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Pack says he’s ready for new challenge

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

RIFLE, Colorado ” Gary Pack was jovial as he spoke about his decision in accepting a new position with the Princeton School District in Cincinnati, Ohio Friday.

But it was a decision that came with mixed feelings, he said.

“It’s bittersweet,” Pack said. “This is an opportunity for me and my wife to be geographically closer to family, and assist a very good district that presents new challenges and opportunities.”

Pack had said in an earlier Post Independent article that he was looking for job opportunities that would take him closer to where his family resides, but said recently that that alone was not the main issue.

“It’s not been a factor until recently,” Pack admitted. “But this is a great opportunity for someone else to come into a great school district and do some great things.”

Pack will attend a reception on June 4, in Ohio for the staff of the Princeton School to meet him. It will mark the beginning of another chapter in Pack’s extensive career that spans more than 35 years in education. And he leaves Re-2 without any regrets.

“Regrets? No,” Pack said. “I think everything has been very positive and proactive during my seven years here. There is very little regret.”

Pack noted that the one non-work related regret will be leaving behind all the friendships that he has made during those years.

“There comes a time that if you are going to leave, you have to make a decision,” Pack said. “But you leave behind many friends and great relationships that you’ve gained throughout the community.”

Pack came to Re-2 as the superintendent in 2001 from Kentucky where he held a superintendent position. In all, this will be Pack’s fourth superintendent job he’s held in the past 16 years. Before becoming a superintendent, Pack taught history and social sciences in Kentucky and Tennessee. He also has 19 years of experience as a principal and also worked as chief of staff for the Kentucky Department of Education before moving to Colorado.

Preparing to leave, Pack said he believes he has accomplished all he set out to do when he first arrived to a very different Re-2 district in 2001.

“It was a much different place then,” Pack said. “We’ve gotten a lot of diversity and a lot of growth in the seven years I’ve been here.”

During that time, Re-2 has grown from approximately 2,800 students to more than 5,000 students next year, according to Pack. The district has also seen about $150 million in construction projects funded through bond issues and mill-levy increases to keep staff pay competitive during Pack’s time.

The school district also added a second high school with Coal Ridge joining Rifle in the district.

He feels that he has left the district in pretty good shape for the next superintendent. But he’s quick to note those who have helped him along the way.

“I feel that I’ve accomplished these things with help of the school board,” Pack said. “This community that we serve are more than fortunate with the people that they have on the school board and with the staff at their schools.”


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