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Search underway for new Mancos superintendent

Brian Hanson set to retire at end of school year
Mancos School District Superintendent Brian Hanson speaks at a graduation ceremony in 2016.

With longtime Superintendent Brian Hanson set to retire, Mancos School District is looking for its next leader.

Hanson announced his resignation last summer, agreeing to finish out the school year after 13 years on the job. The district started advertising for the job late last month and hopes to fill the position before May.

School board member Blake Mitchell said qualified candidates have already applied.

“We’ve had a really outstanding superintendent, Mitchell said. “Those are going to be big shoes to fill.”

Hanson instituted project-based learning in Mancos. This 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 also filed for Colorado “innovation status” for Mancos schools, exempting the schools from some state guidelines and standards.

The school board’s hiring committee seeks a candidate with experience with administration, budgets and teaching.

“Whenever you get a new superintendent, it’s the same thing as a new CEO,” Mitchell said.

The committee includes non-board members like Clara Martinez. Martinez has lived in Mancos for about 30 years and has had children go through Mancos schools.

“It’s a great district, and I advocate for it,” Martinez said.

The first day on the job for the new superintendent will be July 1.

A community meeting seeking public input on the search will take place on March 2 at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria at Mancos Elementary School.