Garfield District 16 welcomes Ray as next superintendent |

Garfield District 16 welcomes Ray as next superintendent

Alex Zorn

Brad Ray named superintendent of Garfield School District 16.
Provided |

In what was a shift and an easy search, Brad Ray will take over as superintendent of Garfield County School District 16 after serving as the assistant superintendent for one year. District 16 finalized the hiring at Tuesday’s meeting.

Ray will take over for Ken Haptonstall, who attended his last school board meeting Tuesday.

“I think I speak for this entire community in saying thank you very much for all of your hard work and efforts over the years here at this school district,” said Kevin Coleman, president of the Garfield County School District 16 Board of Education, of former superintendent Ken Haptonstall’s time with the district. “I want you to know you’ve effected change on a grand-scale for a lot of years. You’ve given kids that wanted them the tools that they needed to be successful in life.”

Haptonstall is leaving District 16 to become superintendent of more than 22,000 students in Grand Junction District 51.

“It’s been a lot of fun, and I will definitely miss the small-town community,” he said of his time with District 16. “It really feels like a family, and we’ve done a lot of really cool things to enhance kids’ learning here.”

During the meeting Ray immediately acknowledged Haptonstall’s important work with the district, stating that he will be a “real tough act to follow.”

“I’ve been fortunate to learn from several superintendents during my teaching and administrative career,” he said. “I am humbled by the opportunity to work in this community and am very aware of the responsibilities this job holds.”

While Ray has served as assistant superintendent for the Garfield School District Re-2 as well as District 16, this will be his first time as superintendent. He was the principal at Bea Underwood Elementary for two years before becoming assistant superintendent last year.

With Ray taking over, the search for the new assistant superintendent will have to wait. While the school district had 16 candidates for the position, four of which were interviewed, it elected to hold off the search and continue it again in December.

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