Montrose County School District Superintendent Stephen Schiell

Montrose County School District Superintendent Stephen Schiell, right, presents Montrose High School teacher Brian Simpson the Montrose Education Foundation Impact Award in 2017. Schiell announced his retirement during Tuesday’s school board meeting. 

The Montrose County School District will start looking for a new person in charge after Superintendent Stephen Schiell announced his retirement during Tuesday’s school board meeting.

Schiell will step down at the end of the school year in 2020. He has been in the educational system for the past 43 years, his last four in Montrose.

Schiell, who’s been with the MCSD since 2015, conveyed his appreciation, saying the MCSD “has been great for my career.” He had a long list of people to thank which included teachers, school district staffers, business leaders, city and county workers.

He also made special note of thanking the students’ parents.

“I’m thankful for them for them trusting me with the kids at Montrose and Olathe,” said Schiell.

He said he sees opportunities for students, teachers, principals and administration staff to thrive.

The MCSD school board members praised the superintendent for his efforts, with vice president Gayle Johnson saying he was “a wonderful hire” and “good to us.”

“We appreciate everything you’ve had done,” school board president Tom West said to Schiell during the meeting. “You’ve done a miraculous job with helping us financially, with ... facilities and everything else. … We were a better school district because of you.”

School board secretary and treasurer Phoebe Benziger also expressed gratitude for Schiell during his time in Montrose.

“It is bittersweet. We hate to see him go, but super excited for him and this next chapter of his life,” she said via email.

The superintendent was also grateful for the board members he’s worked with, saying, “this board has been the best.”

Schiell was formerly the superintendent of schools for the Amery School District in Amery, Wisconsin. During his time in the educational system, he served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and superintendent. He has a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Colorado State University and a master’s in educational administration from the University of Northern Colorado.

Schiell’s will not be the only high-level departure this current academic year.

During Tuesday’s meeting, MCSD finance director Adam Rogers announced he took a job in Durango, where he will be the finance director for La Plata County.

As with Schiell, the school board recognized Rogers for his time with the district.

“You’ve been wonderful,” Johnson told Rogers. “You’ve done some really wonderful things in getting us back in line, and getting our budget balanced.”

Schiell said employees like Rogers have helped MCSD thrive during his time in Montrose.

“As I’ve always said, these people make me look good every day I’ve been here,” he said during the meeting.

“... We still have a lot of work to do. Every day that we don’t move forward to help improve our students' opportunities to succeed more than it was a wasted day that we’ll never get back. Our students need every day to be successful.”

Andrew Kiser is the Montrose Daily Press’ sports/business writer. Follow him on Twitter @andrew_kpress.

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