Handful of new leaders to take over next year at Aspen schools | AspenTimes.com

Handful of new leaders to take over next year at Aspen schools

Three new assistant principals have been hired to join Aspen’s elementary, middle and high schools this fall.As a result, the 2005-06 school year will be full of new leadership, including two new principals at Aspen Elementary and Aspen High School.”There’s a whole new team coming in at the schools, and that will be pretty exciting,” said Brad Bates, who has been hired from Delaware as the new assistant principal at Aspen High School. Bates will work with new Principal Charlie Anastas, whose wife, Betsy-Ann, will be the new part-time assistant principal at Aspen Elementary School.The musical chairs gets a little more complicated. Doreen Goldyn, who was splitting her time as joint assistant principal of the elementary school and the middle school, will be the principal of Aspen Elementary. In her place at the middle school, the district has hired Tom Coviello from the Jefferson School District.”This is pretty unusual for us to have a lot of transition in leadership in one year,” said Betsy-Ann Anastas. Having taught at Aspen Elementary since 1981, Anastas said she has taught every grade from kindergarten through sixth, except for fifth.Anastas became licensed to be a principal several years ago and said she is looking forward to taking advantage of that. “I hope I am able to mentor and coach teachers at the elementary school since I know the classroom really well,” she said. As a part-time assistant principal, Anastas said, she might be spending the other half of her time in a specialist position – like handling art or music classes, although her position hasn’t been finalized yet.Her husband, longtime high school Spanish teacher Charlie Anastas, will be replacing Kendall Evans as principal of Aspen High School. Bates, the new assistant principal, is currently the dean of students at St. Andrews School in Middletown, Del. The school is a private boarding school, serving ninth through 12th grade, started by the DuPont family. With a $170 million endowment, scholarships ensure that kids from all over the country can attend, he said.Bates said he first spent summers in Aspen during the 1970s when his dad was working construction in the area. Two years ago, he took a yearlong sabbatical from St. Andrews and moved his family to Aspen, writing a U.S. history textbook.”We got to know the people and thought it was a great community,” he said. Bates said he hopes Aspen’s unique school system can be a national leader in public education. “I’ll feel really comfortable there, and now with Charlie Anastas and a new superintendent, there’s clear leadership and a vision, so it was an exciting place for me to apply.”St. Andrews has 300 students, compared to Aspen High School’s 500. It’s a size he can relate to, he said.”The biggest challenge for an administrator is to get to know the children,” Bates said. “Right now, I can look parents in the eye and say ‘I know your child.’ That’s going to be a big challenge for me next year.”At Aspen Middle School, Tom Coviello will replace Goldyn. Coviello is coming from Woodrow Wilson Academy in Jefferson County, where he is principal. Coviello said he was hired at the charter school originally as an assistant principal but soon became principal when the original principal left.”I was thrown into this, and it was a good experience, running the building,” he said. “I do everything from working with funding to administrative stuff.”Coviello said the glamor of Aspen caught his eye when he began looking for new work, and he had heard Aspen’s school system was a good one. He’ll move from Aurora to the Roaring Fork Valley this summer.”I think it takes a special person to be involved in middle school students – people either like them or they don’t,” he said. “I like that these kids are in the middle of deciding who they are. You catch them at a crossroads and help steer them in any direction they might want to go.”Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is nhavlen@aspentimes.com

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