Skip to Content

Former Vista Ridge High Athletic Director was working without license required by law

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- 13 Investigates has learned an Athletic Director who suddenly separated from Falcon District 49 was working for more than a year and a half without an active principal's license as required by Colorado law.

State records show Brandon Monson, who started working at Vista Ridge High School as an Assistant Principal and Athletic Director in 2019, did not renew his principal's license after it expired on January 20, 2020. Records show Monson held an active principal's license with the state for five years before it expired, according to state education records.

Monson was one of four educators working in the administration office at Vista Ridge High School that suddenly separated from the school district this week. District 49 officials haven't answered questions around why the three assistant principals and a secretary abruptly left and wouldn't be returning.

A spokesperson for Falcon School District 49 confirms that an Athletic Director who works for D49 is required to hold an active principal's license with the State of Colorado. The spokesperson would not confirm to 13 Investigates if D49 officials knew about Monson's expired license because it was a personnel issue.

The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) says school districts are notified yearly if there are educators working with an expired or inactive license.

"The accountability measure really lives within that district leadership," Colleen O'Neill with CDE told 13 Investigates.

While holding an active license is state law, O'Neill says that district officials and individual educators are responsible for ensuring that proper licensing is active.

"If a district requires a license, and that Board of Education requires licensed district personnel, especially if leadership, have chosen to ignore that, there are repercussions that could go against that own individual's license, or the board may choose their own local board of education could choose to take action for basically not following through on the Board of Education rules," O'Neill said.

It's unclear if Falcon District 49 Board of Education took any action related to Monson's expired license. CDE said despite being Colorado law, there aren't any immediate consequences for educators or districts for failure to hold proper licenses.

"There are no other consequences from the state, at this time." "Over the course of time like over multiple years, that could begin to impact the accountability, accreditation funding models, right, because the state laws are tied to funding as well. And the state law is that a principal or an assistant principal is supposed to have a license unless that is waived," O'Neill said.

If you have a tip or lead you want our team to investigate, email us at 13Investigates@krdo.com.

Chelsea Brentzel

Chelsea is an investigative reporter for KRDO NewsChannel 13. Learn more about Chelsea here.

Comments

18 Comments

    1. Actually, this IS a real issue, and quite relevant. This is no different than a doctor or nurse failing to keep current on their CEs, thus leading to their licenses to lapse/expire. The same thing with a contractor who fails to maintain their licensure. Can any such individual still provide good services? Probably so, but who would want to take a chance with such an individual? That license is their livelihood; who in their right mind would allow their license to lapse, thus placing their employment in jeopardy, not to mention the legal ramifications resulting from practicing without a (valid) license?

  1. Very real issue. Accountability, especially for sports programs, is huge.

    Your yawn parallels the districts and the schools resolve.

    Yawn

    1. Teacher and admin licensing requirements do not increase accountability. They actually can make accountability more difficult, as a bad teacher or coach or administrator that the community would like to fire can use these empty credentials to fight the dismissal. You see an example here of using the lapsed credential to justify a firing on obviously other grounds, if he has done something egregious but had renewed his license it would have been harder to dismiss him.

      1. Wrong on all accounts. A teacher’s licensure status has nothing to do with dismissal. Administrators are at-will employees with no due process rights, and can be fired without a word being written. Again, Marie, you are clueless.

  2. KRDO filter is obviously sick of me, unable to post a comment, but the short answer is licensing is just a barrier to entry scam the keep the pool of folks competing for staff jobs artificially small and decrease pressure to do a good job or do it for reasonable pay. KRDO should look up this guy’s salary, if it’s typical of admin it’s likely about twice the median *household* income for our area. In any case, whatever internal squabble is going on this is clearly something thrown out to justify the dismissal but unlikely to be related to the cause.

    1. The filter used by the comment provider is poorly coded when it comes to “dirty words”. It apparently looks for specific letter combinations that just happen to be incorporated in perfectly proper words. Some of these letter combinations that I have uncovered include (letters spelled out): ALPHA SIERRA SIERRA, TANGO INDIA TANGO, CHARLIE UNIFORM MIKE, and PAPA ROMEO INDIA CHARLIE KILO. Basically, just think back to the naughty words used back on the middle & high school yards. Unfortunately, it flags perfectly good words such as P@ss, Consti_tution, Scu_m, and Pric_kly.

        1. Known root derivative words I have come across to date, not mentioning the ones already mentioned above by RMC SS,
          Boy Union Mary
          Adam Nora Adam Lincoln
          Boy Adam Lincoln Lincoln

          1. Also included are:
            P o r n o
            B u t t
            T u r d
            S p i c
            It’s amazing how many normal words these are part of.

    2. So you’re saying that the school probably knew that he didn’t renew and was doing something wrong? His non renewal made it easier to fire him? I guess that makes sense. It seems like there is something bigger going on, I agree. I read he was fired from a principal position before being hired at Vista. Either way, sounds like the school gambled and lost. It’s just unfortunate for the kids and parents of the athletes who are trying to compete and develop themselves. To me that shows a lack of accountability on his behalf and is a very bad example set for the athletes. No apologies or remorse. Selfish and sad.

    3. Again, Marie, everything you just said is a joke. The MHI in El Paso County is $70,000. Mr. Monson’s salary is $79,000. All this is public information. The MHI in D49 is $64,000. You sit on a throne of made-up lies.

      1. Was working with numbers from memory, so let’s look it up instead.

        Here’s the pay schedule for D49 admin.

        So let me revise to say he seems to have a salary of about $90,000 (and will also have significant benefits); the median United States personal (not household) income is about $60,000. I’ll take your word for it that the D49 household median is $64,000. So not twice, a little less than 1 1/2 times the local average for an entire household, or just at 150% of the U.S. median income for one person. You have crushed my argument. Have a good night.

        https://www.d49.org/site/handlers/filedownload.ashx?moduleinstanceid=56494&dataid=88726&FileName=Admin%20Schedule%2021-22.pdf

        https://www.statista.com/statistics/303555/us-per-capita-personal-income/

      2. Links are awaiting moderation.

        Was working with numbers from memory, so let’s look it up instead. Here’s the pay schedule for D49 admin. So let me revise to say he seems to have a salary of about $90,000 (and will also have significant benefits); the median United States personal (not household) income is about $60,000. I’ll take your word for it that the D49 household median is $64,000. So not twice, a little less than 1 1/2 times the local average for an entire household, or just at 150% of the U.S. median income for one person. You have crushed my argument. Have a good night.

  3. “And the state law is that a principal or an as sistant principal is supposed to have a license unless that is waived”
    Many licenses renewals that are not critical were waived or postponed because of COVID. Could this of been one of them? I don’t think I would freak out if a principal’s license was expired but they kept working. Now the nurse or doctor in surgery….

Comments are closed.

Skip to content