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October is National Principals Month

October is National Principals Month!

Mapleton’s Board of Education is joining school districts around the country in celebrating the month of October as National Principals Month!  

All month long we invite you to share the reasons why you appreciate your school principal and assistant principal – or directors, as we call them in Mapleton.

Help us celebrate Mapleton’s school directors and assistant directors by telling us how your favorite school director or assistant director helps your child achieve their dreams. 

Please email your submissions to  


Jessie Massey
Trailside Academy

Jessie Massey "Jessie Massey is the new director at Trailside this year. She is calm and gentle, listening first before speaking. She is thoughtful in her decisions, and she involves others in the decision-making process when possible. She is an excellent communicator. In addition, she is fair and honest; she sets high expectations for herself and others. She is engaged and courageous."

Submitted by: Ranelle Lang




Ryan Fiore
Preschool on Poze

Ryan Fiore Photo "Ryan Fiore is the new principal at our newest school, Preschool on Poze. His energy and enthusiasm are infectious, and he is always happy to see the students and their parents. He has a passion for our youngest students – he even taught kindergarten! He works hard every day to make the school the best preschool ever!"

Submitted by: Ranelle Lang





A.J. Staniszewski
Global Intermediate Academy

AJ photo "I would like to celebrate and recognize AJ Staniszewski for being an outstanding director! Mr. Staniszewski strives to do what is best for students to be successful and happy at Global Intermediate Academy.  He gives his heart and soul to his job every day for the students, teachers and the Global community!"

Submitted by: Marisa Abreo

"A.J. Stanezewski leads by example. If there is work to be done, he will be there, pitching in and encouraging others. He is kind, friendly and approachable. When dealing with students, he can be counted on to meet them where they are and give them a “hand up” to help them reach their goals. He cares and it shows." 

Submitted by: Ranelle Lang

"I would like to spotlight Mr. Staniszewski for being such an amazing director! Mr. Staniszewski creates such an inviting and inclusive environment for his staff and students. His leadership skills are displayed day in and day out. He demonstrates our IB learner profiles every day and leads by example for both staff and students. Mr. Staniszewski is easily respected by many because he continuously respects others and values their individual ideas. He is such an irreplaceable member of our Global Campus and we are so lucky to have him lead the way at GIA!"

Submitted by: Gabby Hernandez



Julianne Hazah
Global Intermediate Academy

Julianne Hazah Image "Julianne Hazah is an incredible assistant director! She is so intentional and thoughtful about her role as the assistant director. I have never seen someone so reflective to strive to do better to support students and teachers at Global Intermediate Academy. Mrs. Hazah supported eighteen 7th and 8th graders get accepted to participate in the CU Pre-Collegiate program! She makes a difference in the life our students here at Global Intermediate Academy and we are so lucky to have her as our assistant director!"

 Submitted by: Marisa Abreo



Robin Graham
Mapleton Early College

Photo of Robin Graham "I wanted to share my family’s experience with Robin at MEC. My daughter attended Big Picture her freshman year for the first semester and due to stark culture shifts from the prior years when my older daughter attended Big Picture, and bullying that went unaddressed, we transferred her to MEC her 2nd semester. MEC has become a safe haven for my daughter who is now in her Junior year at MEC. Robin was such a breath of fresh air with her genuine caring and approachable, down to earth nature. My daughter feels safe at school. The culture at MEC is great, and I have to attribute that largely to Robin. We are grateful to her and all of MEC staff for making the school a great place for our kids to be each day."

 Submitted by: Mindy Love


Janice Phelps & Lindsey Keese
Clayton Partnership School

Photo of Linsdey keese and Janice Phelps "I have been a teacher for 30 plus years. In that time, I have worked with numerous administration teams. With that said, Dr. Janice Phelps and Lindsey Keese are the strongest leaders I have had the privilege of working with. What makes them a phenomenal leadership team is their focus on instruction, open communication with staff and families, and their dedication to being the best that they can be. Janice and Lindsey take countless hours outside of the school day, researching best practices, and how to best meet the needs of the students, staff, and families. It is a privilege to work with them!"

Submitted by: Kathleen Kava


"Janice Phelps and Lindsey Keese are a dynamic duo! These two leaders make sure that both student and staff voice is heard in school-wide decisions.  At Clayton, it is “Every student, every minute, every hour, every day”. Janice and Lindsey put students first and make sure the staff is fully supported! They have fostered an environment of learners and leaders at Clayton and we are so lucky to have these two as our fearless leaders!"


Submitted by: Kristin Tyus

"My son Caleb Carr & our family would like to recognize Dr. Phelps. We have been in the Mapleton District & @ Clayton since the Fall of 2000 when our first child started school. Caleb is our last to finish at Clayton this year. Dr. Phelps has been wonderful at listening to the needs of our individual kids (she has had 2 of our 3). She recognizes when they are having a bad day, good day or if something just seems off & will reach out to the child, teacher & family. She will face a challenge head-on even knowing the scale is not tipped in her favor. Even if the outcome is not what she hopes it to be, she finds the good in it & will relay positive feedback to those involved along with ways to improve. She encourages my kids to speak for themselves,  stand up for themselves and be good citizens not at Clayton but in the Community at large. She has warmly welcomed my grown children back to Calyton whenever they have asked for volunteer hours or to come to say Hi to past teachers. The best part about Dr. Phelps is she not only does all of these things for my kids but, she does them for all the kids at Clayton! Thank you, Janice!"

Submitted by: The Carr Family


"Clayton is a great place to be! Janice Phelps and Lindsey Keese are true leaders that always are thinking two steps ahead. They are quick when a curveball is thrown to determine the next steps for both students and staff. Instruction is always a focus at Clayton, and it is a place of continuous learning. Janice and Lindsey recognize the potential of the staff and encourage leadership roles to help keep the staff learning and growing. They always have the best interest of students, staff, and the community at heart. We are lucky to have such fabulous leaders!"

Submitted by: Sara Zaleski


"Janice Phelps has depth in her leadership. She has successfully led schools to higher achievement for many years. She holds herself to a higher standard than most, and she can always be counted on to keep her word, to be positive, and to see the best in those around her. She knows her team and she builds on their strengths. She believes in her staff!"

Submitted by: Ranelle Lang

Jill Bolton
Meadow Community School Director

Jill photo "Jill Bolton is a strategic leader who never loses sight of the human side of education.  Jill quickly analyzes situations and effectively determines next steps while keeping in mind the impact and outcomes for various stakeholders.  Her responsiveness and action-oriented nature communicate her respect and appreciation for the contribution of all."

Submitted by: Karen Brofft





Gayle Dunlap
Mapleton Online Co-Director

Gayle Dunlap image "Gayle Dunlap is an intuitive leader who is guided by her passion for education and ability to maximize potential in others. Unflappable in almost any situation, Gayle immediately sifts through what is important and what is not to identify opportunities and programming that would achieve the maximum benefit for all."

Submitted by: Karen Brofft





Ronaldo Ortiz
North Valley School for Young Adults Director

Photo of Ronaldo Ortiz "Ronaldo Ortiz is a reflective leader who ensures that every individual in North Valley, including himself, is constantly focused on continuous improvement.  He regularly checks in with students and staff and monitors data which allows Ronaldo to immediately support the trajectory of each individual student and staff member."

Submitted by: Karen Brofft





Laura Nelson
Global Primary Academy Director

Laura Nelson "Laura Nelson is an adaptable leader, often quickly shifting gears to meet the needs of staff, students and community.  Her focus on the whole child and the importance of community development keeps her constant focus on the lives and potential of those she works with every single day and ensures that improvement efforts are realistic and supported by others."


Submitted by: Karen Brofft




Toni Booth & Megan Kirby
Welby Community School Director & Assistant Director

Photo of Toni and Megan "Toni Booth and Megan Kirby at Welby Community School are incredibly strong leaders and just what we need at this time! They continuously and purposefully support staff and always put our students’ needs first. They go above and beyond to creatively find ways to keep Welby safe, all while creating a fun environment for staff and students! The dedication to education these two have is truly contagious and inspirational!"

Submitted by: Oona Wellin

"Toni Booth is a listening leader. She makes a true effort to hear what students, parents and teachers are saying and asks questions to listen more deeply. She is a systems thinker and sees her work as making it easier for students and teachers to do their best. She empowers others by giving them the tools and processes to make good decisions that are effective and productive. She is strategic and thoughtful."  

Submitted by: Ranelle Lang 


Connie Io
Mapleton Online Co-Director 

Connie io "Mrs. Io has been a tremendous asset to both Monterey and the Mapleton Online School. She connects so well with our students and goes out of her way to help staff members. We are so lucky to work with her!"

 Submitted by: Kevin Mason

"Connie Io is a learning leader who enthusiastically views each challenge as an opportunity to learn. She believes there is always more to learn regardless of her existing knowledge and understanding.  She sees nuances that others may miss and identifies new directions that effectively target observed data to solutions that are directly tied to root cause."

Submitted by: Karen Brofft

Brian Barringer
Big Picture College and Career Academy Director

Brian Barringer

"A true inspiration--a Mapleton graduate--and a strong leader. Brian stepped into the leadership of a school in need and has indeed shone thorough in the position. His ability to establish relationships with students and staff are unparalleled. Brian instinctively grabs the reins of leadership and understands the importance of collaboration with his teachers in that role. Whether dealing with parents, students, or staff, Brian always has a cool, calm demeanor that diffuses every situation. Although young, and still learning, it is apparent that this young man has a firm grasp on what it takes to be an effective leader and outstanding director. Kudos to Brian on all of his hard work so far."

Submitted by: Cindy Lewis


 Matt Coates
Academy High School Assistant Director

Matt coates

"The dictionary definition of calm in the eye of a storm. No matter the nature of the problem, Matt always approaches it with a calm and gentle way that helps bring everything to its base. His leadership among teachers and staff is unsurpassed. He is admired at every school he has worked at. Students and parents love to work with Matt because of the calm and understanding nature he always exudes. Matt takes charge in a way that you don't even realize. He is a leader, a friend, a confidante--all in one package. No one can do better than to have Matt Coates in their corner."

Submitted by: Cindy Lewis



 Ron Salazar
Academy High School Director

Ron Salazar

"Let me tell you...

about Ron Salazar, Director of Academy High School, a stellar school leader. I have known Ron for over 20 years as a middle school teaching colleague, and principal. I have worked for him in two school districts, at three different schools and as both a teacher and IG. My decision to continue working for him is intentional.

Ron is a true instructional leader. He is knowledgeable and understands teaching and learning. He can analyze, diagnose and create school-wide systems for teachers that increase instructional effectiveness and impact student achievement. Ron is a visible presence at school and in classrooms. He knows his staff and students and celebrates them on a regular basis through activities that build climate, belonging and a supportive learning environment. His teachers and students want to be at school because he ensures that it is a safe place where caring adults choose to teach, and students want to learn. Ron works tirelessly making sure the District and school mission, vision and commitments are visible and actionable. He is a model of professionalism and leads by example, supporting teachers in their goals by creating multiple leadership opportunities for staff. Ron still loves teaching and can often be found co-teaching, leading discussions, or evaluating student presentations alongside the classroom teacher, even under COVID restrictions of 15-minute classroom visits. Ron’s love of teaching, knowledge and skills always guide his decisions.

Let me be the first to celebrate Ron Salazar!"

Submitted by: Mary Jo Gonzales


"Ron Salazar is a data-driven leader who observes and gathers data regularly resulting in an impressive track record of success.  He analyzes both cause and effect data and plans instructional systems based on this actionable data. Ron believes in the potential of everyone in his school and successfully empowers others to find efficacy in student success."

Submitted by: Karen Brofft