Fraser Valley Elementary School will get a new principal |

Fraser Valley Elementary School will get a new principal

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News
Grand County, CO Colorado

Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi Daily News

Fraser Valley Elementary School Principal Penny Suazo has tendered her resignation to focus her attention on medical care, according to East Grand School District officials.

Superintendent Nancy Karas said interviews to fill her position were conducted last week and this week, and the district chose contracted interim principal Maureen Graff to fill out the remainder of the school year.

Karas said she will start the process of finding a permanent replacement in the spring.

Graff, a part-time homeowner in the Winter Park Highlands for eight years, took an early retirement from principal positions in 2005 and has since worked as an interim principal a year each at Lasley Elementary School in Lakewood and Weber Elementary School in Arvada.

She is the former principal at Lakewood’s Rooney Ranch Elementary School for seven years and Lakewood’s Foothills Elementary School for six years. Her principal positions were preceded by a 15-year teaching career in Golden.

“This opportunity came up and I heard so many wonderful things about the school, it’s something I really wanted to do,” Graff said of her upcoming stint at Fraser Elementary.

Superintendent Nancy Karas, East Grand Director of Student Achievement James Chamberlin and past Grand Lake Elementary Principal Terry Sidell have been overseeing principal duties at the school since Oct. 12., during Suazo’s extended medical leave.

Graff is scheduled to start in December.

Asked how the turnover in principals at the school affects students, Graff said the truly important part of learning takes place in classrooms, with the classroom teacher.

In her eyes, she said while visiting the school on Thursday, “they seem comfortable with the situation.”