Kerry Buhler named Summit School District’s new superintendent |

Kerry Buhler named Summit School District’s new superintendent

Kerry Buhler's office was filled with flowers and balloons on Friday, March 11. Her staff and her students wanted to congratulate her on her new job as Summit School District superintendent. The school board announced the hire on Thursday, March 10.
Ben Trollinger / |

Kerry Buhler’s office at Upper Blue Elementary on Friday was filled with flowers and balloons.

Since the Summit County school board announced on Thursday night that Buhler would be the district’s next superintendent, the Breckenridge school has been celebrating, but not without a note of sadness.

Her connections to the school run deep: Buhler has been the principal of Upper Blue for 13 years. Before that, she taught first and second grades for more than 7 years. Her now-grown twin daughters even went to school there.

Leaving won’t be easy, but Buhler said she is ready for the challenge.

“My passion and commitment to this district continues to be a driving force for me,” she said. “As superintendent, I’ll have the opportunity to make an even bigger difference for our kids, our parents, our staff and our community.”

Five years ago, Buhler finished as the runner up to Heidi Pace, who announced this year that she would be leaving the post in July. This go-around, Buhler and Cathy Beck, the assistant superintendent of student learning, were identified as the two finalists.

Buhler said it was her long tenure in the district and her love of the community that set her apart.

“We had two exemplary internal finalists for the position and without question this was one of the most difficult choices we have had to make as a board,” said school board president Margaret Carlson in a written statement. “We believe Kerry Buhler has the experience, talent and drive to successfully implement our VISION 2020 strategic plan and the leadership qualities to help ensure the academic success of every student in Summit schools. We know we are poised to take Summit schools to the next level with both of these outstanding women on our team.”

Under Buhler’s leadership, Upper Blue Elementary School has twice been recognized for student academic achievement with the John Irwin Award and consistently performs at some of the highest levels in the state.

For nearly 17 years, Buhler has been the engine behind some of the district’s most innovative reforms, such as piloting the International Baccalaureate’s program for all elementary schools and building a student-led, grassroots movement for sustainable, environmentally friendly practices.

Buhler graduated from California State University Fullerton with a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and an elementary education license. She received her master’s degree in administration and leadership from the University of Phoenix.

She is married to John Buhler, the chief operating officer for Breckenridge Ski Resort. They live in Breckenridge. Their 28-year-old twins daughters, Sarah and Shannon, both live in Summit County. Sarah, following in her mother’s footsteps, is a literary resource specialist at Silverthorne Elementary. Shannon, hewing more closely to her father’s line of work, works as product sales manager for Breckenridge Ski Resort.

Buhler will continue as principal at Upper Blue Elementary until her transition into the position in July. The school board will begin contract negotiations over the next few weeks.

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