Eagle County Schools Superintendent finalists hit final stretch
The seven-member school board will begin deliberations Friday night and continue through the weekend
- The school board winnowed the stack of applicants to the three finalists: Phil Qualman, Shawn Woodward and Karen Quanbeck.
- The school district hosted a community:30 p.m., Thursday, April 4, at Battle Mountain High School.
- On Friday, candidates rotated between two interview committees and the school board for interviews.
- After the interviews and the committees debrief the school board, the school board began deliberations.
- The school board is scheduled to announce a decision early next week, after a candidate is chosen and all other finalists are notified.
EDWARDS — Three finalists made their final public pitches to lead local schools.
In a public meet-and-greet, Philip Qualman, Karen Quanbeck and Shawn Woodward met with groups of Vail Valley residents, answering questions and greeting people.
They spent Friday in a battery of private interviews with citizens committees and finally the school board. The seven-member school board will begin deliberations Friday night and continue through the weekend. The board could announce a decision early next week. However, that decision will not be final until members
Quanbeck is currently employed by Jefferson County Public Schools where she supervises more than 90 elementary schools. Quanbeck has served as a principal in a mountain elementary school and a suburban middle
“I love the vision Eagle County schools embraces. It’s all about what’s happening in the classroom. I’ve done a ton of research … At my core I care more about what’s happening in classrooms than anything else,” Quanbeck said. “With problems come opportunities. There are messy problems here … I love the opportunities that exist here. They are complex. I love the diversity and mindset that we capitalize on the gift of our students and families.”
Woodward has 27 years in education and is currently superintendent of Lake Pend Oreille School District in Ponderay, Idaho.
“I feel like I’ve been interviewing for this job for 27 years,” Woodward said.
He began his career in Port Orchard, Washington, where he taught elementary and junior high, before becoming a principal in the Burlington-Edison School District in Washington.
In considering a move to Eagle County, part of it’s professional and part of it’s personal. Woodward said he
He helped institute bilingual education with the Native American languages for students who attended his Idaho schools.
Qualman, a known quantity, has been with the district for 15 years. He started as a social studies teacher and eventually became the principal at Battle Mountain High School. In 2015 he moved to the district’s central office staff as an assistant superintendent.
“In my time here for 15 years, we’ve tried some very innovative things. What I have not seen is a pause to reflect and see if those things are working,” Qualman said. “Teachers should feel supported and empowered and not overwhelmed.”