Principal Profile: Roxborough Primary and Intermediate School
DOUGLAS COUNTY – Nestled among the foothills at the northwestern edge of Douglas county, lies a secluded community where two school buildings house nearly 900 elementary students.
Roxborough Primary School serves children from kindergarten through second grade; Roxborough Intermediate School serves students from third to sixth grade. While each school has its own principal, both schools integrate into a cohesive learning environment with a common mission.
Principals Jennifer Murtha (Roxborough Intermediate), and Rick Kendall (Roxborough Primary), work closely together to bring a unique level of support to students and staff. With a principal in each building that is focused on the unique needs of each group of learners, the “One School, Two Buildings” model allows each principal to tailor their school system to best meet those needs.
Murtha and Kendall emphasize that both the Primary and Intermediate schools maintain a deep connection with the community, embracing supportive parent involvement and close staff connections. These connections provide a solid foundation for the school’s focus on student inquiry and candidacy to become an International Baccalaureate campus.
“Our collaboration gives the community a consistent PK-6 vision for Roxborough,” said Murtha. “We are truly partners, and it is rare to have a teammate in this profession. It is so amazing to have this level of support for our community, our teachers and our students.”
Kendall, elaborating on Murtha’s sentiment, adds, “With our unique model of "One School, Two Buildings,” we feel that it is vital to have a common SAC, PTA, and teacher leadership team. Because we respect the strengths of the other person, we rely on one another’s perspective and experience to make the best decisions. We also purposefully bring the staff together for much of our staff development in order to maintain vertical alignment of our vision.”
Meet Rick Kendall
When Rick Kendall has a passion for something, he sticks with it. His interest in teaching began during his own elementary school years, an inspiration that he attributes to his fourth- and fifth-grade teachers.
“They both provided a positive male role model for me during an important time in my education and my life, and I wanted to provide the same for future generations,” Kendall explains.
Kendall attended the Colorado School of Mines and the University of Colorado, receiving a Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry and a Teacher Certification from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He then earned a Master's Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from the University of Phoenix.
Kendall discovered a new passion when he arrived at Roxborough Elementary School as a teacher. After teaching sixth grade and the technology specials class, he accepted the role of assistant principal. It was during his tenure as assistant principal that the second building was constructed and opened as Roxborough Intermediate. After serving three years as an assistant principal, KendalI was named Interim Principal of both the Primary and Intermediate schools, a position he held for two years before becoming the full-time principal at Roxborough Primary. Kendall has spent his entire career in education at Roxborough.
“As a primary school, we are focused heavily on developing our students into readers, writers, and mathematicians; but we also need to provide the foundation for our students to become responsible, productive citizens of the world. I also believe that as a school, we need to have a close relationship with families.”
10 facts about Rick Kendall
Meet Jennifer Murtha
Jennifer Murtha didn’t plan to become an educator. She had set her eye on a career in journalism, and graduated from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and Economics. The path to achieve her degree, however, laid the groundwork for where she finds herself today.
“As part of my entrance to journalism school, I had to volunteer 10 hours a week. I gave my time to an elementary school near campus and realized that I could make a difference for kids every day. I was hooked!”
Murtha continued her education at the University of Colorado, earning a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction, and an Educational Specialist Degree in Administration, Leadership and Policy Studies. After teaching at the elementary level for 10 years, Murtha spent four years as an assistant principal before becoming the principal at Roxborough Intermediate. This is her fourth year in the role.
When asked what she enjoys most about the job, Murtha was quick to reply. “I love working together with parents to solve problems; I love building lasting curriculum and instructional practices and I love, love, love our students, who make me laugh and amaze me with their brilliance each day.“
“Our students are the most creative people I have ever met! They are problem-solvers who want to make a difference in our community,” Murtha shared. “Our teachers are so vested in our students' success and I am continually inspired by the time, effort and heart they give for the sake of our students. Our award-winning parent community serves our students by giving them memorable events and modeling servant leadership.”
10 facts about Jennifer Murtha