Scott Stanec, principal at Mann Middle School, is taking most of this semester off to go to Switzerland.
Pretty cool for someone at the center of a controversy of whether a Springs cop was given too much latitude in dealing with kids. The cop, Joshua Carrier, now stands accused of 189 counts of child molestation stemming from his time there as a school resource officer and also a volunteer.
Stanec wrote to parents earlier this month to tell them about his hiatus:
August 11, 2011
Dear Parents, Students and Fellow Members of the Mann Community,
Welcome to the 2011-12 school year. I hope you’ve had a safe and restful summer and are ready to begin another year of growing as a community of learners. Many of our teachers have been in school themselves over the summer and all are enthusiastic about the new skills they’ll be bringing back to the classroom.
As many of you know, I’m not the only member of the Stanec family involved in education; my wife, Kris, is an instructor at Colorado College. This past February, she was given an exceptional opportunity to teach in the Swiss Semester program, a unique school in Zermatt, Switzerland. The program is for High School sophomores and, as our son will be a sophomore this fall, he applied and was thrilled to be accepted into the program. Our family realized we were being presented with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
I approached Dr. Nicholas Gledich, Superintendent of School District 11, regarding the possibility of being granted a 3-month Leave of Absence in order for me to accompany my wife, son and daughter to Switzerland. Dr. Gledich took my proposal to the Board of Education and, early last May, my leave was approved. A week later, our concern about leaving our home unoccupied was alleviated when Colorado College arranged to house visiting professors there during our absence.
We will not be departing until the beginning of September and so I’ll be at Mann to begin the school year and will look forward to meeting many of you at our annual Open House on the evening of August 23. The Swiss Semester is shorter than our own, and so I’ll be back at Mann in early December to close out first semester.
During my absence, Peggy Layh, assistant principal, will serve as Mann’s Acting Principal. Peggy brings the wisdom of many years in education as well as her positive energy and vision to the job; I know I’m leaving our school in excellent hands. District Eleven will also provide an experienced assistant principal, Kathy Moore, who will fill Peggy’s job while she fills mine.
There will not be a day when the Mann community is absent from my thoughts. I wish all of you an excellent first semester and will look forward to seeing everyone upon my return. Should you have any concerns regarding building leadership, please feel free to contact me at 328-2300 up until Labor Day weekend, or Peggy Layh at the same number, thereafter.
Scott C. Stanec
Mann Middle School
Like one mom of a Mann student told us, it doesn't seem right for Stanec to breeze out of the country while his employer is embroiled in what could become a costly legal matter — a matter that arose on his watch at Mann.
We've asked the district if Stanec is being paid during this leave, or if it's an unpaid absence. We'll circle back when we hear.