King-Murphy's new principal excited to embrace the mountain school

Deb Hurley Brobst
dbrobst@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 6/2/22

King-Murphy Elementary School’s new principal is ready to embrace the school and the community, and she wants to spread the word about the educational opportunities there.

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King-Murphy's new principal excited to embrace the mountain school

Posted

King-Murphy Elementary School’s new principal is ready to embrace the school and the community, and she wants to spread the word about the educational opportunities there.

TJ Bonham, who was the principal at Stevens Elementary School in Wheat Ridge, was hired a few months ago with input from educators, parents and students.

Clear Creek Superintendent Karen Quanbeck is thrilled that Bonham has taken the helm of the school, saying Bonham’s strengths, passion and skill sets match what the community said it wanted.

Bonham helped Stevens Elementary move to expeditionary learning, the learning model that King-Murphy is moving toward. Plus, Quanbeck said, Bonham is all about community.

“That’s one of the things we need to do at King-Murphy,” Quanbeck noted.

Quanbeck said Bonham was one of three candidates interviewed for the position, explaining that all three candidates were highly qualified. Bonham replaces Tony Pascoe, King-Murphy’s principal since fall 2017, who left at the end of December to lead the elementary school at the International School of Florence in Italy.

Bonham spent some time at the school in the spring in preparation for taking over as principal in July. She called King-Murphy an amazing school.

“We need more people to know about the opportunities there,” Bonham said. “There are so many possibilities for students to explore in so many different ways. I want everyone to know about it. This is a hidden treasure.”

Bonham and her husband will be moving to the area. She has a son still in high school and the couple have four adult daughters between them.

Bonham worked in the education software industry before becoming a teacher and then an administrator. She has been a principal for eight years.

“This is a dream job,” she said. “The kids are amazing: so kind, so fun and so interesting. The staff is energized and ready to go. They embrace change and what’s good for kids.”

Bonham said every facet of education fascinates her, though what he loves most is being with the students, calling it joyful.

The King-Murphy students took a field trip to Stevens Elementary for a day of activities before the school year ended, and Bonham hopes the Stevens students will travel to King-Murphy this year.

She called herself energetic and passionate, enjoying bringing the community into the school.

“School is a place to come together and find common ground,” Bonham said. “I want parents to help with and experience education so we can really grow a community of learners and explorers.”

King-Murphy, TJ Bonham, principal

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