Re-1 schools pick next superintendent
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Rob Stein, who led the recent makeover of Denver’s Manual High School and who also has ties to Colorado Rocky Mountain School in Carbondale, has been tabbed to become the next superintendent for the Roaring Fork School District Re-1.
The Re-1 school board conducted interviews last week with Stein and one other finalist, current North Kitsap (Wash.) School District administrator Shawn Woodward.
School board President Matt Hamilton said the board unanimously decided on Stein and will now enter into contract negotiations.
Per state statute, a formal offer cannot be made before May 12, two weeks after Stein and Woodward were named as finalists by the board.
Stein, 52, is a 1978 graduate of Manual High School in Denver. He taught at CRMS, an independent college preparatory school in Carbondale, in the 1980s and now serves on the CRMS board of trustees.
Five years ago, he left his position as headmaster at Graland Country Day School, a prestigious private school in Denver, to rebuild his alma mater after Manual had been closed due to persistent low test scores.
During his stint as principal at Manual from 2007 to 2010, the school employed a model similar to ones used in successful charter schools to re-establish Manual as a top performer within the Denver Public Schools system.
Since 2010, Stein has been working as a consultant for two national education programs, Get Smart Schools, where he worked to design a principal training program, and Expeditionary Learning, where he implemented a new school development strategy.
“The entire board felt like Rob brought a wealth of experience to our district,” Hamilton said. “Either of the two finalists could lead from day one, and we were fortunate to have two phenomenal candidates.”
Stein’s understanding and involvement in Colorado’s changing public education system gave him the edge, Hamilton said.
“Rob brings a deep passion for education to our district while being focused on ensuring all kids leave our schools with skills to be successful,” he said. “The board looks forward to working with Rob as we build one of Colorado’s most respected public school systems.”
While teaching at CRMS, Stein married his wife, Mariah Dickson. They now have two children, Eliza, who is a high school junior, and Max, who is in the seventh grade.
“We had always talked about returning to the Roaring Fork Valley if the opportunity presented itself,” Stein said Monday. “This seems like the right challenge for me. It’s a good district that is performing well, and also has some particular challenges that fit with my own interests.
“During my recent visits, I have also enjoyed the board and the staff members that I met,” he said. “It’s a good team, and I look forward to working with them.”
In addition to the school board interviews, the finalists also fielded questions from seven different interview panels made up of 80 people, including teachers, principals and other district staff, as well as parents, students and community leaders.
Stein is fluent in Spanish, which will be a plus in a district that has a 52 percent Latino student population. Re-1 includes public schools in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt.
He holds a doctorate degree from Harvard University and a master’s degree from Stanford University, and earned his bachelor’s degree at Middlebury College.
The Re-1 board will schedule a special meeting the week of May 14 to consider a formal contract with Stein. That meeting will be set during the board’s regular meeting on Wednesday at the district office in Glenwood Springs.
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