a year for the job. Meeks made about $214,000 in his final year at the helm of the district. Norm Ridder of McPherson and Jacobson said it is common for an incoming leader to make more than the outgoing one.
The board’s special meeting to approve Wicks as superintendent is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday, July 29.
To reach Dylan Anderson, call 970-871-4247 or email danderson@SteamboatPilot.com.
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