Kremmling " West Grand School District bids adieu to former Superintendent Jeff Perry |

Kremmling " West Grand School District bids adieu to former Superintendent Jeff Perry

Grand County, Colorado
Katie Looby/ Sky-Hi Daily News

Community members, colleagues, staff and students said goodbye to West Grand Superintendent Jeff Perry and wished him luck at his going away party in Kremmling on Thursday.

It was his last day at the district.

Board of Education member Gary Bumgarner came to the party and said Perry is leaving the district in better shape than when he arrived.

“He had a vision for this district,” he said. “He gave his all while he was here.”

Martha Schake, West Grand finance director, enjoyed watching Perry with the kids and said they’re comfortable with him and look in his office to see if he’s there.

“He’s a great superintendent,” she said. “We’ll miss (Perry) tremendously. He’s just done a great deal.”

The new West Grand PK-8 School, West Grand High School roof, skate park, concession stand and press box projects “are just a few of the things he’s done,” she said.

The West Grand PK-8 School provides educational opportunities for students, Perry said.

“The aesthetics of it, the functionality of it, all of those things have really come together,” he said. “We’ve created a wonderful place to work and learn.

“The biggest thing this community offers is the small community, and the bond ” we know the kids. We take a great interest in them personally. This whole community has a lot to offer. It’s a real neat place to grow up and raise kids.”

Hardships the district may face could be a result of the economic situation.

“It’s always an issue in terms of looking at how you provide the best education opportunities and still remain in budget,” Perry added.

Larry Banman, Board of Education president who has served on the board for five years while Perry was superintendent, also attended the party.

“He made our job easy in that he did a lot of research and then presented us options so we could make informed decisions,” he said. “He had a clear vision of what was best for kids. Sometimes we went places that were uncomfortable, but those were the places that we experienced the greatest growth.”

Examples he gave of the board pushing forward instead of pulling back were on the bond issue and renovation of old school buildings.

“He cared about the community and was a tireless worker,” Banman added. “His grant writing brought literally millions (of dollars) into the district.”

Perry also enjoyed working with the staff.

“It’s just a good group of people who work here,” he said. “This has been one of the greatest places I have ever worked. The people here have been extremely friendly. They’ve always been really receptive to our needs.”

Perry is also looking forward to what’s to come ” moving back to Virginia and living near family and friends. When he and his wife were in Virginia last weekend to look for houses, there was a sign up that said “welcome back home Dr. Jeff Perry.” He also watched a football game with friends he graduated with, and they had sons on the team.

He will take on new responsibility as superintendent of the Wise County Public Schools in Virginia, a district with about 7,000 students.

“It’s a much bigger district so I’m kind of excited about that,” he said. “I’m excited about the prospect of maybe doing some construction there.”

Until then, he is enjoying his last days with the people he has gotten to know over the years.

“I really appreciate all the things that this community has done to help make this school district successful,” Perry said. “Everything that we have done has been a direct result of a lot of people coming together to make things happen.”

” Katie Looby covers government and education for the Sky-Hi Daily News. You may reach her at 887-3334 ext. 19601 or

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