Strawberry Park superintendent Celine Wicks to take the reins of Steamboat Schools

Celine Wicks in 2019 when she was hired as the principal of Strawberry Park Elementary School. The Steamboat Springs School Board named her district superintendent last week.
Courtesy picture

Celine Wicks, the current principal of Strawberry Park Elementary School, has been chosen to become the next superintendent of the Steamboat Springs School District.

The school board had chosen to bring in four candidates for an interview with the board and three in-person stakeholder groups on Thursday, July 21. After that, the board met on Friday morning, July 22, where the board unanimously decided to offer Wicks the job. .

“We were fortunate to have four very strong candidates ready to serve as our permanent superintendent,” Board Chair Katy Lee said in a statement. “The Board unanimously agreed that Dr. Wicks is the right person to guide us in the short term and aligns perfectly with our long term vision.”

The board has assigned Lee and board vice chair Chresta Brinkman to negotiate a contract with Wicks over the next week. On Friday, July 29, the board has scheduled a special meeting where it will formally approve a deal for Wicks to become the next superintendent.

Before the board knew Wicks had applied for superintendent, Lee said his name surfaced to lead the district on an interim basis when Superintendent Brad Meeks retired on June 30. The board then appointed her to the position on June 27.

“Wicks brings extensive experience in monitoring student learning progress, supporting teachers, differentiating instruction to meet individual student needs, and effectively integrating technology into the classroom,” according to a press release issued Friday by the school board.

Those were the same words the district used when Wicks was hired principal at Strawberry Park Elementary in 2019. At the time, Wicks said a big part of his goal was to make sure teachers get support and professional development opportunities.

“As long as teachers grow, we know students grow too,” Wicks told Steamboat Pilot & Today in 2019.

A native of Boston, Wicks spent nine years in the Douglas County School District south of Denver. Before coming to Steamboat, Wicks was principal of Rocky Heights Middle School at Highlands Ranch.

Wicks taught second, fourth, sixth and seventh grades before becoming an administrator. She has also dedicated a portion of her career to adult learning training and development and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Northern Colorado.

In late May, the board hired consultancy McPherson and Jacobson to lead the search and set an aggressive timeline to find a new superintendent who hoped to have someone in place by August 1.

The board has set a pay range of $190,000 to $230,000 a year for the job. Meeks earned about $214,000 in his final year as district head. Norm Ridder of McPherson and Jacobson said it is common for a new leader to earn more than the outgoing leader.

The special board meeting to approve Wicks as superintendent is scheduled for Friday, July 29 at 2 p.m.

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