A trip to the principal’s office might seem daunting, but Marshdale Elementary’s new principal, Christian Kingsbury, wants to change that.
“My door is always open, and I’m willing to talk about anything,” Kingsbury said. “What are we doing? What’s best for the kids? I’m all about complete transparency.”
Kingsbury has been involved in education all over the state. Prior to serving as head of the middle school at the Montessori School of Evergreen, he was a teacher and principal of Basalt Middle School from 2002 to 2008. Kingsbury had been teaching at Evergreen High School the past three years.
“(Marshdale) already had so much going for it,” Kingsbury said. “I’m just looking to support and contribute to that.”
When the Marshdale job came open, it was a no-brainer for Kingsbury. He said his family love the mountain area, and he said his calling is to be in education and administration.
“I was hired in early March, and all I heard was that Marshdale has the best teachers,” he said. “I’ve come to find out it’s the truth. My staff is top-notch, hard-working, and they care about the students.”
Since Marshdale has no grocery store or town center, Kingsbury said, the elementary school is in a unique position.
“This school really is the heart or hub of this community,” he said. “People believe in this school, and it shows.”
Kingsbury said the biggest challenge facing schools today is balancing traditional learning with new technology.
“Kids still need reading, writing and math,” he said. “But how do you balance that with what’s available and happening in the world? Kids can go learn anything instantly (because of computers and the Internet) at any time. How do we encourage that while also teaching them about forming complete sentences?”
He hopes to achieve a successful balance by encouraging strong grade-level teams to meet student needs. An example of a grade-level team, Kingsbury said, is both fourth-grade teachers at Marshdale collaborating and staying on the same page.
“At the high school level, it would be just all of the math teachers forming a ‘team,’ ” he said. “Collaboration is key to success. Relationships equal results. We’re in the business of helping students.”
An avid skier and mountain biker, Kingsbury lives with his wife and two sons in Evergreen.
“When I tell people I’ve started this new job, they tell me, ‘Oh wow, you must be overwhelmed,’ ” Kingsbury said. “I haven’t felt that way at all. I’ve been having a lot of fun, and it’s been a great transition.”
Marshdale Elementary, with kindergarten through fifth grade, has an enrollment of 284 students. Its students matriculate to West Jefferson Middle School.
Kingsbury succeeds Kay Moser, who took the school’s helm for the 2012-13 school year after Christie Frost took a position as principal of Jeffco Virtual Academy, the district’s online school.
Contact Daniel Laverty at Daniel@evergreenco.comor at 303-350-1043. Follow him on Twitter at @LavertyReports.