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Brenda Krage, the 2022 Colorado Superintendent of the Year.

As a 30-year veteran in the education field, Brenda Krage, the 2022 Colorado Superintendent of the Year, understands that the right choice is not always a comfortable one.

“I try really hard to do what’s best for kids, and not necessarily what’s easy,” Krage said.

When she took over as superintendent of Fremont School District RE-2 in 2018, it was clear Krage had her work cut out for her. The rural district’s middle and high schools were at “priority improvement,” the third lowest of four possible performance ratings.

 “It was clear we had some work to do, primarily at the secondary level,” said Krage, who previously served as superintendent of Platte Canyon School District. “We knew we could do better.”

Krage and her staff began by reconfiguring the rural district’s school system. They closed the middle school campus, added preschool and sixth grade to their two elementary schools, and added seventh and eight grade to Florence High School, making it a junior/senior high school.

Krage then went to work on improving the teaching and learning culture in the district, building upon its career and technical education programs and creating preschool programs.

"It was a lot of work," Krage said. "But it was worth it."

The 1,400-student district is still technically at “priority improvement” because the Colorado Department of Education instituted a freeze on performance ratings due to COVID-19. But Krage said her efforts have had a tangible effect on the district.

“Judging from our internal information, and the data points we have access to, we’re very confident that those ratings would improve,” she said.

The Colorado Association of School Executives appears to agree. A selection committee of superintendents and former award winners unanimously selected Krage as the 2022 Colorado Superintendent of the Year.

“Dr. Krage is highly regarded among her peers regionally and across the state for her work as a superintendent and for her service to the profession,” said Platte Valley School District superintendent Glenn McClain, who led the interview and selection process. “The committee was inspired by the way she has transformed Fremont Re-2 and the exceptional work to benefit students.” 

Krage is the fifth honoree from a rural school district in the last 22 years, according to a news release from the Colorado Association of School Executives. She will be recognized in February at the American Association of School Administrators national conference in February — where the national Superintendent of the Year will be announced — as well as at the annual CASE Awards reception in the spring.

“I’m really excited to share this with my staff,” Krage said of the award. “I think it’s as much a recognition of their work as mine.”

Fountain-Fort Carson District 8 leaders honored in 2020, 2021
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