John Buckner, chairman of the Colorado House Education Committee, former Overland High School principal and district executive director of Excellence and Equity passed away Thursday. He was 67.
"John was an integral part of the Cherry Creek School District family for 33 years and an icon in the Overland High School community," Cherry Creek School District Superintendent Harry Bull said. "Our deepest sympathy goes out to both his family and the many students, parents and colleagues whose lives he touched."
John came to the district in 1975 as an assistant principal at Laredo Middle School. He also served as an assistant principal at Smoky Hill High School and at Prairie Middle School before becoming principal at Overland High School in 1988. He retired from Cherry Creek Schools in 2008 as executive director of Excellence and Equity.
In 2008, the gym at Overland was named for him.
"John was still in touch with the Overland community and met with the Boys Basketball State Championship Team along with the Unified Gold Medal Team when they were honored at the State Capital," current Overland High School Principal Leon Lundie said. "Overland was not just a job for John it was his home. All three of his children attended Overland and his wife Janet was a part of the Blazer family."
After he was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 2012, John continued to be a passionate advocate for public education and Cherry Creek Schools, fighting to restore lost funding to public education.
"John was an incredible mentor to many of the young teachers and administrators over the course of 30 years and continued those relationships after he left the district," Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Brooke Gregory said.