When Larry Bull tells you that the Cherry Creek School District mission statement is "to inspire every student to think, to learn, to achieve, and to care," you can tell that's also been his personal mission across 30 years as a Colorado educator.
"Whatever kids are involved in that's extremely important to them ? we need to make it as important to us," said Bull, who will be starting his 10th year as the Director of Athletics and Activities for the district.
Born and raised in Littleton, Colo., just outside of Denver, Bull played basketball and lacrosse in high school for the Columbine Rebels before graduating in 1983. After earning a degree in Education from the University of Northern Colorado, Bull taught special education at Martin Luther King Middle School in the Denver Public School District before moving to Centennial, Colo., and Eaglecrest High School in the Cherry Creek School District. He carved out a nearly 20- year career as a teacher, athletic director, and assistant principal, coaching football, basketball, and girls soccer along the way.
Prior to moving into his current role, Bull was honored as the Colorado Assistant Principal of the Year in 2009 by the Colorado Association of School Executives. He was recognized as being instrumental in raising student achievement and establishing strong relationships with faculty members to create an environment for student success, as Eaglecrest advanced from an average to high rating by the Colorado Department of Education.
While the award may have Bull's name on it, he's quick to point out that it was a total team effort.
"Great school, great community, great parents and students, and the staff were unreal, Bull said. "I was fortunate to be nominated and receive that award. It's a great honor for me, but there are so many other people who helped get that. I was in the right place at the right time."
As it turned out, it was also the right time for Bull to move into his current job as Cherry Creek School District Director of Athletics and Activities. Located in the southeast Denver metro area, Cherry Creek serves more than 54,000 children and 300,000 residents across eight municipalities.
"The schools that are in this district are amazing, and the people in those roles are unbelievable," Bull said. "I have the best job in the district."
Bull's enthusiasm has him on constant lookout for things that might make the everyday experience for those in the Cherry Creek School District a little better. At the start of 2018, he led the charge for cutting-edge video production technology that allows people who can?t attend games in person to watch live broadcasts on their computers, tablets, phones, or smart TVs. Bull's also hoping to get at least one turf athletic field at each high school and digital video boards at every stadium. But his latest venture with Eastbay Team Sales will allow all students in the district to show their school pride on the field or wherever their passion lies with an all-encompassing, district-wide partnership that makes Eastbay the official supplier.
What began as a three-school deal will now include six high schools, 10 middle schools, and 42 elementary schools that make up the district. Along with bulk-rate discounts, a percentage of sales will go directly back to each school in the district. Giving individual coaches the ability to pick whatever vendor they prefer was also a huge advantage, according to Bull.
"That's one of the reasons why I think Eastbay was very appealing," he said. "To get six schools with hundreds of coaches to get on the same page is hard... One says, "I want Nike,' or 'I like Under Armour, or adidas' and so on. Eastbay offers all of the major brands and then some, and coaches have a choice. And even kids can get into, 'I can wear this, or this,' and it's not identified where kids or coaches are forced to do it. I think that's one of those things that the schools really appreciated."
It's also not just athletics. Bull will lean on the "Activities" portion of his title to tout the benefits of the Eastbay partnership for anything his kids are into, inspired by, or care about. From debaters to defensive backs and saxophone players to shooting guards, students in the Cherry Creek School District will have access to a catalog of colors and school logos in a plethora of options and styles.
"We have very strong music, drama, speech, and debate programs. Our kids are involved," Bull said. "This deal could definitely go to activities, too, and you talk about marching band, we have some schools that have 135 kids in the band."
"I think when it got to the district level it made the agreement stronger and more beneficial for all parties. That's the ultimate goal."
PULL QUOTE: "Whatever kids are involved in that's extremely important to them - we need to make it as important to us."
District Director of Athletics and Activities