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New CHS principal has high goals

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Mountain living, educational challenges motivate administrator

By Daniel Laverty

Wesley Paxton, Conifer High School’s new principal, has been waiting for a chance to see what schools in Jefferson County are all about.

“I really like what (Jeffco) and Conifer High School is trying to do with their students,” he said. “It’s clearly evident that the community really comes out to support their schools here.”

Paxton, who replaced Michael Musick, brings 22 years of education experience to Conifer. Musick left after last school year to take a position with the district in the new School Innovation and Effectiveness Division.

“Clearly, Dr. Musick laid out the foundation for preparing students for the next level,” Paxton said of CHS’s previous principal of six years. “I’m excited to keep that up and bring my knowledge and experience to continue that work.”

Paxton was principal at Northridge High School in Greeley for the past two years. Before that, he served as principal of Adams City High School for six years and worked as a teacher and administrator for Denver Public Schools.

“When I heard this position became available, I was excited to interview,” Paxton said. “Conifer is a school that’s on the cutting edge for supporting students and getting them ready for college.”

Paxton has hit the ground running. He’s started a Facebook page dedicated to the high school to boost morale and keep the community informed on what’s going on at CHS.

“The kids here at Conifer are awesome,” Paxton said. “I want to celebrate the school more and highlight the activities the kids are involved in.”

Along with an increased social media presence, Paxton said he’s committed to getting lights installed on Conifer’s athletic fields.

“I want that dream to become a reality,” he said.

Paxton is already getting accustomed to mountain living. As he was leaving his house one morning, a herd of deer was blocking his driveway.

“It’s beautiful up here,” he said. “To wake up in the morning and have deer grazing outside … it’s a unique place.”

Don’t be surprised to see Paxton out and about and enjoying the perks of mountain living. He said he’s been taking out his motorcycle and touring the community. Paxton is also an avid skier and bicyclist.

“Since my arrival, I’ve felt very welcomed by students, parents and staff,” he said. “It’s been a nice transition.”

Contact Daniel Laverty at Daniel@evergreenco.comor at 303-350-1043. Follow him on Twitter at @LavertyReports.