Former Parachute educator lands at MPHS as assistant principal |

Former Parachute educator lands at MPHS as assistant principal

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi News
Grand County, CO Colorado
Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi News
Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi News | Sky-Hi News

Brandon Thurston, East Grand School District’s new athletic director and assistant Middle Park High School principal, said he doesn’t find any one sport or activity more important than another.

“I love to watch kids have fun and find success in whatever that means for them,” he said.

The former high school and middle school science teacher at Grand Valley High School in Parachute considers programs such as speech, music and theater on equal footing as football, volleyball, basketball and other sports.

“The way I view my role as AD, activities and athletics both need to be included in the curricular day,” he said.

Thurston hopes under his watch, “all programs will grow with community support as much as possible.”

And nothing supersedes academics; after all, a “student athlete is a student first,” he said.

Thurston is aware of the potential impacts of budget cuts at East Grand and said he is prepared to make educated decisions if the need arises. He plans to be part of the leadership talks on budget, and said he will work hard to “figure out how to maintain as much as possible” and to “minimize the detriment to students.”

His dual responsibility as athletic director and assistant principal means he will be in a position to support both teachers and students. He also will adopt the disciplinary role at the school.

Thurston obtained a master’s degree in education leadership from Mesa State College in Grand Junction after several years of teaching science at Parachute, where he coached middle school football, and earlier teaching at a charter school. Before entering the education profession, Thurston was employed as a hydraulic technician for the Water Resources Division of the United States Geological Survey.

He and his wife of five years, Sahara, have two children, Bryce, 18 months, and Chloe, 3 months, and are living near Granby.

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