Cherry Creek Schools superintendent will retire; 4 largest state districts now without top leaders

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GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. — Cherry Creek Schools Superintendent Scott Siegfried will retire at the end of the school year, he announced to the district on Friday.

Siegfried’s departure means the four largest school districts in Colorado — Denver, Cherry Creek, Jeffco, and Douglas County — have had superintendents announce their departure this school year.

Denver’s Susana Cordova left the district last month. Jeffco’s Jason Glass left at the beginning of the school year, and Douglas County’s Thomas Tucker stepped down in September.

Interim superintendents have been put in place at each district as school boards continue their search for permanent replacements.

In Cherry Creek, Siegfried wrote in a letter Friday that he and his wife, Laura, “contemplated the right moves for our family” over the Thanksgiving and winter holidays and decided it was time for him to retire.

“It has been an honor to serve the CCSD staff, students and community over the last three decades,” Siegfried wrote. “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. 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.”

The Cherry Creek school board said in a statement that Siegfried “has demonstrated a deep and total commitment to doing what is best for all students.”

“This year of unprecedented challenge has been no different,” the board statement said. “We are grateful for Dr. Siegfried’s courageous leadership and tireless dedication during this pandemic. 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.”

Siegfried first joined Cherry Creek as a student teacher in 1995. He also served as an assistant principal and principal at the middle school level before joining the district office. He was named superintendent in 2018.

Siegfried’s announcement comes at a challenging time for Cherry Creek Schools, and all Colorado educators. Many large districts have planned to bring students back to in-person classes this semester, and Cherry Creek began bringing secondary students back on a hybrid model this month.

But with COVID-19 cases still high, frequent quarantines have led to classroom disruptions. This week, 809 students and 92 staffers in the Cherry Creek district were under quarantine due to close contacts with COVID-19 positive cases. Over the last week, 40 groups of students or staff were forced to go into quarantine.