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School Bus

A Natrona County School District school bus heads up David Street in January in central Casper. A number of leaders within the district will take new roles as schools close and a recent wave of retirements left administrative vacancies.

Natrona County School District officials recommended three new administrators Friday to fill director positions that will soon be vacant due to a recent wave of retirements within the district.

The school board will vote Monday to approve the promotion of Marie Puryear, the principal of Casper Classical Academy, Stephanie Shafer, a teacher on special assignment within the research and assessment department, and Aaron Wilson, the principal at Paradise Valley Elementary.

Puryear, Shafer and Wilson will replace two departing directors, Danna Anderson and Thaddeus Walker, and a third, Charlotte Gilbar, who has been promoted to executive director.

The moves are the latest in a recent spate of position shuffling within the district. As part of its effort to handle recent budget cuts, officials offered employees a cash incentive to give advance notice if they planned to leave the district.

A number of administrators took the district up on its offer.

Kelly Walsh Principal Brad Diller will depart in the coming months, as will executive directors Dennis Bay and Rick Skatula. Bar Nunn Principal Rene Rickabaugh will also leave, along with assistant principals at both Kelly Walsh and Natrona County.

Those departures — along with the looming closure of four Natrona County schools — have led to a number of principals moving around within the district. Steve Ellbogen, the principal at Dean Morgan, will take on an executive director role. Centennial Principal Mike Britt will take the reins at Kelly Walsh.

Cottonwood Principal Brian Doner will move to Centennial, and Sagewood Principal Tyler Hartl will take over Dean Morgan. Angie Hayes, who leads the soon-to-be closed Willard Elementary, will become principal at Bar Nunn. Dean Morgan assistant principal Jodi Frazier is set to take over at Verda James.

It’s unclear what title the new directors and executive directors will take. Officials have said they won’t necessarily fill the exact roles left by the departing administrators.

Follow education reporter Seth Klamann on Twitter @SethKlamann


Education and Health Reporter

Seth Klamann joined the Star-Tribune in 2016 and covers education and health. A 2015 graduate of the University of Missouri and proud Kansas City native, Seth worked for newspapers in Milwaukee and Omaha before coming to Casper.

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