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Adams 14 district seeks input to pick principal for low-performing high school

Three finalists, including two who have worked as assistant principals and a former Aurora principal, are in the running to take over the top job at struggling Adams City High School.

Adams City High School — serving nearly 1,800 students, 81 percent of whom qualify for subsidized lunch — is the district’s only school that has reached the five-year limit for low performance and could soon face state intervention.

Adams 14 school district officials are preparing to request innovation status for the school, which would give the principal more autonomy from certain state and district rules around budgeting and hiring. If the plan is approved, the state could give the school more time to improve before resorting to other more drastic options such as closing the school or turning over management to a charter or other management company.

The three finalists named Wednesday are:

  • Jennifer Abeyta-Cifuentes, a current administrator at Prairie View High School in Henderson, and previous assistant principal at Adams City High School
  • Carroll Duran, an assistant principal at Adams City High School since June 2014.
  • Mark Roberts, a principal at Aurora Central High School from 2013 to 2015. Aurora Central High School, like Adams City, is also on the state’s list of low-performing schools facing state sanctions.

The current principal, Gionni Thompson, has taken a district job as executive director of secondary schools. He has continued to serve as principal of Adams City High School while a replacement is selected.

Thompson has led the school since December 2014.

Adams 14 is hosting a candidate meet-and-greet from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Adams City High School, where officials will be gathering community input.

“The group wants to process what the community says,” said Janelle Asmus, a spokeswoman for the district. “I believe there will be a survey, or some way they will collect input from all the people that attend.”

Asmus said that the superintendent isn’t sure when the new principal would be named, but that he hopes to have someone in place in January for the second semester of the school year.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported how long Thompson had been principal at Adams City High School.

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