Superintendent splits from West Grand due to ‘philosophical differences’
West Grand Superintendent Darrin Peppard is stepping down from his position with the district.
At a special meeting for the West Grand Board of Education on May 4, the board approved a separation agreement with Peppard and accepted his resignation.
Board President Shawn Lechman said at the meeting that the board and Peppard mutually decided to separate based on “philosophical differences” but did not provide details.
“We felt that at this time that we were in a different place philosophically,” Peppard said over the phone Tuesday. “Probably for both of us, it was best if the board pursue the direction they want to go and I pursue the direction I want to go — but not at West Grand.”
Peppard declined to go into specifics about the differences. He will stay on with the district through June 30 working from outside the office.
According to the separation and settlement agreement, Peppard will continue to receive his regular monthly compensation through the end of his tenure. He will also receive two severance payments totaling $113,680.
Minutes from a March 30 special meeting outline a school board executive session to discuss the superintendent’s progression. According to meeting minutes, Peppard joined that session 30 minutes in.
Following the executive session, the board unanimously voted to place Peppard on district suspension immediately, pay and benefits included. He remained on suspension until May 4’s special meeting.
Peppard said that he is now on paid administrative leave but is still working and supporting the district for a number of projects through June 30.
The superintendent has been with West Grand for four years. Peppard said that during his tenure he was most proud of building opportunities for students outside the classroom, like through the Homegrown Talent Initiative.
“During my time at West Grand, we worked very hard to build a positive culture,” he said.
He also noted his pride in helping to bring the early childhood center to West Grand, successfully obtaining a number of large grants like the $792,998 from the state’s RISE Education Fund, and improving collaboration with the East Grand School District.
Peppard said he would be moving out of education leadership into a consulting and speaking role for leaders around the country thanks to the traction that has grown following the publication of his first book, “Road to Awesome.”
He added that he hopes to stay in Grand County.
Peppard and West Grand splitting ways comes after East Grand Superintendent Frank Reeves announced his retirement earlier this year. Reeves will stay on with the East Grand School District for a transition year through June 30, 2022.
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