Kevin Aten, a graduate and former teacher at Durango High School, has is the sole finalist for the position of superintendent for the Bayfield School District.
Aten is currently the director of innovation, instruction, and technology in Estes Park. Aten was selected after candidate interviews that took place on Wednesday, March 21.
Aten grew up near Cortez and began his teaching career in 1990 as an English teacher at Durango High School, according to the Estes Park school district website. He was a graduate of Durango High School and taught with many teachers who were his instructors in high school. From 1996-2002, he was an assistant principal at Rifle High School. After leaving Rifle, Aten was principal for 10 years at Mountain View High School in Loveland.
"Colorado Law requires us to declare a finalist for 14 days before a person may be voted on as the Superintendent of Schools," the school district said in a press release on Friday. "We hope to have negotiations and contract work done by our next regular meeting on April 10. At that time, a formal vote will be taken to name Dr. Aten as our next superintendent."
The selection process began in December and included focus groups of district students, staff, and community members who helped identify qualifications and characteristics wanted in the new superintendent. Interview teams on Wednesday included staff, community members, and students.
"The Board of Education extends our sincere thanks to all the people who gave freely of their time and talents to participate in the selection process," the announcement stated. "Their help was essential in making this a community process and selecting the right person to lead our school district."
Interim superinendent Amy Lyons abruptly resigned on March 13, citing unsupportive and unprofessional behavior by school board members. Formerly the district's finance director, she was interviewing for the permanent position as superintendent.
The board plans to hire Mary Rubadeau, former superintendent of the Telluride School District, as interim superintendent to finish the school year. Rubadeau has served as the interim superintendent of the Cortez School District and as interim director of the San Juan BOCES for two years.
Her appointment is also contingent upon the 14-day waiting period, according to the press release.
"The last few weeks have been challenging for everybody and we hope we can finish the school year with a strong focus on the needs of our students and staff," the press release stated.