Oak Creek New South Routt School District Superintendent Kelly Reed shuffles uncomfortably in his seat. He hates interviews.
"What I do has nothing to do with me. It's always about the kids. I don't need any limelight," he said. "But I understand people want to know who I am and what I am about."
And what Reed is about is Colorado and education.
Reed is a fifth-generation Coloradan who has worked in education for the past 17 years as a principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent.
Reed was born in Golden, where his love for the mountains began. He grew up in the southern San Luis Valley but is proud to say he has lived and worked in every part of Colorado, from the Eastern Plains to the Rocky Mountains.
After completing his education at Adams State College and Colorado State University, Reed left his business background and decided to become an educator.
"I entered the field of education because I felt I could make a positive mark somewhere. I haven't regretted a moment of it," he said.
Reed has been a teacher, coach, sponsor, athletic director, elementary school principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent during his years in the profession.
"I did a little bit of everything, which is what most teachers do," he said.
Reed thinks his diverse resume has made him a stronger superintendent because he has been able to work with students of all ages and in all areas of the state.
Reed began interviewing for superintendent jobs in several mountain school districts in spring 2005 because he and his wife of 34 years wanted a "new experience" and to move closer to their three children.
"I was so fortunate to be selected here. I am very impressed with these schools," he said about the South Routt School District.
Reed said the moving process was a little stressful because he and his wife were moving from a school district in southeastern Colorado to Stagecoach. The moving process took about four months.
"My ties run deep in this state. To me, this is God's country. Nothing compares to the mountains of Colorado," he said.
Now that Reed has some time, albeit very little because of his job's demands, he has been able to enjoy the outdoors and catch up on pleasure reading.
"I try to read one pleasure novel a month," he said. "Sometimes I will read five or six hours a night and then not be able to read again for 20 days."
Reed said he still is adjusting to his new school district. He already has begun implementing some of his own education goals to keep South Routt schools successful.
"The people here are very friendly and competent. There were already so many good things in place when I came," he said.
He says his three main goals for the district's are to improve the schools in any way possible, ensure that the district stays financially sound and maintain a safe and friendly environment for students in all grades.
"We're trying to serve kids. I try to be in each of the schools once a week or more than that. I believe you need to have some hands-on experience with students, and that is why I like rural education, because you literally get to touch reality," he said.
In addition to the being in the classrooms talking with students, Reed estimates he already has shook the hands of one-third of the South Routt parents who have students in the district.
"I go to school activities, I went to all of the open houses. I try to make myself as accessible as possible, " he said.
"My passion is kids," he said. "That's the reason I do what I do."