Palisade’s Krueger new district AD in Aurora

At the bottom of every email Palisade High School Athletic Director Mike Krueger sends, there’s a slogan that reads: “PHS Athletics: In the KID business ... not the athletic business.”

During his 23 years in School District 51, Krueger has used athletics and activities as an avenue to teach.

Now he’ll be able to expand his vision.

Krueger, 46, said Friday he has been hired as the new district athletic director of Aurora Public Schools.

“It offers an opportunity for me to learn and grow in a new school district,” Krueger said. “It offers me an opportunity to lead from more of a global perspective, in terms of high school athletics and activities, and also offers a leadership opportunity at a solid district where they’re already doing so many things well.”

Krueger has been the athletic director at Palisade for eight years, teaching and coaching at the school for a total of 17 years. He has worked in District 51 in various positions for 23 years.

“I was weighing where I could go to make a difference for kids,” Krueger said. “I wanted to go to a place that is kid-centered, that’s really focused on what’s best for kids every day. And I wanted to be in a place where I could continue all the great things we’ve done at Palisade.

“I think if I had to take one thing from my time at Palisade, it’s the fact that it’s about sharing success and that success is global. You can’t have one thing be successful at the expense of another thing, like fine arts. You have to have a strong fine arts program to have strong academics, and you have to have strong academics to have a strong music program and a strong music program leads to strong athletics. It’s that global view of success. We all succeed together.”

As the Aurora district athletic director, Krueger will oversee athletic departments for at least a dozen high school and middle schools.

In 2012, Krueger was selected the Colorado Athletic Director of the Year by the Colorado High School Activities Association.

District 51 Athletic Director Paul Cain said Krueger’s involvement in various league, district and state organizations and boards is a testament to what he accomplishes statewide.

“Mike has great people skills and he really sees the value of athletics as far as it being an extension of the classroom,” Cain said. “He sees it as a great way to keep kids engaged and build that involvement.

“I think Mike will do a great job. It’s a bummer to lose him, and we’ll miss him tremendously, but what a wonderful opportunity for him.”

Cain said the Palisade athletic director job will be posted “sometime next week.”

Krueger said he cherishes his time at Palisade, and hopes the bigger school district will allow him to use athletics to affect kids.

“With athletics and activities, I think the biggest thing is sharing why we do what we do, rather than sharing what we do,” he said. “We do this for the kids. That’s what I told them when I was interviewing. We need to share with everyone that we do this for the kids. We’re teaching these kids, using this as an avenue to adulthood for the next generation of teachers and parents.”


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