JEFFERSON COUNTY - For years, Frank DeAngelis has been the face for Columbine High School. He has been a shoulder to lean on. Last fall, he announced his retirement. Wednesday, the school announced his successor.
"Frank DeAngelis is of course synonymous with Columbine," Dr. K.C. Somers, new Columbine Principal, said.
Somers is currently the principal of Blue Heron Elementary School which is in south Jefferson County near Columbine.
"I don't think it's easy go in and replace a Mr. 'D'. It's more of a situation of what's already working," Somers said. "What's there? How do we as a community work together to continue the traditions of excellence and ensure that we're working with all of our students towards future life success."
The news was delievered to to the Columbine community through a letter sent by the Jefferson County School District Executive Director for School Effectiveness, Dan Cohan.
"Dr. Somers has demonstrated his leadership ability as well as his knowledge of, and commitment to, the unique Columbine "Rebel" community. He already has developed strong relationships with many families in the south area and strives for transparency and open and honest dialogue with all stakeholders," Cohan stated in the letter.
DeAngelishas been at Columbine High School for 18 years. He was principal at the time of the school shootings. Since then, he hasbeen a national figure oftencalled upon during other school shootings.
"I think it's important to really understand how unique and special of a place it is," Somerssaid."Certainly with the tragedy and remembering how important and how life-impacting that was for a community and understanding that with that comes a big responsibility."
Somers will host a "meet and greet" with the school community at Columbine High School on March 6. He will officially take over as principal in July.
DeAngelis is only the fifth principal total in the 40-year history of Columbine High School.
"I take that very seriously and look how at the continuity of leadership is tremendously important to Columbine," Somers said. "It's an honor."