DEL NORTE — After several weeks of searching, the Upper Rio Grande School District announced that its Board of Education in partnership with the Superintendent Search Committee chose Aaron Horrocks as the district's new superintendent.
Horrocks has been with the Upper Rio Grande School District for many years, first as a staff member and for the last year as the Del Norte High School principal. Horrocks helped secure several grants throughout his career, including the Concurrent Enrollment Expansion and Innovation Grant through the Colorado Department of Education. Horrocks was one of three finalists in the search for a superintendent and was chosen for his loyalty and familiarity with the district and its students, according to the board and search committee.
Horrocks is taking over for Superintendent Chris Burr at the end of the current school year. He is eager to step into his new role at the school. Burr has been part of the district since 2016. Burr was known for his role in getting the BEST Grant for the new school and helping to repurpose the old school buildings once the new school was built.
When asked what his goals are for the district, Horrocks said, “I think my main goal is first to get the community back into this school and actually take the time to celebrate what we have. We built this amazing school. It was open for less than a year and then COVID hit, and we had to bounce through a really difficult year. We were open, then closed, and so on and it really took a toll on our community and our school. So, I would like to get back to some kind of normal and re-establish our relationship with the community.”
Horrocks also spoke briefly about the ongoing community athletic field project and said his goal of getting the community back into the school works hand in hand with making sure the community feels comfortable with the school owning the athletic field land.
“I know there are some concerns out there that we may fence off or stop the public from using those fields, but that is not the case," he said. "In regards to the school, there are some things we do have to close off to the public for school safety but when it comes to the Del Norte Athletic Fields, that just isn’t the case.”
Horrocks is honored to have the opportunity to serve the Upper Rio Grande School District and surrounding communities.
“I am just simply honored, and I appreciate the opportunity to serve as the new superintendent," he said. "I really do appreciate the chance and yes, I am a little nervous, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t, but I think we have a great opportunity in front of us to grow and strengthen our relationships and partnerships in the community and that is my main goal. I believe this school is set up for success and as long as we all work together as a community and continue to strengthen our relationships, we are going to have a great future ahead of us.”
The district is looking for a new high school principal.