The new falcon herald logo.
El Paso County Colorado District 49

District on fast track to replace superintendent

The Falcon School District 49 Board of Education announced at a regularly scheduled board meeting April 9 that they are aggressively seeking candidates to fill the superintendent position – and they hope to hire that person by the end of May.Board President Anna Bartha said the district’s administration has requested that the board hire a superintendent as quickly as possible. “The administration is so taxed that in order to proceed with their planning for next school year they need someone to take over the position,” she said.Eric Paugh, who has served as acting superintendent since January, stepped down to return his focus on his position as chief academic officer.In a released statement, Paugh said “I feel the need to return my sole focus to the job in which I have been working for the last two years.”David Bond, D 49 chief information officer, will take over as acting superintendent. He is the seventh superintendent in six years.According to the district press release, Bond has a strong background in information technology and has worked for the district since July 2007, making him the most senior executive cabinet member after Paugh.Although he lacks a traditional education background, Bond said he is strengthened by the unanimous support of the district’s executive cabinet and the board of education.”I’ve been working for some time with this team. We’ve built a definitive team spirit,” Bond said. “My role is changing but the overall team isn’t. I will rely on my team members for guidance.”District parent Jackie Villapando said she is suspect of the board’s decision. “Dave Bond is a friend of (board member) Dave Stark – it’s how he got hired in the first place,” she said. “He has no education background, never taught or worked in a school. At that point, why would anyone put him in charge of a school district unless they have other motives?”Jim Hagan, a long-time property owner in the Falcon district, said he supports the board’s recent actions. He said there is a strong conservative base in the area and commended the board for standing up to public pressure. “I encourage you to continue to show leadership,” he said.The board heard parents and district employees during the public comment portion of the board meeting, which lasted to almost midnight. Many expressed concern about selecting a new superintendent so quickly.D49 Community, the grassroots organization recalling Kent Clawson and Dave Martin, sent e-mails earlier in the day rallying support at the board meeting. They want the board to postpone the search for a superintendent until after the November election.Donna Arrington, district parent, questioned the timing for the search. Drawing support from minutes of the Feb. 13, 2007, board of education meeting, Arrington said the board agreed to postpone a superintendent search because the pool of applicants in the spring was likely to be flooded with administrators let go by their former districts on contract non-renewals. She urged the board to follow a similar course and wait until the fall to begin a search.District parent Chris Wright urged the board to use the issue of a new superintendent to connect with the community. “The sense of trust is faded,” Wright said. “I don’t think this community can stand another failure. I plead with you to extend the process.”Potential timeline for superintendent search, as outlined at the April 9 Board of Education meetingApril 13 – Post the positionApril 27 – Close the position, review resumes, hiring schedule and begin preliminary background checksMay 4 – Determine finalistsMay 11-13 – Hold forums for community members to meet the selected finalists.May 14 – Regularly scheduled board meeting; discussion item will be added to agenda to review community inputMay 18 – Conduct final interviewsMay 19 – Name new superintendentVista Ridge and Sand Creek principals left hangingMike Collins, principal of Sand Creek High School and Sandy Collins, principal of Vista Ridge, attended the April 9 meeting with the hope of having their contracts renewed.After the public outcry over news that the Collinses would not be returning next year, the board released a statement March 17 agreeing to place the principals on a “specific plan of action with clear expectations to advance student achievement.”Board President Anna Bartha said at the April 9 meeting that no promise was made to renew the contract, only to move forward with the plan of action.”We still don’t have a reason for them not renewing our contracts,” Sandy Collins said. “We’ve been pushed off the agenda, postponed until May, June?” Collins said positions for next year are hiring right now. If she and her husband are not going to have jobs in D 49 next year, Collins said they need to know now.

StratusIQ Fiber Internet Falcon Advertisement

Current Weather

Weather Cams by StratusIQ

Search Advertisers