For 18 years, Craig Rogers has been an instructor and administrator at the Aspen Middle School. When the 2014-15 school year begins, Rogers will become its new principal.
The Aspen Board of Education approved the recommendation for Rogers’ hire. He’ll take over the role vacated by Tom Heald, who recently accepted the position of director of Curriculum, Instruction and Results.
“I’m hoping to maintain and expand upon the relationships amongst the Aspen school community with the teachers, parents and students,” Rogers said. “Those relationships are paramount. We’ve developed a high level of trust in our school community, and that’s the foundation that supports our relationships.”
Besides his nearly 20 years of teaching experience, Rogers brings other skills to the job. He has a bachelor’s degree in Administrative Science and Economics from Colby College in Maine, and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Northern Colorado.
He’s worked for Aspen Skiing Co. as a ski instructor and continues to coach skiing with the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club kids’ weekend program. He was awarded the AVSC Beattie Award in 2013.
He’s been the chairperson of the Aspen Ski Swap since 1999 and has coached the middle school football and track teams.
“Craig helped to expand the Outdoor Education Program, including raising money through Ski Swap to support the program,” said Dr. John Maloy, superintendent of the Aspen School District. “His relationships with staff and understanding of the district’s mission and beliefs should assist him in making a smooth transition in his new role.”
As Rogers walked through the halls at the middle school Friday, both students and teachers greeted him warmly. Rogers seems to know what every student is into as he asks them about certain classes or projects.
“Craig is one of the most level-headed people I know,” said Brandi Kelleher, who’s been teaching at the middle school for eight years. “He’s really connected to so many different areas of this community. Craig is also fun to be around. Tom (Heald) is an amazing leader, and I feel like Craig is an extension of Tom. They both trust their staff and both are a calming force in the face of occasional chaos.”
Heald was principal at the school for seven years. He’d been looking for opportunities to support the middle school instructors as they integrate the new educator effectiveness regulations, state and national standards along with technological strategies and solutions.
“The position of director of Curriculum, Instruction and Results provides that framework for innovative solutions,” Heald said. “I’m looking forward to the challenge and know that the middle school is in great hands with our highly competent staff returning and Craig (Rogers) taking the helm.”
Marion Garrett is a paraprofessional at the middle school and works with students who have special needs. She first worked with Rogers when he had a self-contained classroom in 1998 and said she has no doubt he’s the right person to fill the principal position.
“He really knows the kids and the parents here,” she said. “There’s a remarkable staff at the middle school and they know Craig well. I’m sure the staff supports this transition.”