Before taking the reins as Principal of Bayfield Primary School, Amanda Holden served as an assistant principal in Boulder for seven years, then as the Director of Student Services at the school district level in Denver. Her last assignment was challenging and prestigious, she acknowledges — with a grin at the “fancy title” — but she missed working directly with kids. “I belong in the school building.”
Since moving to Bayfield with her husband and son, Amanda has discovered many gifts of her role at BPS. Bayfield’s schools are the heart of the town, Amanda feels, therefore she has the chance to make a community-wide impact by serving as Principal at BPS. “It’s a dream come true.”
Another gift Amanda appreciates about BPS is the focus on early childhood. Now that grades K-2 are together in one place, staff, teachers and families can target the unique needs of early learners. That, plus the many improvements made to the buildings and grounds courtesy of the recent school bond, means “we really are a brand new school,” notes Amanda. “We have the opportunity to build our culture.” What’s emerging is a school-wide emphasis on discovering the strengths of each individual child, an appreciation for innovation and forward-thinking and the desire to recognize and celebrate the Bayfield community.
Amanda says it has been important to actually define what it means to be a Wolverine. At BPS, Wolverines are “safe, respectful, responsible and kind.” Using the same language over and over, the entire school knows what’s expected — teachers, staff, kids and parents.
A final gift, according to Amanda, is the team at BPS. “It’s a joy to work with our staff,” she says. “Everyone is fully invested in putting students first.”
Amanda and her family love living in Bayfield. Her son Brady is currently enrolled at BEEP, and Amanda looks forward to welcoming him to BPS next year. Her husband, Derek, the senior ranger at Navajo State Park, is making his own impact on the local area. While the family enjoyed their time in Denver, they all feel life in a small community is yet another benefit of their recent move. The Holdens are taking advantage by planning to welcome a baby girl to the world next spring. Yet another gift to come!