Severance High School principal Jen Brownhill submits resignation

For the second time this spring, a Severance High School administrator has announced an intent to leave the school at the end of the academic year.

Jen Brownhill, who is in her second year as principal at the 3-year-old school, announced her resignation in late April.

In a letter to Severance High families, Brownhill said she made the decision “after much reflection,” and the move will allow the school a “fresh start with four new leaders.”

The school will have four new administrators in time for the next school year — a principal and three assistant principals.

In mid-April, Severance assistant principal Eric Lind was named the principal at Platte Valley High School in Kersey starting later this month. Assistant principal and athletic director Ernie Derrera also resigned to take a position outside of the district, according to Weld RE-4 director of communications and public relations Katie Messerli.

The school will also add a third assistant principal position to the leadership team next year to account for growth, Messerlie also said.

Brownhill joined Severance High before the 2020-21 school year, the school’s second year, replacing Chris Garcia who oversaw the school’s opening in August 2019 before leaving the district in 2020.

Brownhill also wrote in her statement her second child will be entering high school next year, and her resignation “will allow my children the opportunity to experience high school without me in the dual roles of both mom and principal.”

Messerli said the district hopes to have the Severance principal position filled by the first week of June. The process to hire the assistant principals in the final stretch.

“I have the utmost respect for this community, especially our outstanding students and staff, and I wish you nothing but the best,” Brownhill also wrote in her letter. “Our roots are embedded in this community, and I look forward to joining you as a supportive and engaged parent.”

Brownhill’s resignation means the district has principal openings at both of its high schools. In late March, longtime Windsor High School principal Michelle Scallon was named the district’s new superintendent.

Messerli said two finalists are interviewing Wednesday to replace Scallon. The finalists are: Windsor High assistant principal/activities director Richard Thomas and Tom Dodd, currently the principal at Lesher Middle School in Fort Collins.

Four semi-finalist candidates were interviewed by two panels on May 12. The panels included staff, parents and community members, according to the district.

Thomas and Dodd are scheduled to meet with Scallon and interim superintendent Rod Blunck, and a decision on a new principal is expected shortly after the interviews, according to information on the Weld RE-4 website.

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