Durango School District 9-R Superintendent Dan Snowberger was granted a leave of absence to help his wife who had spine surgery April 5 and to provide care for his father who suffers from congestive heart failure.
The 9-R school board voted 5-0 to grant Snowberger the leave with pay.
A date of return was not set, but Snowberger said in a letter, he hoped to participate in end-of-the-year activities.
Snowberger, who has led the district for the last nine years, will depart as superintendent on June 30.
The board has named Karen Cheser, current superintendent of Fort Thomas Independent Schools, in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, a suburb of Cincinnati, to replace him. Cheser will start July 1.
In his letter, Snowberger said his wife had spine surgery April 5.
“At the same time, my father is in rapid decline suffering from congestive heart failure. He lives with us, and I am his caregiver at this time,” Snowberger said in his letter. “I have requested leave to support my family in these challenging times.”
Snowberger’s wife, Olga, suffered knee, pelvis and spine injuries in two separate car crashes that occurred almost exactly two years apart on the same stretch of U.S. Highway 160 east of Durango.
The second crash required her to receive a hip replacement.
The second crash occurred in early December 2020 when multiple vehicles piled up on an incline during a snowstorm.
In the first crash in early December 2018, Snowberger had stopped for a crash and two vehicles rear-ended his stopped vehicle.
Snowberger said he was unsure of a date when he would be able to return to work.
In Snowberger’s absence, Laura Galido, 9-R’s director of human resources, will serve as superintendent.