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Sun, Sept. 22

Dean becomes HUSD's athletic director; board hires Rice, Dalpiaz

PRESCOTT VALLEY — The Humboldt Unified School District filled three more administrative positions Tuesday night, nearly closing a chapter on several months of retirements, resignations and job changes.

The HUSD board approved moving Glassford Hill Middle School Principal Jim Dean into the vacant district athletic director position, and filled principal vacancies at Glassford Hill Middle School and Humboldt Elementary School by hiring Kristen Dalpiaz and Kim Rice for the jobs.

Superintendent Ron Maughan said the district had a number of choices when it came to the athletic director job.

The district could move the job to the high school campus, and put it under an assistant principal responsibility, or hire a third assistant principal just for those duties. Or HUSD could fill the district-level vacancy that Mike Misner's resignation created.

When Dean asked to move into the position, Maughan said he realized the district had the perfect candidate for the job right here all the time, and recommended that the district stay that course.

That opened the door for another administrative appointment. Maughan recommended that the district hire Kristen Dalpiaz as principal at Glassford Hill Middle School.

Dalpiaz comes to the district from the Marana School District, where she has worked for the last 11 years, first as an elementary teacher, then a middle school teacher, then a middle school associate principal.

Dalpiaz and a colleague introduced the "creating writers" process that the state Department of Education adopted as the standard for teaching writing on the AIMS test. She's a big believer in standards.

"I think we should have standards for our students," she said. "We need to keep high expectations of them."

Dalpiaz applied for other administrative positions in the district, but her experience in and enjoyment for middle-school administration kept her out of some of the elementary positions.

"I'm going to be working with an energetic staff," she said. "I definitely checked into the staff, and they are a high-energy group. The kids are kids — and as long as they are channeled in the right direction, they will do fine."

Dalpiaz will move here with her husband, Curt, and two children: a daughter, Shea, a fifth-grader, and Riley, a son who will enter kindergarten.

Kim Rice, a five-year teacher at Mountain View and 20-year teaching professional, will take over for Tom McCormick at Humboldt Elementary.

Her teaching experience includes preschool through middle school. When sixth grade moved to the middle school about four years ago, she elected to stay in the upper elementary age group of fourth- and fifth-graders.

"It's where my heart is," Rice said. "Moving to the middle school would have been a great experience, I loved my kids, but there's something special about the elementary school."

Rice is excited about the possibilities for Humboldt Elementary. She's proud of what Tom McCormick has built there, and hopes to continue that.

Probably the best thing about Humboldt is its size, and what that offers students and families.

"I think it's much easier for a school to be a home to students and families if it's smaller," she said. "Tom McCormick has done a great job in building that family feeling at the school."

Rice is married. Her husband, Chris, is a pilot of executive jets. Her son, Corey Bennett, just completed a year at Yavapai College, and is headed to Portland State University.

Maughan also introduced new Bradshaw Mountain High School Principal Cynthia Verdugo Wood.

Wood, from California, now is on board and has a full plate of getting to know her staff and get up to speed on programs at BMHS.

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