Blunck finalist for vacant superintendent’s job

By Kevin Denke
Posted 10/13/09

BRIGHTON — School District 27J Superintendent Rod Blunck could be offered the job as superintendent of the Adams 12 Five Star School District in Thornton as early as next week. …

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Blunck finalist for vacant superintendent’s job


BRIGHTON — School District 27J Superintendent Rod Blunck could be offered the job as superintendent of the Adams 12 Five Star School District in Thornton as early as next week.

    Blunck was named one of six finalists Sept. 29 to replace former Adams 12 Superintendent Michael F. Paskewicz. He stepped down this month after six years at the helm of the school district that encompasses Thornton, Northglenn, Federal Heights and parts of Westminster and Broomfield.

    Blunck confirmed in an all-staff e-mail Sept. 30 that he would take part in the interview process for the position, which includes a series of community candidate interview forums this week.

    Blunck said in the e-mail that he has declined interest from numerous school districts with vacant superintendent positions since he first came to the district in 2006 and similarly declined invites from the search firm heading up the Adams 12 search.

    But when contacted again in regards to the position Sept. 27, he agreed to be a part of the interview process.

    “Please know that my very difficult decision was not based on dissatisfaction with any aspect of my current duties,” Blunck said. “I believe that it is a potential professional opportunity that I would be remiss if I did not explore.”

    Blunck has been credited for guiding 27J to improved achievement on CSAP test scores and improved financial stability in the district. Prior to 27J, he served as a superintendent in the Elizabeth School District, where he was named Colorado Superintendent of the Year, and the Julesburg School District. If Blunck did accept the job at Adams 12, it would be a sort of homecoming because he served as an assistant superintendent in the district.

    The 27J board of education, aware of Blunck’s attractiveness as a superintendent candidate in other school districts, agreed in April to a two-year contract extension that raised his salary to $182,000 through 2010 and to $202,000 in 2011.

    The raise and extension, according to school board leadership, was meant to bring Blunck’s salary in line with other metro area school district and give the district a fighting chance against other school districts attempting to lure him away.

    At the time, Blunck said he was happy with the contract extension and the chance to work at the district through his son’s graduation in a few years.

    School district attorney Janet Wyatt said, while the contract couldn’t necessarily just be abandoned, it does include exit provisions.

    “His contract, as most contracts do, allow for the contract to be terminated under certain circumstances,” Wyatt said. “That could be by mutual agreement of the parties involved, it can be through death or disability of the party or it can be unilateral on either side if certain things are done such as written notice, time to find replacements, those sort of things.

    “It’s not simply a matter of it being just torn up and everybody moves on,” she added. “There are steps that would need to be taken.”

    27J board President Todd Cordrey praised Blunck in an e-mail last week.

    “Dr. Blunck has done a very good job here improving the academic performance of our district,” Cordrey said. “He has hired and supports a highly competent staff and has put into place systems designed to raise performance in a reliable and predictable fashion. The district is on solid grounds and continues to move forward in a consistent and positive manner. We are fortunate to have wonderful teachers and support staff.”

    But Cordrey also aimed to reassure the community that, if Blunck does leave, the district would find a comparable replacement.

    “The board of education would be disappointed to loss Dr. Blunck to another school district,” Cordrey said. “However, each new challenge gives the district new opportunities. The board of education, if it becomes necessary to recruit a new superintendent, will seek the input and advice from parents, taxpayers, senior citizens, business community and our local municipalities.”

    Adams 12 hopes to name the successful candidate by Oct. 15.


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