MEEKER I After extensive interviews last Friday, the Meeker Board of Education (BOE) announced Monday its selection of Christopher Robert Selle of Westcliffe, Colo., as the new Meeker School District superintendent to begin work July 1.
Selle, whose name is pronounced with two syllables, is completing his third year as superintendent of the Custer County Consolidated C-1 School District. Selle will turn 40 next month. He grew up in Wray.
Board President Bill deVergie said Monday that he’s “very excited to have Chris Selle and his family coming to the Meeker School District, and he knows Selle is excited to be coming. We look forward to continuing to make progress in providing excellent education for our kids.”
The Custer County District is in the Wet Mountain Valley 55 miles west of Pueblo and 50 miles southwest of Canon City. The school system is slightly smaller than Meeker’s. Previously, Selle was superintendent of the Limon School District for two years where he had also been the secondary principal for three years.
Selle is a civil engineering graduate of the Colorado School of Mines and spent six years in the oil and gas business in Bakersfield, Calif., before getting into education. He holds a Master of Arts degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, with an emphasis in education leadership.
Selle and the other district finalist, Richard Walter, Sr., superintendent of the Miami-Yoder School District in Rush, Colo., 41 miles east of Colorado Springs, were subjected to 45 minutes and 20 questions each with the school board last Friday.
These public interviews took place after a full day of interviewing with six school-related committees composed of selected representatives of district teachers, the district accountability committee, district leadership team, administrators, support staff and a tour group.
At the close of each interview, the board gave the candidates a chance to ask them any questions or further reflect on their interest in the position. Selle wondered how committed the community and board was to the district. One of the concerns Selle has about the community he’s now serving is the transient nature of the population. The board pointed out that many of our teachers and five out of the seven board members are Meeker School District graduates.
Selle suggested that the best board a superintendent ever works for is the one that hires them, so he asked the board if they were going to be sticking around (on the board). Each board member had to respond. Tom Allen said the term to which he was appointed was coming to a close, but that he certainly intended to run. Kurt Blunt, whose term expires in December, said he intended to run again unless someone convinced him otherwise. Bill deVergie said he had two and a half years left in his term, as do Bud Ridings and Todd Shults, indicating it was too far off yet to know if he’d be running. Ridings also said it was too soon to tell. Shults said he probably would run again. Mindy Burke stated that she’d been on the board for nine years now and would likely not be running again this year. Marnell Bradfield said she was just coming to the end of her first term, but had not yet decided if she would run again.
Selle also asked the board how they evaluated their governance and improved their performance. Allen replied that the most important task of the board was doing what they were doing at that very time—trying to find and hire the very best superintendent that they can. Burke followed up saying, “And letting [that superintendent] do their job.” The board explained to Selle that they had been participating in board training with Randy Black of the Colorado Association of School Boards.
For his part, Selle told the Herald Times, “He and his family are very excited to be coming to such a wonderful community and to becoming a part of what appears to be an excellent school system.” Outgoing superintendent, Mark Meyer, said he, too, “is excited for the district, now able to move forward so early in the process without the angst of not knowing who the superintendent will be.”