Hot Sheet

State senator, congressman, political Renaissance man — and now, headmaster

Author: Dan Njegomir - January 31, 2018 - Updated: January 31, 2018

635684416178665500-LibertyCommonHS-12-of-70-.jpg
Bob Schaffer’s latest calling: headmaster of Liberty Common School in Fort Collins. (Photo courtesy Liberty Common School)

He began his political career at 25, in 1987, as the youngest Coloradan ever to serve in the state Senate. A Republican and unflinching conservative, he went from the legislature to three terms in the U.S. House, representing Colorado’s 4th Congressional District. After a stint in the private sector, it was back to the campaign trail for two runs for the U.S. Senate. Next, he put in a distinguished tenure on the State Board of Education. Along the way he was one of Colorado’s most ardent advocates for education reform and a linchpin in the school choice movement. You could say it’s the résumé of a political Renaissance man.

And yet, Bob Schaffer’s most rewarding career experience may be the years he has spent at Fort Collins’s distinguished Liberty Common School. It’s one of the state’s consistently highest-performing public charter schools, and Schaffer and wife Maureen were among its founding parents. As he told us in a profile last year:

…I regard being part of this organization to be among the highest privileges I’ve ever enjoyed.  I love being around the students.  I love teaching.  I love handing out prestigious diplomas at the end of the year to college-bound students – many of whom are empowered by full-tuition scholarships and enough college credits earned in high school to enroll as college sophomores, sometimes juniors.

This week, the school announced Schaffer was being promoted from his longtime post as principal over the K-12 program’s high school to headmaster of the entire program, serving some 1,100 students. From a press announcement on the promotion:

…As headmaster, he will oversee management of the school’s overall K-12 mission, provide increased support for Liberty’s foundational philosophy and Core Knowledge curriculum, and effectively implement the Board of Directors’ strategic plan.

Patrick Albright, Chairman of Liberty Common School’s Board of Directors said, “Under Mr. Schaffer’s leadership, Liberty Common High School has become one of the very top schools in the state and the nation. Broadening Mr. Schaffer’s leadership and vision across both of our campuses will improve our tradition of providing excellence in education to all of our students.”

Said Schaffer in the school’s press release:

“…I’m excited about being able to double my interaction with local parents, over the entire primary- and secondary-school spectrum, who are empowered by choice in public education, an ambitious classical curriculum, and the highest academic expectations for their kids.”

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir is the opinion editor for Colorado Politics. A longtime journalist and more-than-25-year veteran of the Colorado political scene, Njegomir has been an award-winning newspaper reporter, an editorial page editor, a senior legislative staffer at the State Capitol and a political consultant.