Scoggins named Rangely RE-4 superintendent

RANGELY I The Rangely Board of Education named Matt Scoggins the next RE-4 district superintendent Friday after a hiring process that lasted more than a month narrowed the field to two candidates, Scoggins and Paul Jebe of La Junta, Colo.
Scoggins, who owns Colorado CPA Services, was an RE-4 Board of Education member from 2001 to 2011 and its president from 2005 to 2008.
Jebe, a principal in the East Otero School District for eight years, had a background in music education and worked in the private sector before entering school administration.
In a letter to RE-4 staff sent shortly after the board’s vote Friday morning, the board said that both candidates offered the district “many positive attributes.”
“The most obvious difference was that Mr. Jebe is strong in curriculum and pedagogy while Mr. Scoggins is skilled in business and management,” the letter stated. “However, the biggest area of distinction between the two that became obvious through the application and interview process was philosophy.”
The board cited Scoggins’ advocacy for staff and students and the addition of a director of curriculum, instruction and assessment position as factors in the decision.
“This, combined with the two principals gives us a strong academic core moving forward,” the letter stated.
Board of Education President Adair Norman said he believes Scoggins will be able to learn the instruction piece while bringing other skills to the table.
“Curriculum is the job of the principals, not the job of the superintendent,” Norman said. “With (director of curriculum, instruction and assessment) Marian Neitenbach and the principals, that gives us three curriculum people. So I guess we didn’t place as high a priority on that.
“In terms of Matt’s skills, he doesn’t just understand Colorado finance laws,” Norman said. “He has the business acumen that will be able to run many departments. It’s transportation, finance, tech…all of those tie in for education.”
Scoggins said he will be able to provide stability the district has been lacking, with three superintendents taking the helm in the last five years.
“Watching the turnover in superintendents since Jim Day left, it seems like every time we have a chance to get something going, we come to a screeching halt,” Scoggins said. “I’m hoping for some stability in the district and I think I have the background to do this job well.”
That background, Scoggins said, includes a love of kids, his tenure on the school board, teaching at Colorado Northwestern Community College, coaching and school district auditing.
Scoggins said it would take time to learn the superintendent role but that he plans to use resources within the district, including the two principals and Neitenbach’s position, to begin the process.
“Each of our last superintendents has had a steep learning curve and then been gone after two years,” Scoggins said. “I’ll have that learning curve and then be here for who knows how long. I hope if I have a learning curve, it won’t be wasted on moving onto another position somewhere else.”
Scoggins and outgoing superintendent Todd Cordrey will work together this month before Scoggins takes over the district in August. Scoggins said that for now his business, Colorado CPA Services, will be run by his current staff.