DEL NORTE — Upper Rio Grande School District Superintendent Chris Burr is stepping down at the conclusion of the 2020-21 school year.
The Upper Rio Grande School District Board of Education allowed Burr to terminate the contract. The move allows Burr to move closer to his family on the East Coast.
“This was a mutual agreement between the school board and Chris and though we are sad to see him go, we understand the need to be close to family,” said Upper Rio Grande School District Board President Neal Walters. “The board and I for one are very proud and happy with how the last five years have gone and everything that we and Chris were able to accomplish. We are going to continue to grow and move toward higher goals in the future. We will never just say that we feel the district is good enough. We will always strive to grow and be better.”
Burr has been with the district for five, going on six years, and in that time has accomplished significant changes within the district including securing a BEST grant for the new school and helping pass a bond for the remaining funding for the new school.
Burr in partnership with the school board and a committee comprised of residents also secured new owners for the old school buildings in Del Norte.
“This can be a positive transition for all involved and I do have plans to finish some of my projects before I leave including the community athletic field that is located next to the school,” said Burr. “I really enjoyed my time here.”
Burr stated in the time he has remaining that he and the board will be meeting with Rio Grande County Commissioners in coming weeks to establish ownership of the property where the athletic field is located. There have been issues pertaining to the proper ownership of the land which was gifted to the school and the county in 1998.
“We have an opportunity for grant funding that would help with the construction of a large and very nice playground on the property, but we can’t move forward with anything until we can sort out the ownership of the land,” Burr said. “The school and school board all agree that there is an opportunity for the community to benefit from an athletic field and we would like to see the issue resolved before I leave.”
The 2020-2021 school year ends in May and the school board is already finalizing details on the procedure they will use to hire a replacement for Burr. Walters stated that the board has already received applications for the district’s lead position. The deadline to apply is April 1.
“It has been a great ride and there will be a lot of things we will miss from this area but as a family, we felt it was time to be closer to home,” said Burr.
More details on both the athletic field and a replacement for Burr will be reported as they come available.