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Montezuma-Cortez leaves superintendent position open

The Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1 administration building. (Journal file photo)
Board planned to appoint a superintendent for the 2022-23 school year at Tuesday’s meeting

The Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1 Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday to keep its superintendent position open.

A resolution to appoint a superintendent for the 2022-23 school year was an action item on Tuesday’s agenda.

The board previously named three finalists but only interviewed one, Jack Props, after two others, David Crews and Christopher Burr, withdrew their names from consideration before their interviews.

Board Director Cody Wells made the motion to keep the superintendent position open.

“I feel like Mr. Props is very personable, but I just was concerned about the size of our district and his experience,” Board Director Sherri Wright said. “I just didn’t feel like his experience was a good fit with our district.”

Other board members agreed.

Board Director Ed Rice pointed out that the district had nine applicants, and the board only interviewed one.

Board President Sheri Noyes said the board’s finalist “pros and cons aligned a lot with the community group as well.”

Wells said that Montezuma-Cortez is a “pretty interesting district to come into” and that while Props is a “great guy,” he wasn’t the right fit for the district.

Wells said the board should wait and dedicate more time to the superintendent search, and maybe begin again in January.

Interim Superintendent Tom Burris previously told The Journal that he would be happy to stay in the position as full-time superintendent if necessary, depending on district need and his family.

Props is a principal in the Chama School District in New Mexico. He previously was superintendent of the Vaughn School District in New Mexico, which had about 100 students.

Crews is superintendent of the Sangre de Cristo School District.

Many in Cortez were concerned about Crews after reading about an incident that occurred while he served as superintendent of the Norwood School District.

The Denver Post published a Bloomberg News report of a hazing incident in 2012 in which three Norwood High School students bound and sodomized their classmate on an empty school bus at a state wrestling match in Denver. Crews reportedly gave the assaulters a one-day in-school suspension and did not report the incident to police, according to the article.