Schmid ‘excited’ to take the helm at Basalt High |

Schmid ‘excited’ to take the helm at Basalt High

David Schmid

ASPEN – Aspen High School interim Principal David Schmid said he is looking forward to being Basalt High’s new principal but confirmed that he also threw his hat in the ring for a permanent job in Aspen.

“I did apply for the (Aspen) job,” Schmid said Thursday, one day after the Re-1 school board named him Basalt High’s new principal. “I put my application in for both positions, and I took the Basalt job.”

Aspen Superintendent John Maloy previously said he would not comment on whether Schmid applied for the Aspen job. Earlier this week, the Aspen School District named Ohio educator Kimberly Martin its next high school principal.

Schmid declined to comment on whether he was offered the Aspen position and declined or whether he failed to make the cut upvalley. Rather, he focused on why he chose to apply for a principalship, why he wanted to stay in the Roaring Fork Valley and why Basalt High seems to be a good fit for him.

“When I got here, I hadn’t been a principal for three years,” said Schmid, who worked 19 years as a school administrator, including stints with Adams Twelve and Steamboat Springs, where he was named Colorado high school principal of the year in 2003, before moving on to consulting jobs. “So I wasn’t quite sure how it would work for me. But I got back into it. I like the people here, and I like the kids here.”

Schmid said he realizes, though, that Aspen and Basalt are different communities with different schools.

“I have always been looking for a job at a small high school with diversity, so Basalt really interested me,” he said. “And I was fortunate that they were interested in me. I am very excited about this opportunity.”

Plus, Schmid said he believes Basalt blends two of his priorities perfectly.

“There are challenges in Aspen and Basalt, but they are a little different,” he said. “With the Basalt job, I think it’s really a chance to effect change. I think I have the ability to do something really special there.

“A lot of schools offer this, but they are in urban areas. That’s not where I want to be. This valley is really a beautiful place to live.”

Schmid will replace Kevin Schott, who announced earlier this year that he would be stepping down as Basalt High principal after the current school year. Schmid, who already has begun spending time in Basalt “to learn about the school and figure out what I need to do there,” said he has received a lot of support from both communities in regard to the move.

“First of all, I have to say that everyone has been very gracious with me and congratulating me,” said Schmid, who took the helm at AHS in January after the abrupt resignation of Art Abelmann. “I am really pleased by how supportive people have been.”

He said he also is pleased by what he has seen at Aspen High since his arrival.

“The school is in good shape. … These are great kids and great teachers. Maybe there was some low morale, but I feel like everyone really stepped it up and is doing well,” he said. “I think it’s cool they want to keep growing and keep getting better even though it’s already an outstanding school.

“And I do believe the school is in good hands because I’ve heard nothing but great things about (incoming AHS Principal) Kim (Martin).”

Schmid said he hopes some of this positive energy can be brought forward as three valley high schools – Aspen, Basalt and Carbondale – will have new principals in the fall.

“Hopefully, and maybe because I was in Aspen, we can be more collaborative,” he said. “I don’t want it to be a competition. While a little rivalry can be a good thing, I believe if we can work together, we can make some good things happen.”

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