Former, Interim leaders answers questions
October 9, 2022
What Students Think:
“I’m happy for him. It’s great that he got a promotion, but at the same time it was hard to hear that he was leaving before school started. He’ll always be a coyote. ”
– Chris Windhausen ‘24
“I haven’t noticed too much of a difference. He has a friendly air to them, and he’s nice and encouraging”
– Ellis Bieringer ‘23
Where are you working now?
The Boulder Valley School District Education Center on Arapahoe Road in Boulder.
What is your new position?
I am the Executive Director of the Southwest Network of schools for BVSD. I officially supervise, support, and engage with 22 schools within Boulder Valley, which cover the feeder programs for Monarch, Fairview, Arapahoe Ridge, Boulder High, Boulder Universal, and a few other schools.
What is a feeder?
For example, the Monarch High School feeder pattern is Eldorado K-8, Monarch K-8, and Louisville Middle School, and the feeder pattern for those schools are Superior, Louisville, Fireside, and Coal Creek Elementary.
How is being an executive district director different from being the principal at Monarch?
Now that I work with elementary, middle, and high schools, I have experience at different levels of intensity at all three of those levels, which is really beneficial, but it is so much larger than I am used to. In my work with principals at each level, we think through, strategize, and problem-solve challenges from a political, teaching, and learning standpoint, then make the best decision together to solve the challenges they may face, or to identify opportunities that exist.
What factors contributed to your decision to take your current position?
One of the main reasons was the fact that I could still work and be present in schools. I really loved the engagement when I was a principal, and even just being a teacher or a coach. I just love that in this new role, I get to be in schools, doing good work with principals and students to make sure they are succeeding and growing.
What is something you would like the student body to know about the job change?
I want the student body to know that the job change wasn’t without incredible thought and processing. I love this school. I love what we do together in this school academically, socially, athletically, musically, and artistically. I’m super proud of all the programs that we have for students. It wasn’t something that I rushed to, and I’m not running away from anything, it was an opportunity to go and support other schools, champion other students, and make our school district even more successful.
What do you miss most about being the principal at Monarch?
The interactions with students and the intensity and closeness of work. That’s what I love about being a school principal. It’s near and dear to me. I took great pride in the work I did here at
Monarch. I love seeing students thrive and succeed.
What is your current job title?
Interim Principal at Monarch High School.
What is your previous job experience?
I started coaching at Centaurus in 1992 and taught there until 1995. When Monarch opened in 1998, I came over and have been here ever since with the exception of last year.
What did you do last year in Nederland?
It developed like this position: It was graduation day, last year, and I received a call from the district asking if I would go up to Nederland for a year to be the principal. They had hired a candidate but they had to quit at the last minute and couldn’t accept the position, so I did.
What would you like to bring to Monarch this year?
I want to continue to keep up the positive energy because I don’t want school to feel just like school for students. You’re going to seven classes, then going home. When kids are involved in being excellent, it really gives them a well rounded experience. I really hope that there’s a continuous positive energy in the building from teachers, students and staff.
What’s it like to fill the shoes of Mr. Anderson?
I think he’s one of the smartest individuals I’ve know. I think the mistake people make is to try to be something they’re not. People eventually see through that. We’re going to continue all the good work that Monarch has been doing and we’ll get to do it in ways that are going to be best for the students.
How does it feel to lead a high school?
With such a high performing school and outstanding students like this, it’s pretty awesome. You probably all heard Mr. Anderson say that he’s proud to be Monarch’s principal, and I’m just as proud. I’ve been here since the very first day it opened, so I certainly never envisioned that I would be in this position.
What is your word of advice for the student body this year?
I would say never pigeonhole yourself by saying ‘I can’t do this’, ‘I can’t do that’, the harder you work now, the easier it is down the road. I wasn’t the best student, but it never kept me from doing what I wanted to do. I had to work harder because I didn’t have the best grades. So my advice is to work hard now because that will pay off in the future.
What was your deciding factor to come back to Monarch?
I wanted to come back here because my daughter is a senior, and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to be on the stage to give my kid their diploma.