Gould ousted from Eagle Valley High
Eagle Valley High School Principal Nelson Gould will not return to the school next year.
Eagle County School District administrators Tuesday called a special meeting to inform the staff at the high school that Gould’s contract would not be renewed for the 2004-05 school year. Gould is in his third year at the school. In 2001, he came from Arizona to replace Ivan Kershner, who had been at the school more than a decade.
Superintendent John Brendza said Gould’s contract for the remainder of this school year will be honored, but added that Gould may be reassigned to a different position within the district.
Brendza said the decision not to renew Gould’s contract came as the result of a long evaluation process.
“It’s always a long-term evaluation, for me and every other district administrator,” he said. Still, the news came as a surprise to school staffers, parents and Gould himself.
“I was surprised by it,” he said. “But it re-established that I love Eagle Valley High School, the kids and the teachers. It’s a good group, and they’re going to be fine.”
Gould and his wife built a home in Eagle recently, and he said he wants to remain in the Vail Valley in some capacity.
“He’s going to be missed,” said Kindra Stiles, an Eagle Valley graduate and the mother of a senior at the school. “I felt like he came in and made some great changes.”
Stiles said Gould put more focus on academics. Just as important, Stiles said “he made sure the kids were in class. I used to come in during class time and there were so many kids in the halls you’d think they were between classes.” Stiles added that she’s going to miss Gould at the school, but more, “I’m really sad there’s going to be a change for the kids.”
Since the decision to renew Gould’s contract is a personnel issue, district officials couldn’t say much.
But School Board President Scott Green, the father of an Eagle Valley student, said, “Nelson is a good man with a lot of integrity. His intentions and his beliefs were to do everything for the benefit of the students.”
And it’s the students who Gould is concerned about. “After three years, our scores are up,” he said. “I’m pretty pleased with the direction we’re going. It would be nice to see that continue, and it will continue.”
Brendza said a search for Gould’s replacement will begin immediately. The district has made a practice of promoting from within the past few years, and Brendza said the search will start there. However, he said, “We’re always looking for talent everywhere. If I can look in-house and find a candidate, that’s great. But we’re not limited, either.”