Eagle County Schools tabs ‘steady’ Phil Qualman as interim superintendent | VailDaily.com

Eagle County Schools tabs ‘steady’ Phil Qualman as interim superintendent

Philip Qualman
Special to the Daily

AVON — The seven-member board for Eagle County Schools looked inside to appoint its interim leader after parting ways with Carlos Ramirez on Jan. 23.

In a special meeting Friday morning at Avon Elementary School, the school board appointed Phil Qualman as the interim superintendent.

Most recently Qualman spent four years as one of the school district’s three assistant superintendents. Before that he was Battle Mountain High School’s principal for six years.

High Praise

School board members had high praise for Qualman’s calm demeanor and leadership skills.

“I’m humbled by your comments and I’m honored to take on this responsibility,” Qualman said after the board unanimously approved his appointment.

He said he has his immense respect for the district and its plans for education in Eagle County.

“My immediate goal is to instill a sense of stability,” Qualman said after the board voted.

Tumultuous Times

The school district has seen some tumultuous times in the last two years.

Jason Glass left Eagle County Schools in March 2017 to run Jefferson County Schools. Maggie Lopez served as the interim as the school board searched for Glass’ successor.

Carlos Ramirez was hired in March, started the job in June and was gone by the end of January.

“These are extraordinary times,” said Kate Cocchiarella, school board president.

After the school board and Ramirez parted ways the school board asked school district staffers for their opinions. The staff had some.

Mostly they advised the school board to hire Qualman, Cocchiarella said.

Qualman is “calm and steady,” and that’s what the school district needs at the helm for at least right now, school board member Tessa Kirchner said.

“He has shown great leadership through this rocky time,” school board member Shelly Jarnot said.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vail daily.com.