Top of the executive ‘Hill’

Though most have heard of the word, many people, especially students, are unaware of what defines a superintendent. Some students might know that they work for the school district, and some might even know what they do, but many are unaware of the significance of the superintendent in our school district. 

According to an article from the Mesa County Valley School District 51 posted in March 2021, current superintendent Dr. Diana Sirko is retiring at the end of the 2022 school year. The statement continues that Dr. Brian Hill, as “the absolute best candidate,” will replace Sirko as superintendent.

Many students do not know what this means for the district or what could change when Hill takes over.

“I think most students know the superintendent presides over the day to day operations but besides that, most students have no idea what they do,” said Drew Woytek, GJHS senior. It is hard to understand what a superintendent does since most students never interact with them.

“The superintendent oversees day to day activities including teachers and what goes on in the classroom as well as all the other decisions involved in running a school district,” said Chelsea Kraniak, GJHS science teacher. 

According to the same March 2021 article, Dr. Hill, before being hired by D51 in 2019, served 11 years in the Austin Independent School District (AISD) in Austin, Texas. Working with the AISD, Hill eventually became special assistant to the superintendent. The article states that since Hill has been hired by D51, he has only impressed the board as assistant superintendent.

“I actually didn’t know [the superintendent position] would be open when I came here,” said Dr. Hill, “so I’m excited.”

Dr. Hill told us he and his wife moved here from Texas because he loved the area and community, but he never expected to become superintendent. However, the position is not without its challenges.

“I try as much as I can to be in school,” said Hill. He continued to explain that, being superintendent, it can be hard to stay close and connected to students.

“The decisions we make at the central office level have a big impact on what happens at schools,” said Hill, “and what happens at the schools is the most important thing.” Furthermore, Hill wants to reintroduce a superintendent-student advisory group that meets weekly or monthly. This is very helpful for the superintendent to stay informed about student issues, but it was difficult the past couple of years because of COVID.

“Myself and my family really love this community and we want to be here for the long haul,” said Dr. Hill. “We still have a lot to do in this district and I want to be here to see it through.”