Cherry Creek school superintendent will retire after spring semester

Another large Colorado school district soon will begin searching for a new superintendent.

Scott Siegfried, the leader of the Cherry Creek School District, announced his plans to retire Friday, citing the impact of a tumultuous, pandemic-laden school year. He will retire after the spring semester, according to a note sent to families.

“I never saw myself serving in the role of superintendent for an extended time. However, I would be disingenuous if I didn’t say that the last year has had an impact on myself and my family,” Siegfried said in his note. “As a father, I have always taught my own kids to do what they love, and when they no longer find joy in their job, to do something else — a lesson I learned from someone important in my professional career. It is time for me to prioritize my family and to create the opportunity for someone else to bring their joy and passion to this role.”

Siegfried stepped into the superintendent position in 2018, after spending more than 20 years as an educator and administrator in the Cherry Creek system. The board of education is now working to develop a process to select a new superintendent.

“We are grateful for Dr. Siegfried’s courageous leadership and tireless dedication during this pandemic,” the board said in a statement. “While we wish that he could stay on in the role to continue leading our district, we also honor and respect his decision to prioritize his family and retire at the end of this school year.”

Cherry Creek, the state’s fourth-largest district, is just the latest to begin the hunt for a leader amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has upended nearly every aspect of the education experience. While superintendent turnover is inevitable year to year, experts expect it to be higher than average due to the unprecedented challenges of the global health crisis.

Siegfried’s announcement means Colorado’s four largest districts need to find permanent superintendents before next school year. Last fall, Susana Cordova (Denver Public Schools), Jason Glass (Jeffco Public Schools) and Thomas Tucker (Douglas County School District) announced their resignations.

In total, the top four districts serve more than 285,000 public school students, according to 2020-2021 enrollment figures from the Department of Education.

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