Steamboat Superintendent Brad Meeks to retire at end of school year
Meeks has been with the district for 11 years
Steamboat Springs Superintendent Brad Meeks will retire at the end of the school year after 11 years with the district and 39 years in education.
In a letter to staff and parents on Thursday, April 28, Meeks wrote that he was confident in the direction of the district, which made him confident in his decision to retire.
“After 39 years, you start thinking about it,” Meeks said. “You always want to leave the district in a strong position for your successor to come and build on that, and it just seemed like the timing was right to make that decision.”
Meeks came to Steamboat in 2011 after serving as superintendent of the Farmington School District in central Minnesota. During his time in Steamboat, the district has routinely been ranked as one of the best in Colorado, most recently being labeled ninth best by Fox 31 in Denver.
Meeks didn’t want to compare the district now to where it was when he entered the fold in 2011 — “I guess others can do that,” he said — but said he is proud of how the district has built strong systems to support education while also paying attention to issues in the community.
“Whether it’s broadband or housing or child care or whatever the issue, the district has shown a willingness to be in the room dealing with these larger community issues,” Meeks said.
During his time as superintendent, voters have approved multiple property tax increases to support all-day kindergarten, repair and upgrade facilities, and increase teacher pay. In 2019, voters approved a nearly $80 million bond that has or will fund improvements at all of the district’s buildings and built a new school on the west side of Steamboat Springs. Sleeping Giant School, serving students from pre-k to eighth grade, opened last fall.
“(Meeks) has led with distinction and grace, guiding us through significant growth and unprecedented challenges while maintaining a high standard,” School Board President Katy Lee said in a statement. “His legacy is reflected in the thousands of children in our community who have benefited from his calm and steady leadership.”
While confident in his decision, Meeks said leaving his post will be bittersweet.
“You miss the people. You miss the students. You miss the energy of school,” Meeks said. “One of the first things that strikes you is the energy, the buzz that’s in the building. Schools are exciting places to be.”
In his letter, Meeks thanked the community for welcoming him in 2011. He said he doesn’t plan on leaving anytime soon, as he and his family love living in the Yampa Valley.
“We’re not going anywhere,” Meeks said. “I’m looking forward to seeing where the district goes in the next 10 years. I think it’s an exciting time.”
To reach Dylan Anderson, call 970-871-4247 or email danderson@SteamboatPilot.com.
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In a survey earlier this month, 90% of teachers at Steamboat Springs High School that responded said they don’t have faith in the leadership of Principal Rick Elertson, according to the Steamboat Springs Education Association.