John Stroud
Post Independent
Aspen, CO, Colorado

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December 21, 2012
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Diana Sirko to continue as Re-1 superintendent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS - The Roaring Fork School District Re-1 board has opted to stick with interim Superintendent Diana Sirko as the district's lead administrator going forward after this school year.

The Re-1 Board of Education on Thursday formally announced Sirko as its choice to fill the superintendent position under a likely multiyear contract.

"Diana brings a unique skill set to our district," board President Matt Hamilton said in a prepared statement.

"With a deep understanding of state-mandated educational-reform initiatives under way and deep respect for our local community, she has been able to quickly establish a rapport with all facets of our community," Hamilton said.

A formal job offer cannot be made before Jan. 7, according to state statute. The board will consider a contract with Sirko at its Jan. 9 meeting. That meeting is to take place at Basalt High School.

Re-1 includes public schools in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt.

"I welcome the opportunity to work with staff and our communities to build on the successes of the district and to continue our quest to provide the best education possible for all of our students," Sirko said in a news release.

The board recently met with both Sirko, a former Aspen School District superintendent, and Robert Stein, a former Denver Public Schools high school principal, about the Re-1 superintendent position.

Stein originally was selected to become the new Re-1 superintendent in May after a lengthy search to find a replacement for Superintendent Judy Haptonstall. The school board decided in January not to extend Haptonstall's contract beyond the 2011-12 school year.

Stein was on the job for a short period of time in early July before resigning for family reasons after his wife was severely injured in a bicycle accident near Denver.

Sirko, a longtime Basalt-area resident who had just retired after a three-year stint as a deputy commissioner with the Colorado Department of Education, then was named interim superintendent. Sirko was also superintendent of Aspen schools from 2002 to 2009.

During her brief time leading Re-1 schools, "she has demonstrated a deep commitment and passion for education," according to the news release.

"Dr. Sirko is a constant presence in RFSD schools and at events, offering advice, encouragement, but most importantly listening with an open mind," stated the board, which voted unanimously to offer the position to Sirko.

In addition to her knowledge of new state educational reforms around teacher evaluations and standards through her work with the state, Sirko also will oversee a significant effort at reform in Re-1 schools.

The school board recently agreed to enter an exploratory process after the first of the year to consider converting Glenwood Springs Elementary School to an expeditionary-learning school. That decision came after the board rejected the Two Rivers Expeditionary charter school, proposed to open in Glenwood Springs next fall.

"Her willingness to ask tough questions and fully explore alternative models of education while demanding the district deliver a world-class education to every student make Diana well-suited to serve our communities," Hamilton said.

Sirko's interim, $137,000 contract with Re-1 runs through June 30, 2013. The board will be negotiating a new contract for consideration at its Jan. 9 meeting.

jstroud@postindependent.com


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The Aspen Times Updated Dec 21, 2012 05:54AM Published Dec 21, 2012 12:43AM Copyright 2012 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.