Frank Reeves leaves East Grand School District better than he found it
At any East Grant School District event with a grill, Superintendent Frank Reeves was always flipping the burgers.
That is one of the many things School Board President Ed Raegner and the rest of the East Grand community will miss about the superintendent, who’s retiring at the end of this month.
“Lot of feathers in Frank’s hat,” Raegner said. “If you go into the backcountry ethics of ‘Leave it better than you found it,’ I would certainly say Frank can look back at his time at East Grand and say we’ve taken a lot of steps with him in the lead.”
Reeves has spent 33 years in education with his last six as East Grand’s superintendent. He came to East Grand after four years as superintendent at a small district on the eastern plains, looking for somewhere that could offer more opportunities to students.
Reeves said he initially wasn’t going to apply for the position after seeing some of the divisiveness of the time, but a friend talked him into giving it a try. He was selected as a finalist and, after touring the schools, realized that it was perfect for him.
“I said, ‘This is the place I want to be,’” Reeves said. “Once you got into the schools and figured out the opportunities and the things our schools do for kids on top of great academics, it was like, ‘Oh yeah, I want this job.’”
Reeves was tasked with helping bring the community together and making sure everyone felt heard, Raegner recalled. Reeves worked on the district’s brand to get out the word about the work going on at the school.
He also helped to bring the Homegrown Talent Initiative and Career and Technical Education programs to the schools, leading the way with project-based learning — something many Colorado school districts are just starting to do.
What stands out during Reeves’ time at East Grand is the COVID-19 pandemic and the East Troublesome Fire. It wasn’t easy, but Reeves said that it was during those times he also felt proudest of the district.
“While there are horrible moments in life, it showed what’s great about being here and what’s great about the people here,” he said.
Raegner said he was proud of how the district navigated such a fraught and often divisive time in a district where opinions about things like masking were often split down the middle. He credited that in part to Reeves’ approach to decision-making.
“I will say this: I think this is a very important thing I’ve taken away from my time with Frank: Whenever you make a decision, at the school level you really have to put what is best for the kids as the first parameter as you’re paring through decisions,” Raegner said. “That’s something that Frank always brought to every discussion and certainly lived that.”
Reeves was also an integral part in helping the district pass a mill levy override for teacher raises and, the next year, a bond to help build some much needed improvements, including a new elementary school. Reeves said that seeing that community trust grow over the years was one of the most rewarding parts for him.
“I wouldn’t say I have any control over this, but over the past six years the amount of scholarship money our seniors have gotten from the local community has grown immensely to the point where this year it was over $200,000,” he said. “That’s a source of pride because our community seems to trust us and trust what we’re doing, and has faith that our kids are going to leave here and be successful.”
Reeves is planning to stay in Granby, and his wife will continue working at Granby Elementary School. He’s excited to see what East Grand does in the future, and he’s confident that the district will only get better.
“We have such a good leadership team and staff,” he said. “I’m excited to see where they go. I just think we become a better overall district every year and to watch that continue to grow is exciting to me.”
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