Montrose looks for schools chief

Tammy Clementi

Mark MacHale

Jeff Perry

Mark MacHale, a candidate to become superintendent of Montrose School District RE-1J, answers questions Friday afternoon at the school district’s offices.

MONTROSE — Montrose School District RE-1J employees, parents and community residents turned out Friday afternoon to meet the three finalists for district superintendent.

Tammy Clementi, Mark MacHale and Jeff Perry shared their philosophies about education with the public and answered questions about student safety, fiscal responsibility and curriculum development throughout the reception at the school district’s offices.

Clementi, 47, said she commutes daily from Colorado Springs to Denver, where she works in the offices of the Colorado Department of Education. She has logged 24 years in public education, 14 as an elementary school teacher in Colorado.

“I’m just really excited about the work. I’ve always been passionate about the work and trying to make things better,” Clementi said.

MacHale, 50, has been the Dolores School District superintendent for the past four years. He has a combined 21 years of service in public education, including two years as principal in Steamboat Springs and eight years as a principal in Rifle.

His wife, Laurelee, is a teacher at a Dolores school, and they have two children.

“It’s apparent to me that there are some great things going on here. But there is room for improvement,” MacHale said.

He added, “I love Montrose.”

Perry, 47, has been superintendent of the Wise County School District in Virginia the past three years.

The Virginia native served as school superintendent in Grand County, Colo., for five years before taking the job in Wise County. He has amassed 24 years in education and taught at the high school, elementary and middle school levels before serving in administration.

“I think this district is just the right size to engage with as many different educators as there are, but small enough to know administration and teachers on a personal level,” Perry said.

He added Montrose is the perfect place to explore the outdoors through hiking and hunting with his wife, Lisa. He said he has hiked 35 of Colorado’s 54, 14,000-foot mountain peaks.

“Montrose will offer the things that we love,” Perry said.

The candidates will be interviewed by the school board, beginning today, and the board will decide who to hire during its April board meeting.


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