Mr. Stephen Hoel, Blue Mountain Elementary Principal
A: My first name is pronounced Stef-in and my last name is pronounced Hole…like a hole in the ground. That being said, my feelings are never hurt when somebody messes it up. I can count on one hand the number of times in my entire life somebody I just met has pronounced either of them correctly! I get “Steven” almost all the time. My favorite is Stefan like the Saturday Night Live character!! Makes me sound way cooler than I am!!!
Q: What is your background?
A: You know those “Most Interesting Man in the World” commercials? Well I am the opposite of that!! Other than spending a couple of summers in Las Vegas when my mom lived there, I have never lived more than 50 miles from Longmont. I have 2 brothers and 2 sisters. Growing up, my dad owned his own business in Longmont and I spent lots of my time working there or for one of several farmers around the area. I grew up in Mead and went to school with basically the same 60 kids from Kindergarten through 9th grade. I graduated from Skyline High School in the early 90’s and did both my undergrad and grad school work at UNC in Greeley. I started working at Northridge Elementary right after college and worked there for 4 years teaching 2nd and 4th grades. I was a part of the team that opened Fall River Elementary where I taught 2nd grade again. Next I was the assistant principal and then the principal of Prairie Ridge Elementary. After 4 years there, I was asked to move to Rocky Mountain Elementary to try to bring some stability to that community. I was the principal at Rocky for the last 9 years.
My wife Christi and I have been married for over 20 years and we have two children. My son Camden is 17 and will be a senior this year at Skyline. My daughter Chandler will be 13 in a couple of weeks and is an 8th grader at Coal Ridge Middle School. The 4 of us and our two dogs live in Frederick.
Q: Why did you want to come to Blue Mountain?
A: I chose to come to Blue Mountain because of its reputation as an innovative school. The work my staff did at my previous school over the last 3 years really changing the instructional approach was the most rewarding, fun, fulfilling work of my career. When I started to get that itch for something new, I looked for a place that was really ahead of the curve in terms of engaging and purposeful instruction. Blue Mountain’s focus on science and inquiry and recent exploration of things like Design Thinking and Genius Hour are really what encouraged me to apply and what has me so excited to get started!
Q: What changes should we expect this year?
A: I wouldn’t expect any big changes. This is an excellent school and an amazing staff. I hope to spend this year learning more about how our school works and building relationships with staff and families.
Q: What do you do for fun?
A: I love spending time with my family and friends. We usually do 4-5 big camping trips each year in different places in Colorado and Wyoming. I also really enjoy live music and try to get to as many shows as I can each year. My wife and I try to get out on our motorcycle as many times as we can; often just for day rides but occasionally for longer trips. My falls are filled officiating high school football games basically from Brighton to Ft. Collins. My winters and springs are spent in gyms all over the state cheering on my daughter’s volleyball team. I have an off and on relationship with the gym in my never-ending battle to outrun my fork!!
Q: What is one thing that families should know about you?
A: I will do my absolute best every day to take care of your children while they are at school and make sure they feel loved and cared for while they learn the things they need to learn.