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New high school principal named

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By Crystal Nelson

Terry Elliott, chief school effectiveness officer at Jefferson County Public Schools, was named recently to be the first principal at School District 27J’s third high school when it opens in August 2018.

The $89.5 million high school is currently being built at the intersection of 136th Avenue and Yosemite Street in Thornton.

Elliott also was named to serve as acting superintendent for day-to-day operations of Jefferson County Public Schools on Thursday, March 2, according to a press release. Elliott reportedly is not a candidate for superintendent in that district, and he said he's still excited to come to Brighton on his announced start date at the beginning of July.

“While my day-to-day responsibilities in Jeffco will be different from now through June 30th, I remain excited and am enthusiastically looking forward to officially joining the 27J team,” Elliott said. 

Elliott's salary has not been announced. He called the new principal job a “’once in a career’ opportunity to build a school from the ground up,” in a recent letter to the Jeffco Education Association.

Separately, Elliott said he looks forward to working with students and school personnel in School District 27J.

“I am truly excited to be afforded the opportunity to work with the entire 27J team to establish a school in which all students, families, and staff will take great pride,” he said.

The new high school is planned to relieve overcrowding at Brighton and Prairie View high schools. It is being paid for with funds from a $248 million bond approved by voters in November 2016.

Elliott was an achievement director under former Jefferson County Public Schools superintendent Cindy Stevenson and was principal of D’Evelyn Junior/Senior High School in Lakewood from 2010 to 2013. He graduated from Lakewood High School in 1986 and earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Columbia University in 1990. He received a master’s degree in education administration from the University of Phoenix in Denver in 2002.

Elliott’s announcement that he would move to Brighton came about six weeks after the Jeffco school board voted to search for a replacement for Superintendent Dan McMinimee, according to news reports.

Elliott likes to spend time outdoors with his wife in his free time. He enjoy hiking, biking, jogging and snowshoeing.