October 17, 2021

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The Education Specialists

Introducing Mathew Neal, new superintendent of Woodland Park School District RE-2 | Pikes Peak Courier

Woodland Park College District’s recently put in superintendent, Dr. Mathew Neal, has officially been on the job for just a handful of weeks. Nevertheless, he commenced studying about his new faculty district soon after he was employed in March.

“I commenced dialogs with school principals…,” he explained. “I’ll expend my very first 100 days listening and studying. I did not occur in this article with an agenda. I just want to learn about the great items the district has finished and uncover techniques to maintain performing them. … I want to go out and notify the story of Woodland Park — how we’re undertaking and wherever we’re heading.”

A Fort Collins native, Neal has invested 18 decades major classic and nontraditional faculties, beginning in Brighton and together with Denver Public Colleges. He expended the very last seven years leading American universities in the Middle East, including 6 and a 50 % several years as superintendent of the American Innovative Academy, a college for Arab nationals K-12 in Kuwait.

“There’s absolutely nothing like a world-wide pandemic to make you enjoy coming household,” he explained. “It’s great to be back in Colorado and in America. We’ve preferred as a household to elevate our youngsters in Woodland Park. I was picked by the (school) board but we picked listed here. Woodland Park has a shiny long run.”

He and his wife of 20 yrs purchased a household in Woodland Park and moved in about a thirty day period ago. Their daughter is coming into center faculty and their son is in elementary school.

Neal is relying on district staff to support him study about the town.

“This is the greatest workers I have ever worked with,” he explained. “They know much more about Woodland Park than any one. I really do not have to reinvent the wheel.”

The listening and learning method consists of sitting down in on teacher teaching sessions, meeting with metropolis and county officials, occasionally substitute training the moment the semester starts off, speaking at the College of Colorado, Denver and being linked with colleagues.

“One hour just after the faculty board hired me, the state Commissioner of Training Katy Anthes identified as and reported ‘Welcome to Woodland Park,’” Neal mentioned. “We had done some grant get the job done alongside one another. Colorado schools are a small group — we all know each individual other. I’ve experienced a chance to do the job for good superintendents. Two of them were Colorado Superintendents of the Year.”

Listening to the university board is also aspect of the superintendent’s job. “They have a ton of thoughts and my task is to translated those people ideas into steps,” he reported.

Neal explained he believes in becoming as inclusive as attainable. For example, he is welcoming homeschooled students by supplying them with a group setting just about every Wednesday at Summit Elementary Faculty.

He also believes in selecting from within the corporation. He plans to start off a Trainer Leader Academy so that potential leaders will be in the pipeline. “I’ve accomplished that in two other districts and it is worked really well,” he stated.

Neal included, “I’m impressed by the district’s record and traditions and the excellent partnership involving the district and the city. We have great amenities. We might be tiny and our sports teams are modest but we have them. We are a rural faculty with urban choices. … We also have the greatest academics.”

A single of the very first complications Neal confronted was updating the district’s COVID-19 procedures. The new mask coverage was issued on July 22. Masks will not be required, students and team who are eligible for COVID vaccinations are inspired, but not required, to get them. Mom and dad of students who become ill with COVID-19 are questioned to keep them home and notify their faculty and the district instantly.

“We will be intently monitoring COVID-19 circumstance rates and any raises in cases from variants,” Neal said in the news launch. “Should a need to have crop up to shut a unique class or faculty we will check with with the Teller County Community Health Section to assess and make the correct motion.”

The district will carry on to check any changes from the Colorado Division of Community Wellness and Setting and will update the current steering appropriately.

“People are fatigued,” he explained. “Our academics gave 120 p.c (past yr). It was a rough calendar year. I hope the future faculty calendar year is more normal.”

The new college year is swiftly approaching. In early August, there will be a Leap Start out for sixth-graders. They will expend four times at the middle college learning about their faculty, their teachers, where their lockers are found and other crucial information. School starts off on Aug. 24.

Filling board positions

The resignations of Administrators Beth Huber and Gwynne Dawdy-Pekron remaining the RE-2 Board of Education with two vacancies. Amy Wolin was lately appointed to switch Huber, representing Director District B. Past 7 days, Misty Leafers was appointed to substitute Dawdy-Pekron in Director District C.

Equally new board associates will have to run in the Nov. 2 election to continue to keep their directorships.

“If they (Huber and Dawdy-Pekron) had held on until eventually just a couple of times from now, things would have been various,” Neal claimed on July 21. “The procedures enable the board to appoint new directors to two-calendar year terms if the positions open up within just 90 times of an election.”

With that, there will be four director districts shown on the election ballot.

“The new appointees will have a 90-working day leap begin around other candidates, if they choose to run,” Neal reported.