Granby " Four of five E. Grand schools have openings for principals |

Granby " Four of five E. Grand schools have openings for principals

Major leadership changes are under way in the East Grand School District, where four of its five regular schools are now seeking new principals.

Without previous public announcement, the district began advertising this week for full-time principals at Middle Park High School and Granby Elementary School.

Those positions are respectively held by Dale Fleming and Tom Papathakis.

Those two principal vacancies follow the announcement at the Tuesday, Feb. 19, meeting of the East Grand Board of Education that Terry Sidell is retiring after 13 years as the principal of Grand Lake Elementary. The district plans to fill that vacancy with someone who will be a half-time principal and half-time Title 1 reading teacher.

These three principal vacancies come immediately on the heels of the school board’s decision in January that will result in a fourth vacancy. That decision was to select Principal Nancy Karas of East Grand Middle School as the new East Grand School District superintendent. She will replace Robb Rankin, who will retire at the end of this school year after serving as the superintendent for 12 years.

The two new principal vacancies at Middle Park High and Granby Elementary were apparently based upon the annual evaluations that were conducted earlier this school year.

“It was my decision,” Rankin said. He declined to elaborate further because the issue involves personnel matters.

Rankin’s decision was shared with the school board members on Monday, Feb. 18.

During Tuesday’s school board meeting, no mention of the decision was made.

Questioned this week about the surprise announcement of the vacancies, President Tom Sifers said the board members had taken “no formal action,” but had accepted Rankin’s decision last week.

“We received information from Superintendent Rankin to advertise the high school and Granby Elementary principal positions for the 2008-09 school year,” Sifers said in a prepared statement. “They (Fleming and Papathakis) are eligible to apply for the principal positions and are also eligible to apply for other openings in the district as they are both tenured teachers.”

Fleming has been a member of Middle Park High’s staff for the past nine years.

During his first three years, he was the high school’s vice principal and athletic director. For the past six years, he has served as its principal.

Tom Papathakis has served in the East Grand School District for the past 12 years. He was a teacher at both Fraser Valley and Granby Elementary before taking over the principal’s job two years ago.

Both principals were contacted for comment. Fleming declined to make any statement about the decision, but Papathakis said the district “felt it wanted to take Granby Elementary in a different direction.”

The only principal position among the East Grand district’s five regular schools that is unaffected by these recent decisions is the one currently held by Reba Ferguson. She is the principal of Fraser Valley Elementary School.

Also unaffected is the district’s only charter school, Indian Peaks Charter School, which has its own board of directors. Its principal is Polly Gallagher.

In its advertisement for the four principal vacancies, the East Grand School District announced that it will accept applications through Thursday, March 20. The interviews for these administrative positions will be conducted from March 28 to April 5.

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