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D51 Superintendent Search

​Mesa County Valley School District 51 is Seeking a Visionary,

Dynamic and Innovative Superintendent

 (Ken Haptonstall Selected as Superintendent May 12, 2017)


 Update - March 23, 2017

After careful deliberation, a thorough review of applications, and a long day of video conference interviews with six candidates, District 51 School Board members Doug Levinson, Greg Mikolai, Tom Parrish, and Paul Pitton have selected four finalists for the position of Superintendent of School District 51. The finalists, in alphabetical order, are:

    • Ken Haptonstall – Superintendent of Schools, Garfield County School District 16, Parachute, Colorado
    • Phil Onofrio – Chief Operating Officer, Mesa County Valley School District 51, Grand Junction, Colorado
    • Carrie Stephenson – Executive Director of Schools/Area Superintendent, Douglas County School District, Castle Rock, CO
    • John Williams – Private attorney and Mesa County Valley School District 51 School Board President, Grand Junction

(Resume and cover letter for each candidate, excluding candidate's personal contact information and references, have been posted above)

 Update - April 13, 2017

On Thursday, April 13th, District 51 School Board members announced in an open meeting that they are beginning contract negotiations with Ken Haptonstall, pending further background checks and reference checks.

Mr. Haptonstall is currently the Superintendent of Schools in Garfield County School District 16, located in Parachute, Colorado. He previously worked in District 51 as a teacher and principal of Fruita Middle School between 1993 and 2007.

During the meeting, the Board also expressed their appreciation to the staff and community members who invested time and effort into this important process. You can view the recorded meeting at this link:

Update - May 12, 2017

The District 51 School Board is happy to announce Dr. Ken Haptonstall will begin service as District 51's Superintendent of Schools on July 1, 2017.

Board members voted in open session today, May 12, 2017, to approve a resolution for the district to employ Dr. Haptonstall as superintendent and authorized the board secretary and vice president to execute an employment agreement with Dr. Haptonstall, which will be signed Monday, May 15, 2017.

Superintendent Search Timeline
(Approved at the February 7, 2017 Board of Education Meeting)​ ​
​January 19, 2017Superintendent Search Feedback ​Survey Opens
​January 23, 2017​Superintendent Position Posted - Application Period Begins
January 27, 2017​Superintendent Search Feedback Survey Closes
​March 5, 2017​Priority Deadline for Applications
​Approx. week of March 6, 2017 ​Board of Education Identifies Semi-finalists
Approx. week of March 13, 2017    *Identified Date: March 23, 2017*​Semi-finalist Interviewed (Teleconference)

Approx. week of April 3, 2017       *Identified Dates: April 10th & 11th*

​Finalist Interviewed

​Approx. week of May 1, 2017

​Superintendent Selection Announced