Youngquist leaving Upper Blue |

Youngquist leaving Upper Blue

Reid Williams

BRECKENRIDGE – Fourteen months after taking the position, Upper Blue Elementary School’s principal is moving on.

John Youngquist announced Friday he had accepted a job as an area superintendent for Denver Public Schools, said Summit Schools Superintendent Wes Smith.

Youngquist was hired as Upper Blue principal in May 2001, succeeding the school’s first principal, Dr. Don Waldera. Youngquist, 35, was previously the principal of Newlon Elementary School in the DPS system.

The Colorado Jaycees named Youngquist “Outstanding Young Coloradoan” in 2001 for his work in the community. Youngquist worked in youth homes and shelters before entering education 12 years ago, volunteered as a youth mentor for 13 years and sat on the board of Metro Denver Partners, a mentoring organization.

“He’s quite an outstanding professional and, to be honest, I never expected him to be here for the long haul,” Smith said. “Most people will probably feel as I do – it’s disappointing, but we knew John would be moving fast.”

While at Upper Blue Elementary, Youngquist helped oversee the school district’s special education programs and implement a bully-proofing program, in addition to managing the school’s staff and educational programs.

Smith said the search for a new principal is under way. The superintendent said he hopes to find an interim principal to take charge of the school this fall and continue searching for a permanent replacement throughout the winter.

“That way, we don’t have to do a rush job,” Smith said. “It will give us time to better research and develop a long list of candidates.”

Youngquist could not be reached Saturday for comment.

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