Garfield School District Re-2 superintendent talks about his job, district |

Garfield School District Re-2 superintendent talks about his job, district

Mike McKibbin
Rifle Correspondent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

RIFLE, Colorado ” Dave Smucker comes from a family of educators, so it seems fitting he assumed the role of superintendent of Garfield School District Re-2 this summer.

Smucker, 48, has been with the district for seven years and was the assistant superintendent prior to his current job. He is married to Nancy and the couple have two children: Chad is a fifth-grader at Rifle Middle School, and Emma is in third grade at Highland Elementary School.

Smucker sat down with The Citizen Telegram on the second day of school to answer a few questions.

“I’d say it’s student achievement and closing the gap we have in that area. We need to provide the resources and staff development to help teachers be successful. I also think teacher retention is critical, too. We have 75 new teachers this year, and that’s partly due to growth and partly due to the fact they come and go.”

The district’s Oct. 1 student count from last year found 4,403 students, a 3.1 percent increase compared to a 6 percent jump the previous school year.

“We opened a new elementary school in New Castle and we have a new elementary in Rifle that will open next fall. The district uses modulars, but those get to be very expensive to operate and maintain.”

“The last bond issue we had was not a tax hike for the voters (due to the industry’s presence and tax money). So the impact is huge.”

“I’d like to turn that around and talk about what I enjoy most about this job. I’m in a position to work with the community, the staff and the great kids we have in this district. We have a lot of professional people and the community involvement we have in our schools really helps us be successful. I look at difficulties as challenges, like getting schools ready to open on time. Elk Creek Elementary is the first school we’ve built that didn’t hit its opening.”

“Every job in education I’ve had in the last 25 years has prepared me for this position. I grew up in a family of educators, my dad was a superintendent in Illinois. I can remember the dinner table conversations that always were about that, so I’m thrilled to be in administration and involved in the community.”

Contact Mike McKibbin at 384-9170 or by e-mail at

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