Two new principals will be on hand when students return to Cache La Poudre Middle School and the mountain elementary schools – Livermore, Red Feather and Stove Prairie.
Alicia Bono has taken over from William “Skip” Caddoo at the middle school, while Matt Marietta fills the position formerly held by Patrick Kind. Both Caddoo and Kind continue to be involved in High Park Fire recovery activities, as does Cache La Poudre Elementary principal Roxann Hall.
Both new principals say that when school starts later this month, they will be working with their students and families who have lost homes or been evacuated repeatedly or have otherwise felt the impact of the fire.
“The whole community has been affected,” Bono said. “We want everyone to feel that school is a safe place to be, and we can help both the kids and their families heal emotionally.”
Marietta, whose Stove Prairie School sits unscathed in the middle of the burn area, agreed.
“It’s important the kids know that with all that’s been going on, what hasn’t changed is school,” he said. “We want it to be a constant for them next year.”
Bono comes to LaPorte from Page, Ariz., where she has been assistant principal and athletic director. She also taught middle school for eight years, and looks forward to working with that age group again.
“It’s challenging, but middle school is a time of transition for the kids,” she said. “They have to focus on what’s happening now, not what happens beyond, like high schoolers.”
Bono said she is excited to implement the school’s new International Baccalaurate curriculum, which she called “a tremendous undertaking.”
“The IB program will offer more choice, to help keep students who had been going to other schools in the district here,” she added.
Bono is married with a daughter who will be starting kindergarten this year.
Marietta’s last position was an elementary principal and preschool program administrator in rural Iowa. He has also taught second, third and fifth grades.
He said his priority for the start of the school year is building relationship with people in the community, not just staff, students and their families.
“A big part of my job is to know every student by first name, and what’s going on with each one,” he said.
Marietta said he has been spending time before school starts traveling between his schools and has figured out routes that would let him be all three in one day. This will come in handy when he plans to be at all three registration days. He prefers to spend a whole day at one school, however, and plans to hold rotating office hours, always staying in touch by cellphone, text, podcasts or email.
“I believe in communicating frequently, and encourage anyone to give me a call any time,” he said.
Marietta is single.