Middle Park High School is starting off the year with a new principal, Scott Eldred.
How long have you been working with schools?
I began my teaching career in 1985. That was in Michigan. I began in Colorado as the Director of Education for a residential treatment program [in 2000].
Why did you decide to take this job?
For the love of the valley, and looking for a place to become part of the community. I've recreated in Grand County for many years.
What plans do you have for Middle Park High School? What changes can we expect to see?
Our focus at the start of the year has been on re-engaging the students, and improving our culture and climate. We're going to work on having the theme of the year "Rediscovering the Joy of Learning."
The staff has participated this opening week in a variety of community and team-building activities, and we have a new program called Link Crew. They did a freshman orientation [on Aug. 30]. We're very excited about the impact that the teacher-leaders and the upperclassmen student-leaders, are going to have on creating a positive, exciting culture for the start of year.
On Sept. 10 we're hosting a Back to School night to kick off Homecoming Week. We're going to have a community barbecue from 5 to 7 p.m. I'll be there, chef-ing, cooking and serving up.
What do you see as MPHS' greatest need?
As any school, our focus is going to be on creating an exciting, safe place where all kids are excited and eager to learn. We're going to do that by focusing both on relationships - making connections with students - and on improving our rigor of instruction.
What do you feel are the high school's current strengths?
We have an outstanding staff that is dedicated and passionate about their content that they teach, and passionate about supporting students.
What direction would you like to see the high school heading, academically?
It's a constant push to have our school district become a District of Distinction. What that means is all students are going to be challenged to grow socially and academically.
What aspects of living in Grand County are you looking forward to/enjoying?
I'm enjoying the acceptance of the community and how much they have embraced myself and my family, and just the excitement of being in a community that is invested in their children.
We had a great win for our football team last night [Thursday, Aug. 30]. We defeated Ft. Lupton, which is twice our size, which is a huge victory for our side. We're really creating Panther Pride.