Eagle County Schools’ chief communications officer is moving on
Dan Dougherty and his wife, Tiffany, are two of six district leaders leaving the district this year
After nearly three years with the Eagle County School District, Dan Dougherty will be leaving his role as chief communications officer. His wife, Tiffany, will also be leaving her role as principal of Eagle Valley Elementary School, where she has worked for the last 10 years.
“I found it important and rewarding to be the voice of the parent in the leadership team. This allowed the district to communicate more and with greater transparency, which helps build trust and collaboration,” Dan Dougherty wrote in an email.
Dan Dougherty joined the district in August 2018, returning to the school district after a stint as Mesa County Valley School District’s director of communications for two years. He had previously served as Eagle County Schools’ chief communications officer from 2012 to 2014.
Spending this last year helping the district navigate the pandemic, Dan Dougherty noted that experience had an impact on his decision to leave.
“For me, the pandemic revealed the fragility of life and underscored the need to make the most out of the time we are allotted,” he wrote. “At my age, I hope to have time to run down one more dream.”
This dream is one for both him and his wife, Tiffany Dougherty, as they leave to pursue a new “creative endeavor,” he wrote.
This endeavor will include writing screenplays and novels while visiting National Parks in an RV — at least for the first year, during which the couple will look for a new place to call home. The decision to leave Eagle County and their positions here was made as their third and youngest daughter graduated and heads off to college.
As the couple embarks on this new adventure, Dan Dougherty wrote that he is both “excited and terrified” for what lays ahead.
Following a school year where there was no turnover in school or district leadership, Dan and Tiffany Dougherty are just two of six district leaders who are leaving the district this year.
This year, the following district leaders are moving on or moving positions:
- Eagle Valley Middle Schools Assistant Principal Harry McQueeney retired. He will be replaced by Battle Mountain High School Assistant Principal Jason Spannagel.
- Rob Parish, the principal of Battle Mountain, will replace Spannagel as the school’s assistant principal. Parish is making the move to “have more time available as head coach” of the Battle Mountain cross-country team, according to an email from Dan Dougherty. The district has not found a replacement for Parish, but is currently interviewing for an interim principal to take his place.
- Red Hill Elementary School Principal Eric Olsen resigned to pursue another opportunity. It was announced in May that Jennifer Martinez, who has previously served as the director of programs for YouthPower365, will replace Olsen.
- The Executive Director of Exceptional Student Services Amy Kendiorski resigned this year to pursue another opportunity. Dr. Chris Elliott stepped in as the interim executive director on May 31. Elliott has served as the director of special education for the district since 2017.
- The district also hired for a new chief technology officer this year after the position remained open for the year. Beau Wielkoszewski was hired in May to take over the role from Assistant Superintendent Katie Jarnot, who served as the interim chief while the position was unfilled.
The local district has already named its replacements for both Dan and Tiffany Dougherty.
This summer, Matthew Miano will join the district as its new chief communications officer. Miano is moving to Eagle County from Asheville, North Carolina, where he served as the senior events manager for the city. Previously, he had worked in marketing and communications for the town of Dillon in Summit County.
Miano is equally excited for his return to the mountains and a departure into education.
“I was looking for an opportunity to take what I learned about the public process and really apply it to something that I believed in, and with what families have been dealing with over the past year,” Miano wrote in an email. “Plus, the school district seemed like such a great path to pursue. Having a positive impact in our community is huge, but on top of that, as my kids get older, having the chance to work in the district where they attend school seems like a really special opportunity.”
Michelle Miller was announced as the new principal at Eagle Valley Elementary School earlier this year. Miller will replace Tiffany Dougherty in the upcoming 2021-22 school year.
Miller previously served as head of school for Stone Creek Charter School, an independent K–8 school with three campuses across the county. Prior to that, Miller spent 18 years in leadership roles for the Steamboat Springs School District.
Reporter Ali Longwell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.