IGNACIO – Chris deKay, Ignacio Middle School principal, will join the school district’s administrative staff this summer during a year of high-level staff changeover.
The Ignacio School District board of directors approved deKay as the new curriculum and assessment director Tuesday. He will replace the current director, Kathy Pokorney, who is retiring in July. It is the first of many staff transitions the district is facing during the next year. Staff members said they feel confident that it will be a smooth transition, and both deKay and Pokorney are ready for their new roles.
“Right now, I work with some great kids and just really an amazing staff. There’s no doubt that I will really miss that,” deKay said. “I’m excited for the opportunity, and I’m ready to work hard in this new role.”
The curriculum and assessment director writes grants, creates state reports, coordinates school testing and provides curriculum support for teachers.
Ignacio will move to the 2020 Colorado education standards next year, and supporting the transition will be a big part of deKay’s job, Pokorney said. DeKay also plans to prioritize aligning the curriculum between schools to promote student growth.
“It’s definitely well earned,” said Yvonne Chapman, a board member. “The middle school has been our best performing school. For him to take the knowledge that he has gained in that position ... I see some huge opportunities there.”
The district will hire a new middle school principal before the 2020-21 school year begins. It is also replacing the current high school principal, Melanie Taylor, who is retiring this year. Superintendent Rocco Fuschetto is also making plans for future retirement.
“Transition and change is not the easiest thing in the world,” Pokorney said. “People just need to keep the best interests of the kids first and work together to make it happen.”
Pokorney will introduce deKay to his new responsibilities until her retirement. After July, Pokorney said she will be available to provide assistance as needed and plans to continue being involved with the schools.
“I can’t imagine being anything but an administrator in Ignacio at this point,” Pokorney said. “But you always know when it’s time to let other people step up and move things forward.”