Aspen Middle School back to principal search |

Aspen Middle School back to principal search

Aspen Middle School.
Anna Stonehouse/The Aspen Times

The search is on again for a principal to lead Aspen Middle School.

The Aspen School District learned last week that Eva Allen would not be taking the job she had accepted June 4. Allen was scheduled to start work this week, but she opted to remain in Pittsburgh, because the move to Colorado did not work out for her and her family, interim superintendent Tom Heald said Tuesday. Allen’s husband also had taken a job as a special education teacher at the high school.

“I think it was a very difficult decision at the twelfth hour that she and her husband made,” Heald said. “It was clearly a personal decision around some medical care for one of their children that we just didn’t have that level of medical care for in this valley.”

Eva Allen could not be immediately reached for comment Tuesday.

Aspen schools start the fall semester the week of Aug. 22. Heald said the district has a few candidates under consideration to serve as interim principal. Allen was hired to replace Craig Rogers, whose resignation took effect this summer after five years as principal. Rogers previously was an assistant principal as well as a teacher.

Heald also sent an email to parents Tuesday about the middle school’s leadership status.

“While we are quite late in the hiring season to secure a candidate, I am quite confident that we can find a competent interim (1 year) principal who can ‘steer the ship’ going into the school year,” his email said. “Our middle school staff are very competent and several AMS staff have reached out to lend and blend their own leadership talents with that of an interim principal in order to ensure a smooth transition.”

Allen was chosen after the school district held focus-group meetings with residents, students and staff earlier in the year. The district’s interview team selected Allen over the other candidates in May.

“The hiring team felt pretty strong about (Allen),” Heald said, adding that the group expressed that if she “did not take the job, they did not want to go back to the existing pool of candidates.”

The district is working on starting a new search for the middle school’s next principal.

“When we open it again, we will try to get a broader net cast earlier in the year,” Heald said.

The school district also is seeking a new chief financial officer. As well, college counselor Melissa Lustig’s last day at the high school was July 12. She has accepted a job at The Meadows School in Las Vegas, Nevada. Charlie Laube and Susanne Morrison continue to work in the counseling department.