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D11 community responds to resignation of District 11 superintendent

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Posted at 7:13 PM, Mar 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-04 08:26:42-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — The Colorado Springs School District 11 community is reacting to the resignation of Superintendent Michael Thomas.

"I am concerned about what our priorities are as adults," said Brenda Holmes Stanciu, D11 teacher.

The decision creates uncertainty for many teachers in the district.

"We are very frustrated and now our leader is gone," said Holmes Stanciu.

She's worried about the impact it will have on her students.

"As I look around my classroom I definitely see students who need more and they need more in so many different ways," said Holmes Stanciu.

She's not the only one concerned about the students.

"I'm concerned that this ripple effect will land right on the laps of our students and teachers. What does the future of D11 look like, and it's presented a lot of questions," said Shawn Gullixson.

Former District 11 School Board President Gullixson hired Thomas back in 2018. At the time, he says the board was focused on improving performance, declining enrollment, and equity.

"He started under those three objectives, and I do believe the work was making an impact. Despite Thomas resigning last night, I think as we move forward and see the performance of the district, you're going to see his work was having an impact," said Gullixson.

Board President Parth Melpakam says it was Thomas' decision to part ways.

"Dr. Thomas approached me and told me that this may be an appropriate time to explore protocols in place to explore a mutual and amicable separation," said Melpakam.

He says this is the time of the year when districts look for their superintendent.

"We hope to be proactive and get the message out as quick as possible to get a good pool of candidates," said Melpakam.

Some say it's easier said than done.

"First of all they have to find someone to come into this volatile situation and will the board members be able to agree," said Holmes Stanciu.

Melpakam hopes to hire Thomas' replacement as soon as possible, but it will take time to review candidates' applications and engage the community.

The board appointed D11 administrator Mr. Daniel Hoff to be the Acting Superintendent. Hoff has served the district for 22 years, most recently as Executive Director of School Leadership.