‘They’re her kids’: Superintendent Michelle Scallon wins over Weld RE-4 School District  (2023)

A few months after Michelle Scallon was appointed superintendent of the Weld RE-4 School District this past year, she received a lengthy to-do list from the five-person board of education.

Among the priorities the board presented for the nearly 8,300-student system are safety and security plans, academic achievement, financial stability, culture among students and staff, staff compensation and communication with its communities in Windsor, Severance and west Greeley.

The board also wanted Scallon to play a key role in another bond measure package campaign. And the members asked Scallon as a condition of her contract to earn her superintendent license within the first year on the job.

Scallon accomplished both before the end of the 2022 calendar year. She finished 15 credits for the superintendent licensure at the University of Northern Colorado. Voters passed a bond and mill levy override measures in November.

“It’s a very heavy lift, and we found a lady who could actually do it,” Weld RE-4 Board of Education President Russ Smart said.

Scallon, who turned 60 in early April, appears to have endless energy.

Being a school district superintendent is a big job. A superintendent is the CEO of a school system, Weld RE-4 Director of Communications and Public Relations Katie Smith has said. The job comes with a lot of work and responsibility. It’s a role Scallon loves, embraces and balances through all of the accompanying commitments, responsibilities and long hours.

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“Until my tank runs out of gas,” Scallon said of her anticipated time on the job, clarifying she doesn’t know when that might be. “But I know my tank is still full.”

‘They’re her kids’: Superintendent Michelle Scallon wins over Weld RE-4 School District (1)

Now in her 11th year in the district, Scallon was appointed over two other finalists in March 2022. She started the job about a month later, pulling double duty as she finished her work as principal of Windsor High School.

Scallon was named principal at Windsor in June 2012 after moving from Greeley-Evans School District 6.

Scallon was among the staff who opened Northridge High School, and she remained at the Greeley building for about a dozen years. There, Scallon taught family and consumer sciences and later became dean of students. She also taught family and consumer sciences in her home state of North Dakota.

Scallon, a mother and grandmother, has a bachelor’s degree in home economics education from North Dakota State, a master’s in technology in education from Lesley University and a principal license from Colorado State.

She officially began work as Weld RE-4 superintendent in June 2022. Not long after, Scallon met with the board and was presented with the list of priorities.

“In negotiations with Michelle, I said, ‘You’re going to have to hit the ground running because you’re going to have a full plate, and Michelle’s that type of person that said, ‘Bring it on,'” Smart recalled.

Scallon came into the job with priorities of her own, and some of those certainly aligned with the board: safety and security as well as strong academics — “another hill that I’ll die on,” she said — were among the common goals. The district has since hired a new director of safety and security, Kraig Bergner , who has been working for Weld RE-4 remotely. It’s expected he’ll begin work locally this summer.

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Scallon and the board also identified community engagement as a common goal. Scallon and Smart speak of “a school district, not a district of schools.”

“We want to make sure we bring this whole district back together,” Scallon said. “We went through a rough patch with COVID and a lot of the issues that came along with that. I knew one of the first things I had to do was to get out in the community.”

Not too long ago, the Weld RE-4 School District was a divided system. The COVID-19 pandemic was hard on the district — as it was on schools and districts across the country. Public schools continue to be challenged on issues including books and school choice.

In Weld RE-4, there were disagreements about masks during COVID-19. Board of education members were subject to recall efforts by district residents. The district’s attempt to go for a bond in 2021 failed, after holding off on pursuing a bond in 2020 because of the economic impact of the pandemic. The bond package failed after the package apparently became a casualty of the community in-fighting.

Former superintendent Dan Seegmiller and former board president Jennifer Lieber resigned in November 2021.

Last spring, weeks after Scallon was appointed, the Weld RE-4 board sifted through a charter school group’s proposal to buy land from the district to build a kindergarten through eighth-grade school to open this fall. The school district had long designated the 10-acre parcel in Windsor’s RainDance neighborhood as a location for a future K-5 elementary school.

The American Legacy Academy leaders said they applied to operate in the school district as a school-choice option for interested parents and families while also alleviating overcapacity issues in non-charter schools.

ALA ultimately ended up selecting another site in Windsor, and the school is scheduled to open this fall.

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A $271 million bond package and $5 million mill levy override were approved by voters in November, both with about 55% of the vote. Construction began this spring — including two new elementary schools and one in RainDance.

‘They’re her kids’: Superintendent Michelle Scallon wins over Weld RE-4 School District (2)

Scallon said she had a “great opportunity” right away to get out into the community because of the bond and MLO measures on the ballot last year. Scallon met district residents and talked about the importance of new buildings and renovations, the MLO and how school financing works in Colorado.

Working with Smith and Chief Operating Officer Michael McCullar, Scallon participated in 71 virtual or in-person community and school-based meetings on the bond and MLO. Scallon also appeared at the bulk of the 40 district booths set up at community events.

“Just giving people information, letting them know what’s going on in our schools, getting the correct information out there,” she said. “It was fun to meet different people and visit with different people.”

Scallon and her family have been in the area for almost 24 years since moving from North Dakota. She is well known in the Weld RE-4 community.

Scallon grew up in rural North Dakota in a family with a strong and deep interest in music. On her mother’s side, Nancy Buckeye Scallon, relatives played the guitar, banjo and piano and sang.

Scallon started taking piano lessons in elementary school. She also plays guitar and harmonica, and she sings. Scallon has been in a cover band, but she’s currently taking a break from performing.

She’s sung at weddings, church services, baptisms, funerals, Windsor High graduations and in the halls of the district administration building.

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“We’d get in the car, and my mom would either make us sing or pray,” said Scallon, who was raised with three sisters and two brothers. “Every family gathering, we were singing. It’s been such an integral part of my life.”

Tara Fotsch, deputy director of the Windsor Parks, Recreation and Culture Department, has known Scallon for about 20 years. The women have worked together on recreation and athletic-related programs and facilities.

Fotsch said Scallon is all about collaboration.

“She’s supportive of the community as a whole,” Fotsch said. “She’s compassionate and caring, and people gravitate toward her. She’s a great leader. We’re lucky.”

Board president Smart said Scallon builds relationships with students and staff, but also with developers and contractors, who are important partners with school districts in acquiring land and the construction of schools.

Smart added he doesn’t know how Scallon has the energy to continually engage with district residents.

“People may not like her, but they’ll then respect for being out and very open and transparent,” Smart said. “She listens very well. She doesn’t just say, ‘This is my way I’m going to do this.’ She listens to people and says, ‘Let’s find that compromise that’s going to work for everybody.'”

Scallon’s appointment as superintendent and her approach to the position is well received by Severance parent Ashley Harrison. Harrison voiced her concern about issues in the district during COVID, and she was involved in the effort to recall board members Regan Price and Lieber.

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Harrison’s children attended Range View Elementary in Severance this year. The children will attend American Legacy Academy next year. Harrison noted Scallon attended a recent event at American Legacy Academy, and she described the superintendent as “unifying.”

“I think first and foremost, she has the best interest of kids at heart,” Harrison said. “She sees all RE-4 students as her kids. They’re her kids, and that’s how she thinks of them. You can’t ask any more than that.”


1. May 19, 2022 Governing Board Regular Meeting
2. School Committee Meeting - August 25, 2020
(Peabody TV)
3. Board of Trustees Meeting 5-26-22
(Clearview Library District)
4. Annual Town Meeting 4 29 23
(WCTV Wilmington)
5. 2023: February 14 | WCSD Board of Education Meeting
(Town of Penfield Television)
6. Blue Valley Board of Education Meeting 7-19-2021
(Blue Valley Board of Education Meetings)


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