May 18, 2005 - Mountain View High School Principal Richard Faidley has announced he will leave the Marana Unified School District to take a job with Amphitheater Public Schools next year.

Faidley, who has spent the past eight years as an administrator at Mountain View, will take on a new role as Amphi's executive director of student services, overseeing special education, alternative education and school psychologists. He announced his resignation May 11.

While Mountain View teachers and students scurry to wrap up classes this week, Faidley said, amid the commotion, many took the news with "a little bit of shock." But once that wears off, there will be a renewed sense of excitement to find a new principal, he said.

"One thing we all know is change is good, and this school will be a better place with new ideas and new leadership," he said.

Faidley came onboard with Mountain View in 1997 as an associate principal in charge of athletics, special education, teacher evaluation and student discipline. He previously served as a teacher at Kofa High School in the Yuma Union High School District, where he was on administrative assignment working with special education programs.

Faidley considers special education his main area of expertise. He previously was employed with Des Moines Public Schools in Iowa as a middle school special education teacher, working with students who were being transitioned from a residential treatment center back into public education.

"Mr. Faidley has a combination of the principalship experience as well as a special education background that will really compliment the team that we have here in place," said Amphitheater Superintendent Vicki Balentine. "We're just very happy to have him joining us and he'll team well with our special ed leaders."

Faidley said he hopes he left his mark at Mountain View, where he collaborated with his staff on a number of programs, including the creation of the school's smaller learning communities, which will see full implementation in 2009.

"One of the things I'm most proud of is the hiring of staff members that fit the vision of the school," he said. "Just working with a group of dedicated professionals that are willing to take a look at things in a different way for the betterment of the school and the students."

Faidley was the only in-district candidate to apply for MUSD's superintendent position earlier this year, but he was not one of the three finalists chosen for interviews. It wasn't long after that when the ambitious principal saw an opportunity to advance his career in Amphi.

"Over the last year I've had an urge to move to the district level to continue to grow professionally, so I think it had to do with an opportunity that became available," Faidley said. "I know many of the administrators in the Amphi district, and it was an opportunity for me to join a good team."

Interim Superintendent Jane Pryne said she's enjoyed working with Faidley this past year and is happy to see him take on a new challenge.

"He has been very professional to work with," she said. "The district will miss him. It is Amphi's gain."

Faidley said he's excited and is looking forward to learning more about district-level administration, but he has bittersweet feelings about leaving Mountain View.

"I've enjoyed every moment," he said. "Obviously, when you put eight years of your life into an organization, you leave a part of yourself when you go on to your next job. I hope that, with the legacy I leave, whoever becomes principal of this building will take what we've done collectively and take it to the next level."

Pryne said applications for the Mountain View principal opening will be accepted until May 31. A screening committee is expected to meet June 2 to review candidates, who will later be interviewed by another committee. Incoming Superintendent Denny Dearden will interview finalists June 9 and will then make a recommendation to the governing board.

Pryne said the district has made strides in hiring someone to fill the principal vacancy at DeGrazia Elementary with a recommendation set to go to the governing board May 24. She said there were no internal applicants, so the district will be welcoming a fresh face in July.

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