News Release

  6500 East Arapahoe Road, Boulder, CO 80301

For Immediate Release
Dr. Bruce Messinger,BVSD BVSD Superintendent
720-561-5114 /

Dr. Deirdre Pilch, Deputy Superintendent

Deirdre Pilch, BVSD Deputy Superintendent

Dr. Deirdre Pilch Appointed BVSD Deputy Superintendent

Past high school principal and current district administrator Dr. Pilch has earned a reputation as a leader in efforts to improve academic performance, reduce dropout rates, increase graduation rates and promote student success.

BOULDER, CO: Dr. Bruce Messinger, superintendent of the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD), today named BVSD Assistant Superintendent Deirdre Pilch as the school district's new deputy superintendent effective immediately. Dr. Pilch will, along with her new district-wide duties, continue to oversee the administration, operations, and instructional work of the district's 10 high schools (Arapahoe Campus, Boulder High, Broomfield High, Centaurus, Fairview, Halcyon Middle Senior High, Monarch High, Nederland Middle-Senior High, New Vista, and BVSD's accredited online high school, Boulder Universal). She will also continue to be the district's administrative contact for all BVSD charter schools (Boulder Preparatory "Boulder Prep" High School, Horizons K-8, Justice High, Peak to Peak K-12 Charter School, and Summit Charter Middle School).

"As more of my day-to-day focus is spent working with the school board and community to set BVSD's vision, mission, goals and strategic planning as well as working with Colorado legislature as it undertakes, for the first time in 18 years, the complete restructuring of school finance in our state to secure adequate funding, I have determined that it is time reestablish the position of deputy superintendent to maintain focus on district improvement efforts and exercise collaborative oversight of district instructional programs," stated Dr. Messinger. "Deirdre Pilch has, in the past 18 months, impressed me as an educational leader with the vision, intelligence, and successful administrative experience necessary to assist me in serving the students, staff and families of our district," he added.

After an extensive 15-year educational career in Missouri and Wyoming, beginning as a junior high school language arts teacher and culminating as a high school principal and adjunct college professor, Dr. Pilch came to BVSD in August 2003 to assume the principalship of Centaurus High School in Lafayette. Under her leadership over the next four school years, the Centaurus High School community underwent a transformation in academic performance and programming.  Academically, Centaurus High improved its state academic rankings while instituting a pre-engineering curricular focus and achieving International Baccalaureate (IB) accreditation for the 1,000 student high school. During her tenure, Lafayette students open enrolling out of Centaurus High decreased and school enrollment grew. Dr. Pilch credits a joint BVSD-Lafayette community school improvement collaboration known as the "Lafayette Initiative” in the mid-2000s as providing Centaurus staff and her with much needed support and guidance in improving Centaurus High students' educational opportunities.

It was this proven track record in BVSD as both a community collaborator and a curricular innovator who achieved measurable results that earned Dr. Pilch her appointment as assistant superintendent for school leadership at the secondary level in July 2007. Since 2007, Dr. Pilch has
  • designed and implemented the "BVSD Graduates Initiative" resulting in increased graduation rates;
  • increased enrollments and decreased dropout rates;
  • developed and implemented BVSD online learning and credit retrieval programs;
  • initiated and facilitated Boulder Valley Gang Task Force, a multi-agency team for intervention, prevention and suppression of gang presence;
  • designed and facilitated a visioning process for Arapahoe Ridge alternative high school and career and tech program, resulting in restructure of the campus;
  • led collaborative efforts that resulted in the creation of BVSD's online accredited high school, Boulder Universal, and Boulder Explore, BVSD's new program in partnership with BVSD home school parents;
  • designed and coordinated job embedded professional development for secondary administrators aligned with BVSD's District Improvement Plan, including response to intervention, standard-based grading, and cultural proficiency resulting in increased success for English Language Learners, special education, and Latino English home language students in multiple secondary schools;
  • managed allocated and coordinated resources for all secondary schools in excess of $100 million;
  • led evaluation of charter school applications and contract negotiations; and
  • supervised and coached 20 principals—all district middle schools, high schools, and alternative schools as well as indirect supervision of secondary charter schools.
As her tenure as assistant superintendent overlapped with the nation's Great Recession and resulting cuts in state support of K-12 education funding, Dr. Pilch also helped facilitate budget reductions at the secondary level while maintaining high quality programs for students.

"It has been my privilege to serve the Boulder Valley School District over the past 10 years. I am honored to accept this new role, supporting Dr. Messinger in meeting the needs of our students and their families, our staff and our community," stated Dr. Pilch.

Dr. Messinger also announced other instructional oversight reassignments in concert with Dr. Pilch's appointment. These are:
  • Dr. Ellen Miller-Brown will retire at the end of May 2013 after years of successful service in BVSD as a principal, K-8 and middle school supervisor, deputy superintendent and currently Chief Academic Officer. The replacement position for BVSD Chief Academic Officer will be the Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Leadership & Equity.
  • The Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Leadership & Equity will report directly to the Superintendent and provide collaborative leadership in the planning, development, implementation, and management of the District's instructional program satisfying the diverse needs of all learners.  The Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Leadership & Equity will guide curriculum revisions, curriculum-based assessment development, material adoption, selection of evidence-based interventions and related professional development; coordinate instructional professional development; lead Response to Intervention (RTI); and directly supervise administrators responsible for two district divisions: Curriculum, Language, Culture, & Equity; and Advanced Academic Services.
  • Sandy Ripplinger, Assistant Superintendent for School Leadership, will assume supervision of all K-5 elementary schools and the district Early Childhood Education program.
  • Von Sheppard, Assistant Superintendent for School Leadership, will provide supervision of all K-8 and Middle Schools.  Mr. Sheppard will also assist with the supervision of the district activities program.
Dr. Messinger concluded by pointing out that this restructuring of BVSD instructional leadership was accomplished without any increase in central office administration personnel.

# # #