June 7, 2006 - Canyon View Elementary School's principal Chris Ahearn will pack up his office and move to River Road after accepting a new position in district administration.

"I'm excited about the new position," Ahearn said. "I've been thinking about this for quite awhile and preparing for this."

Ahearn will begin his new position as the Director for Professional Development for the Catalina Foothills School District July 1. He replaces Elizabeth Goettl, who took a job at another school in Tucson.

Even though he looks forward to the new position, he said he finds it difficult to leave behind students he's become close with in his 19 years at Canyon View.

"I will miss them terribly," he said. "It was a crusher the last several days of school. It just killed me."

Nevertheless, he said he looks forward to his future working with district teachers.

"I've been gearing up for this position for a long time," Ahearn said. "I have a real passion for students, curriculum and learning, for instruction and working with professional educators."

An educator for 30 years, he holds a masters degree in special education. He is working on his doctorate at Northern Arizona University in educational leadership, which he expects to complete within a year.

Ahearn replaces Goettl, a district veteran of 25 years.

"I am both thrilled, honored and humbled by the work that Elizabeth Goettl has done," Ahearn said. "In my opinion (she's) the best in the country."

Goettl leaves CFSD to accept a new position as President of San Miguel High School, a catholic, college preparatory school for disadvantaged students.

The school, 6601 S. San Fernando Road, near Valencia and South 12th Avenue, caters to students who have not graduated high school or attended college, Goettl said.

The students attend classes four days a week and spend the fifth day in the work place, she said.

"They're getting real, authentic work experience. And it also helps support the cost of their education," she said.

The students' employers pay a salary that goes to the cost of their classes, she said.

Goettl will always think fondly of her time at CFSD, but wants to move on and begin working in a field she believes strongly in, she said.

The Latino high school drop out rate in Arizona is 50 percent, something that San Miguel High School is trying to address. And Goettl said she believes that the school prepares today's youth for a better education and higher paying jobs, she said.

Goettl is spending her last days at CFSD working on a professional development summer workshop for teachers, which will run through the month of June.

CFSD Board Member Carole Siegler said she will miss Goettl and the leadership she brought to the district.

"She's not going to be replaced, we'll find someone to do what she's doing," Siegler said. "She's going to be sorely missed in this district. (She) led us well."

Board Member Cliff Altfeld said he understands Goettl's desire to move on in her career and work with a less affluent district.

"Hopefully, it's driven by a personal calling, something we couldn't compete with," he said.

Altfeld said Goettl could run any school if she wanted to, because she has "the confidence that can actually get the job done."

As the final days within the CFSD pass by, Goettl reflects fondly on years past.

"I've had a fabulous experience here," she said. "It's always hardest to leave the people in a good organization."

The district is accepting applications through June 14 for the vacant Canyon View Elementary School principal position.

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