Debbie Critchfield arrived to the State Department of Education at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, her first appearance in the building after yesterday’s workday spent in Idaho Falls visiting schools. The new state superintendent spent close to two hours walking through hallways, offices and cubicles meeting about 100 staffers. The SDE employs at least 130.
“People were very friendly and open and excited about what they do,” Critchfield said. “They want to help kids and so, of course, that just energizes me even more.”
She got her building access badge and parking spot.
Tuesday afternoon, she vowed to spend time planning her next four to six months. The legislative session, which starts Monday and lasts about three months, will take up a big chunk of time. But she said she’s committed to scheduling school visits and cultivating relationships and partnerships in schools and communities across the state.
“It feels like an avalanche,” Critchfield said of the transition. “But it also is really exhilarating.”