East Grand School District welcomes new Superintendent Brad Ray
Brad Ray began his tenure as superintendent of East Grand School District on July 1 after the district hired him in February. He finished his time as superintendent of Garfield County School District 16 at the end of June.
Ray announced his resignation from District 16 in November 2021 to give the district time to find a replacement by the end of the school year. He said he knew it was the right time to make a move and he fell in love with East Grand after he interviewed for the position.
“Just the amount of talent, from every department, to classrooms to administrators,” Ray said. “I was just extremely impressed with the amount of talent that is here in East Grand.”
Ray spent four years as superintendent of Garfield County School District 16, which serves 6,500 students in Parachute and Battlement Mesa, before resigning last year. He also served as assistant superintendent for that district, Garfield Re-2 and Roaring Fork Schools
With their youngest child starting college this fall, Ray said he and Chris, his wife of 29 years, became empty nesters open to starting something new. Chris will have a role in the district as well, as a special education teacher at East Grand Middle School.
The Ohio native mentioned the first day of school as one of the things he is most excited about.
“Watching the kids carry in their school supplies and having a chance to interact,” Ray said. “Trying to find the time to get out and do that is a challenge, but it’s something that I really look forward to.”
Anxious to “get rolling with the kids,” Ray said he prioritizes getting to know the students. He said he tries to make it to one game, match or meet for every sports team and enjoyed cooking hot dogs at the Granby Elementary School back to school night Aug. 18.
“I can tell you,” Ray said. “We went through 320 hot dogs.”
As he enters into his first school year as the East Grand superintendent, Ray said he’s been amazed by the collegiality of the people who have helped him along the way.
“It’s tough to be the new guy sometimes,” Ray said. “People have been great, and that’s not just the school district. From everybody I meet in business, partners and stakeholders in the community, all of them. Nothing but gracious and kind, and I thoroughly appreciate it.”
Ray said East Grand’s current construction projects, including a new Granby Elementary School, get him excited.
“The community’s investing in something (for) long after I’m gone,” he said. “I have to ensure that we do the best we possibly can to get the best learning environments we can.”
A back-to-school meeting with faculty and staff gave Ray a chance to get feedback from staff on what the district does well and where it can improve. Ray praised his predecessor Frank Reeves for the work he did over his six years as superintendent.
“Frank did a wonderful job while he was here and has set things up very nice,” Ray said. “We still have room to improve, as always, but the people here are absolutely amazing.”
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