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New CMS principal comes from ‘way up north’

CARBONDALE ” The Roaring Fork School District looked about as far and wide as geographically possible without searching on another continent to find a new principal for Carbondale Middle School.

Rick Holt will be arriving from Willow, Alaska, later this month. He will replace Cliff Colia as principal at the middle school; Colia took the principal’s post at Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale.

Holt has taught at the secondary level and most recently has been working with the Reinventing Schools Coalition as a developer and trainer for standards-based education, data collection and continuous improvement.



The Roaring Fork School District has worked closely with the Reinventing Schools Coalition in recent years, and Holt’s name came to the local district via that organization as a good fit for the middle school.

“He has been working with the school districts in Alaska to create a system for standards-based grading practices and instruction, very similar to what we have been doing here,” district Superintendent Judy Haptonstall said. “I got a call from the founder of the (Reinventing Schools) organization, who said Rick would be perfect for our district.”



Holt and his family, including two school-aged children, have already found a place to live (no easy task for new employees relocating to the area), and will be moving to Carbondale as early as next weekend, Haptonstall said.

“They are excited to be moving to Carbondale and sharing their stories of the 2007 Iditarod that their family successfully completed,” Haptonstall said. “They have basically been living in the bush of Alaska, and are looking forward to becoming a part of the Carbondale community.”

Replacing Christian Kingbury as principal at Basalt Middle School will be former BMS teacher Jeremy Voss, who was most recently the assistant principal at Glenwood Springs Middle School.

Voss taught at Basalt Middle School for four years prior to taking the Glenwood job last year.

“Jeremy’s expertise with curriculum, instruction and assessment, along with his experiences in working with teams to focus on student achievement will be an important benefit for the students and staff at Basalt Middle School,” Haptonstall said. “He will be able to take the staff and community to that next level.

“He’s going back home in a sense, and is excited to be working with teachers and other people he knows,” she said.

Other administrative changes for the 2008-’09 school year in Carbondale and Basalt include:

– Replacing Jim Waddick, who retired as principal at Basalt High School, will be Kevin Schott. Schott comes from Grand Junction where he served as the principal of Grand Junction High School for several years. He was with the RFSD from 1994 to 1996 as an assistant principal.

– At Roaring Fork High School, Colia replaces Dale Parker, who resigned after the just-concluded school year and has since taken a job as principal of the high school in Cortez.


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