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Mancos hires superintendent to replace Hanson

Todd Cordrey looks to emphasize project-based learning and post-graduation success
According to Mancos School District RE-6 Board of Education President Pamela Coppinger, Todd Cordrey’s previous superintendent experience was a significant factor in the decision to hire him.

Mancos School District RE-6 has decided on its pick to replace longtime Superintendent Brian Hanson.

Todd Cordrey, a former superintendent of Rangely School District who also led two Colorado charter schools, will soon take the leadership reins in Mancos.

The Mancos School District Board of Education unanimously approved the contract negotiated with Cordrey at a special meeting Monday night. Cordrey’s salary will pay $105,000 per year.

According to Mancos Board of Education President Pamela Coppinger, Cordrey was a favorite because of his superintendent experience, his enthusiasm for project-based learning and his understanding of school finances.

“He was our number one candidate,” Coppinger said.

Cordrey has a background in real estate, but got his start in education by joining the school board in Brighton, Colorado in 2003. He served as the board’s president before becoming the superintendent of Rangely School District in 2011.

Cordrey served as superintendent there for two years. He started a GED program for parents and developed a summer intervention program for struggling students during his tenure in Rangely.

Cordrey later became executive director of Aspen Ridge Preparatory School in Erie, Colorado for two years and the executive director of Early College of Arvada for roughly three years.

Cordrey earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from New Mexico State University and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado Denver.

Cordrey, who is originally from Albuquerque, believes that Mancos schools are in good shape.

“I think the district is in exceptional condition in all the major criteria,” Cordrey told The Journal. “Operationally, it’s been run extremely well by Superintendent Hanson. The school board is very thoughtful and diligent. The staff is really solid.”

He believes the schools’ “innovation status” and emphasis on project-based learning position the district to move on from the COVID-19 pandemic better than others.

Project-based learning involves having students take part in lengthy projects in which they develop knowledge by engaging in problem-solving and developing a product or presentation.

Hanson filed for Colorado “innovation status” for Mancos schools during his tenure, exempting the schools from some state guidelines and standards.

“I really want to honor the district’s storied past, but I think we’re at a really exciting place to really shake things up in Colorado as a school district,” Cordrey said.

Cordrey also aims to ensure student success after graduation via scholarships, college visits and internships.

“I personally have a strong focus to make sure that our graduates are ready for that next step in their lives,” Cordrey said. “I really believe that a school district should do all it can not just to prepare them, but to actually deliver them to the next step.”

Cordrey will start the job June 14.