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Steamboat Magazine

New superintendent guides Sailors through stormy seas

01/11/2003 05:00PM ● By Deb Olsen

Ever since the days of the old school marm, small towns have placed importance on reading, writing and rithmatic.

Today that's processing, keyboarding and calculating, but if anything, Steamboat sets more stock by its schools today than ever. The town turns out in force for school board meetings, parent-teacher conferences and football games.

And that's what new school superintendent Dr. Donna Howell says it's all about. She left her position in Texas as regional vice president of Edison Schools, a private, for-profit school-management company, to seek a better quality of life; one where she would not have to travel so much and where she and her husband, retired university professor David Howell, could pursue their favorite outdoor activities.Dr. Howell takes the Sailors' helm during contentious times.

The previous superintendent left the position after an outside mediator stepped in to settle an ongoing and public personnel dispute. The school district faces a court battle over a proposed Montessori charter school, and its budget is shrinking as school population grows.