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El Paso County Colorado District 49

D 49 superintendent named

Brad Schoeppey is the new Falcon School District 49 superintendent. He beat out top candidates Michael Poore and Bentley Rayburn. Schoeppey will become the district’s eighth superintendent in five years, including interim superintendents.Schoeppey hails from the Tulsa, Okla., public school system, with 16 years of experience as a teacher and administrator. He most recently served as area superintendent over 27 schools. Living in a rural area, with a background in both urban and suburban schools, is an asset to Schoeppey as he steps into the lead role, he said. D 49 is a district that encompasses all of those demographics.Schoeppey said his first goal will be to evaluate D 49 schools and target those that are not meeting the minimum state requirements for Adequate Yearly Progress. “If a school isn’t meeting AYP, we need to look at them and ask why and what can we do to make sure they are,” he said.According to the 2007-2008 School Accountability Reports published by the Colorado Department of Education, six D 49 schools failed to meet AYP in reading or math, two schools failed in both areas.Five years ago, Schoeppey said 36 Tulsa public schools did not meet AYP standards. Under his direction, the list dropped to 11, and five more have the potential to be removed from the list this year. He is looking forward to working with the D 49 school board. “This is a board that really cares about kids and really wants to see academic achievement,” Schoeppey said, adding that he was impressed by the administrative team and the principals he met when he visited the Falcon district.Although the last five years at D 49 have seen a revolving door of superintendents, Schoeppey said he is not concerned about changing or losing his job.”I talked with board members, and I am confident that we can work together. I’m moving my family and my son, who is a junior in high school,” he said. “I’m not looking to have to move in a year. I’m making a commitment to them, they need to make a commitment to me.”The board took several weeks to choose a finalist for the position, delaying the vote twice before making their selection at a July 9 board meeting. D 49 board member Mark Shook said it was a difficult decision because all three applicants would have been excellent choices.In the end, Shook said Schoeppey’s reputation as Tulsa Public School’s chief problem solver gave him the leading edge. “Brad Schoeppey is … the go-to person in his district who is sent in to solve problems and overcome challenges,” Shook said. “He has proven successes in implementing and administering tangible education reform in his current district, and we expect the same results for District 49.”Shook said Schoeppey’s performance at the community meetings didn’t seem as polished as the other candidates. “He’s not the politician. But he is always straight forward, always answered the question fully and directly,” he said. “He always answered to the substance of the question.”Recall organizer Tom Harold supported Michael Poore for the position and is leery of the board’s claim that Schoeppey is the right person to lead D 49. “We’ve heard this the last couple times,” Harold said. “I’m hoping for the best and am cautiously optimistic.”Schoeppey said community participation is a big asset to the district, although it might seem divisive at times. “I want people to be involved. We need to get everyone focused and go in the same direction,” he said. “I love involvement from the community. I’m willing to meet with any group and have discussions, talk about their concerns and make sure their desires are being met.”

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