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Superintendent Dr. Diana Sirko reminisces about her time as an educator

Dr. Sirko has been an educator for 47 years. Whether that was as a teacher, Professor, Principal, or Superintendent.
Published: May. 17, 2022 at 11:59 PM MDT|Updated: May. 18, 2022 at 12:23 AM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - Superintendent Dr. Diana Sirko’s retirement reception was held Tuesday to give her a chance to publicly celebrate her next chapter with the school district.

Dr. Sirko has been an educator for 47 years. Whether that was as a teacher, Professor, Principal, or Superintendent in School District 51 since 2018.

”I’ve always loved my job as an educator,” said Sirko. “Its always been important to me. The hard part is saying goodbye.”

She said she has fond memories of serving as a judge for problem based learning activities in the schools, watching games, presentations, plays, and much more.

“Getting to watch kids learn and grow and share what they’ve learned, that part’s been really special,” said Sirko. “I’ve really enjoyed that. When I look at how hard our teachers work, our principals, and all that they do to make school special for kids. It’s hard to think about not getting to see that.”

Regarding Covid, she said they got through it by working as a team. With Assistant Superintendent Hill, school nurses, and staff.

“Truthfully that’s one of the things I’m most proud of that we were able to keep all our kids in school,” said Sirko. “But I think that’s a tribute to our teachers that they were willing to do it and our parents that they took a leap of fate to trust us to have their kids in school.”

Dr. Sirko went on to explain one thing that has united the community within the school district.

“At the end of the day everybody’s more the same than different in terms of the things they value,” said Sirko. “Everybody wants their child to have a great education. I’ve loved every minute and I truly appreciate the community being as kind to me as they have.”

Tom Parrish was the Board of Education President when Dr. Sirko was hired. He explained that she is perhaps best known for making her presence known around the community.

“Dr. Sirko’s legacy is she’s a people person,” said Parrish. She’s very supportive of all the activities that go on in the district. She’s visible, she’s out in the community attending events. So she really had a presence in the community and in the school district.”

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Brian Hill will be taking over as Superintendent July 1. He has a background in education in Austin, Texas and moved here three years ago.

“Dr. Sirko’s a legend, 47 years in education which is pretty amazing,” said Hill. “I feel honored to be able to of worked for her for three of those years. I’m very blessed to have had really strong leaders and mentors in my life and Dr. Sirko’s one of those.”

He went on to say he is very excited to further be a part of this community.

“It’s a really cool time to be moving into this role within the district,” said Hill. “We have big plans for the future and we want to make sure we’re supporting our students and staff and families. So I’m really excited.”

Moving forward, Dr. Sirko gave some advice to Dr. Hill.

“Don’t let the hard stuff get you down and take time to cherish the special moments when you get to see kids do something great,” said Sirko. “Just enjoy it, enjoy the ride.”

Dr. Sirko explained what she is looking forward to the most about retirement.

“The idea of waking up first thing in the morning and thinking, I don’t have to be anywhere today is amazing,” said Sirko.

As far as her next chapter, Dr. Sirko and her husband plan on keeping their house here in the area. But traveling to spend time with their children and grandchildren.

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