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STEM School Highlands Ranch announced Tuesday its head of the elementary school will take over the executive director position. 

Lynann Kovalesky was named interim executive director through the fall of this year while current Executive Director Penny Eucker transitions to oversee the KOSON Schools network, which includes STEM. 

“It is both an honor and a privilege to assume the role of executive director at STEM,” Kovalesky said in a statement. “I have had the opportunity to work with all of our stakeholders over the last 3 years and know that we have an extremely passionate community of individuals that want what is absolutely best for our learners. STEM is unlike any other school.”

Kovalesky was one of three named finalists, though STEM said the original candidate pool included more than 50 applicants. Kovalesky has been serving as the director of STEM’s elementary classes, as well as a leader in building parent trust. She has been at the school since spring 2019.

Prior to her time at STEM, Kovalesky taught and held administrative positions at schools in Arizona, such as assistant principal of Marana Unified School District and several roles at DeGrazia Elementary School.

Eucker cited Kovalesky’s history with STEM, strong relationships with parents and students, and efforts to reduce teacher turnover as some of the main reasons she rose to the top of the applicant pool.

“I have full confidence that she will continue to unite our community, ensure that we are operating at the highest level, and make all efforts to continue STEM’s forward momentum to return to being one of the premier STEM schools in the state and in the country,” Eucker said in a statement.

Eucker, who started in the job in the 2011-12 school year, will be taking over as CEO of KOSON Schools, a new network of charter schools inspired by the STEM model. Currently, STEM is in the process of applying to replicate the school in Denver for grades kindergarten through fifth and in Sterling Ranch for kindergarten through high school.