Drew Pearson is the interim principal of Mancos Elementary School in the absence of Cathy Epps.
Epps was injured in a Jan. 2 crash at the intersection of County Road 40 and Colorado Highway 184, about 3 miles north of Mancos. She hit a patch of ice coming off the county road and slid into the path of a semitrailer, according to Colorado State Patrol.
Pearson taught physical education and gifted education for three years in Mancos before stepping into the interim principal role, he said Monday. He’s is studying to become a school administrator, and Epps had planned to help him during the spring semester, he said.
Pearson said school staff members have been supportive during the transition.
“I am grateful to you for entrusting me with this,” he said. “Thanks for the opportunity.”
School board President Blake Mitchell thanked Pearson for “taking the bull by the horns.” Superintendent Brian Hanson said he appreciated Pearson stepping up.
“He’s hit the ground running,” Hanson said.
After the crash, Epps was airlifted in critical condition to Farmington with injuries including head trauma, a punctured lung and a broken clavicle. She then was transferred to Craig Hospital in Denver for rehab. She is progressing well, but is not expected to return before the end of the school year, according to Hanson.
Friends and family members are updating a page on the website CaringBridge with information about Epps. A bake sale and auction to benefit Epps has been scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday at the Mancos Performance Center.