New superintendent cites familiarity with Meeker, northwest Colorado

MEEKER — When Doug Pfau takes over as Meeker’s superintendent of schools, he won’t exactly be a newcomer.
“I’m very familiar with the area,” Pfau said Monday during a phone interview. “I’ve been doing most of my hunting and fishing up there.”
phmknewpfausuperintendentPfau (prounounced “Fow”) was hired April 23 at a special meeting of the Meeker School Board.
“We’re elated,” School Board President Mary Strang said of the hiring. “Doug and his family are a perfect fit for our district and community.
“Doug serves on the steering committee of the Colorado Rural Schools Caucus, which is rural schools’ strongest advocate with our Legislature,” Strang said. “He is also on the Colorado High School Activities Association’s Board of Control and, like Dan Evig, is active in the Western Slope superintendents’ group.”
When the current Meeker superintendent, Evig, decided to retire, he notified Pfau about the position.
“Actually, Dan and I have known each other for several years,” Pfau said. “We took some superintendent classes at the same time at UNC (University of Northern Colorado). He let me know (about the job opening).”
Pfau, 44, has seven years of experience as a superintendent in Colorado. For the past three years, he has been superintendent in De Beque. Before that, he was superintendent in Grover for four years.
“He’s a strong academic leader with consistent success in improving student achievement in his districts,” Strang said. “He has a valuable familiarity with the state’s educational system … Doug’s very student oriented, and he makes a strong connection between activities and academic success.”
When Pfau took over as superintendent of the Pawnee School District in Grover, he said the district ranked 111th in the state academically. Four years later, the district was ranked sixth.
“Meeker has always been in the top 25 percent, which was a huge attraction for myself and my family,” Pfau said.
He is familiar with Meeker athletic teams as well, having officiated basketball and volleyball games for the past three years.
“It’s a way to stay involved with the kids,” Pfau said of refereeing high school athletics. “It’s been good training for being a superintendent, because people get to yell at you all the time.”
Pfau has also coached youth sports against Meeker teams.
“I’ve coached against Meeker kids in peewee wrestling and basketball,” Pfau said.
Pfau and his wife, Meg, who is also an educator — she teaches technology at Grand Valley High School in Parachute — have three children. They are in grades second, sixth and eighth.
“We’ll have one at all three schools,” said Pfau, adding, “I know all three of the (Meeker) administrators.”
All three Pfau children are wrestlers, including a daughter, who is the oldest.
“We are sports nuts, just about any sport,” said Pfau, who was a two-time all-state high school basketball player in Montana, while his wife played basketball and ran track at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania.
Pfau said his wife would look for a job in Meeker.
“There are some possibilities, I think, in the district,” Pfau said. “But she’ll have to apply for those same as anyone else.”
Pfau will start his new duties July 1.
“Thanks to Dan’s leadership … our district is moving well academically,” school board president Strang said of retiring superintendent Evig. “We’re confident that Doug will continue this momentum and guide our schools to the next level of excellence.”