Letter: Choose Rob Stein

It’s disheartening that we have to write this letter today, a feeling that starkly contrasts with the optimism and excitement we felt when Rob Stein was hired as superintendent of the Roaring Fork School District in 2012. It was unfortunate that he had to resign due to a family emergency shortly thereafter, but we were again pleased to hear that he would come on as assistant superintendent in 2014, with the expectation that he would take over the superintendent’s position in 2015.

Stein was selected through an extensive, in-depth process involving the community, staff and board members. He was hired because he demonstrated through his work experience and track record that he would bring long-term leadership and vision to our unique district. His hiring served to energize those of us who have consciously chosen to keep our children in the district, despite its reputation for underachievement and decades of losing students to other districts and more progressive schools. We were optimistic that with community support and strong leadership, the Roaring Fork School District would become known instead for delivering a highly effective, progressive and engaging education.

Armed with optimism and faith in the decision to hire an exciting, visionary leader in Stein, the community has widely supported the district in recent years. Now, however, the school board threatens to change course from the direction that was set in place two years ago, a direction that the community overwhelmingly supported and eagerly anticipates. The possibility that the board would make a decision to extend Diana Sirko’s contract without a process for community and staff input, effectively changing course from what we have requested, makes a farce of the very pillars of the district’s new vision: High Expectations, Integrity, Respect, Transparency, Equity, Trust.

We urge the district to stay the course and move Stein into the superintendent’s position this spring.

Joel and Kimi Mischke