Facing new challenges: Severance Middle School principals prepare to transition | MyWindsorNow.com

Facing new challenges: Severance Middle School principals prepare to transition

Emily Wenger
ewenger@mywindsornow.com

Jay Tapia enjoys challenges. One that stands out most in his mind was working on the opening of Severance Middle School nine years ago, when he had just begun serving as the principal.

Tapia's next challenge will be serving as the principal for Eaton High School, and while he said he has enjoyed working at Severance, he looks forward to the challenge of being a principal at the high school level.

"That was a challenge that came in front of me and there are very few places that I would be willing to go change because I'm happy where I'm at," Tapia said. "So that was just an opportunity where a school opened up that has a great reputation as well, and it was just a great opportunity I couldn't pass up."

Originally a business major at University of Northern Colorado, Tapia said he went back to UNC about six years after he entered the business field to get a masters degree in elementary education.

"In business I felt like it was the same every time and I never really felt like I made a difference," he said.

After 11 years in Windsor-Severance Re-4 School District, Tapia said he is proud of many projects. One of his favorites, he said, was the annual student-led Hawk Fest event.

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That's probably one of my most favorite things we do here as far as a community type of event that our students put on," he said. "And that's something I've been really proud of."

Tapia said he would like to thank everyone in the district for their support during his time in area schools.

"This district has really shaped my background," he said.

As Tapia moves to a new challenge, Carmen Williams says she is looking forward to serving as the new principal at Severance Middle School. The Windsor Re-4 School District announced Friday that Williams has been selected to be the new principal at Severance.

Originally a high school math teacher, Wiliams also worked as a middle school math teacher for seven years in Loveland. Willaims said she enjoyed being involved outside the classroom as well, as a volleyball and basketball coach.

Williams went back to school to get her masters degree, and then an administrative license through Colorado State University.

"I wanted to have other opportunities open to me beside just in the classroom," she said. "And I had feedback that I should go into leadership."

In administration, Williams served as the dean of students, an assistant principal at a middle school, and at the district level. She said she is looking forward to being back in a school.

"I just enjoy being in the school atmosphere, so I want to go back to a school so I can be part of a school community," she said.

Williams said she is also excited to be back in a middle school.

"I love the middle school level, the transitions they make from sixth through seventh through eighth grade and on to high school and supporting that transition," she said.

As she looks ahead to starting her new position, Williams said she hopes to be a "servant leader" as she works with students, staff and parents at Severance Middle School to build on the foundation she said is already apparent at Severance.

"I feel like I'm just coming in to fill the big shoes of Jay Tapia and just continuing to build on what everyone has worked so hard to achieve," she said.

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