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  • Carrie Zimmerman

Center of Focus

Focus on the Fabulous - January 7, 2022

2021 is in the rearview mirror and I know some people are happy to see it behind us. Even though the year presented a number of challenges, there were some bright spots along the way. It’s important to take the time to look for the good and not get caught up in all the negativity that seems to surround us. So… what are the bright spots? Let’s take a look:

1. We have the best group of students around!

2. We have an amazing team in Center with some fabulous new additions!

3. Student numbers are up!

4. We’ve been able to have onsite instruction for the entire first semester. There were some class and grade quarantines… but we’ve been able to have students on site continuously for the first half of the year!

5. The Board approved an 8% raise for ALL STAFF –that will take effect in January!

6. New ActivPanels installed in a number of classrooms over break and more are on the way! Thanks to our tech team for all their hard work!

7. New modulars approved to be delivered at the end of January -beginning of February, so we have additional space to meet our needs.

8. Fall and winter sports teams have been able to compete successfully!

9. Our Board of Education is experienced, educated, and supportive of our students and staff!

10. Mr. Swanson and Mr. Noriega put together amazing virtual holiday programs for us to enjoy!

11. We have three nurses on staff to provide resources and health care!

12. We have the best staff around!

13. We have the best lunches and breakfasts- thanks to our food services team!

14. We’ve ordered two new buses to help with our transportation needs!

15. The district has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant funds for our students!

16. We provide fantastic early childhood care- toddlers, preschool, and staff daycare!

17. We don’t have to change our mascot!! GO VIKINGS!

18. We’ve been able to locate some of the stinky smells… still working on one… thanks to our facilities crew.

19. We have cool vests!

20. We work in the best district in the Valley!

I could go on.. but I’d like to hear from you. What are some bright spots that you’ve had this past year? Let me know! I know I don’t see or hear about everything… and even when I do.. sometimes I don’t remember (it’s the age thing)! So, I’d love to hear about the successes, good news, and positive stories you have to share.

We have a brand new year ahead of us. Let’s make the most of this opportunity! To quote Eleanor Roosevelt- “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Here’s to 2022! We’ve got this! Stay the Course! #VikingStrong!


Christmas time is the season of giving and we saw that exemplified extensively across the district. Our Center Viking family is full of big hearts. Our staff goes the extra mile to provide love and support for our students, staff, and community whenever there is a need.

Before break, there were several examples of altruistic acts. Susan Banning coordinated the Sharing Christmas event that was able to provide meals and toys for over 30 families in our community. This took a lot of hard work on her end and was possible because of the charitable donations from our staff. Our team contributed time, money, and wrapping skills to help make this possible. Thank you all for your unselfish acts that gave others some joy during the holidays.

Mr. Jones coordinated a fundraiser to support one of our Center families during the holidays. These efforts provided some extra resources for a family so they could enjoy some seasonal cheer.

The Sunshine committee put together some fun events to ring in the holidays including the annual Secret Santa exchange and the Ugly Sweater competition! This committee also reaches out to family members that are going through tough times, and unfortunately we’ve had a lot of that, by sending cards and well wishes, showing the district’s support. Their time and effort is recognized and appreciated.

We had a generous donation from the Knights of Columbus. The district would like to recognize and thank Claude Trujillo and the Knights of Columbus for their gracious donation of 30 winter coats for our students. We appreciate the support and partnership that we have with this organization. We still have some coats available, so if you have a need or know of one, please come over to the administration office.

We were able to spread more Christmas cheer through the Toys for Tots organization. Thanks to Richie Barela, who helped the district secure over 200 toys for our students. He has helped with these efforts for the last four years. Thanks to Lucia Miranda who helped to get presents wrapped and organized so that Santa could get the toys delivered!

We wrapped up the year and our first semester with our annual Christmas party! Staff had a great time unwinding, eating, playing games, and celebrating at Carthers Roadhouse. We had a great turnout and the new setting was a fun change. A big thanks to Lori Cooper who went above and beyond putting together fun games for the staff to participate in and getting amazing prizes to reward the big winners! I’m pretty sure everybody left with a prize in hand! Linda did a great job emceeing the event and Christy Mikeljack was the resident Vanna White and helped with the fun activities.

We might need to rethink giving Donaldson a microphone... not sure that's necessary!

Thanks to everybody who came to celebrate and everybody who helped to make it a fun way to end the calendar year for the district!

Forward Focus

Tomorrow our basketball teams travel to Peyton and Tuesday they compete in Del Norte. Our wrestling team is participating in the Pagosa tournament this weekend and next weekend they head to John Mall.

The Superintendents Advisory Committee meets Tuesday morning at SLV BOCES. The District Accountability Committee meets monthly @ 4:05 pm that same day.

Tuesday the Board of Education will be holding a work session from 4:00- 6:00 pm. This will be a time to reassess goals and district priorities, review policies, and discuss plans for the rest of this school year. Wall, Smith and Bateman will provide an audit review during the work session. The regular BOE meeting will begin at 6:00 pm.

We will complete the mid-year evaluation process during January. By January 29, 2022 educators and evaluators should meet to review progress toward achieving established goals and to review the educator’s performance on the rubric to date. The score range for the goals should be established and agreed upon at this time. As a result of this review, every educator should have a clear understanding of his/her potential final effectiveness rating based on the evidence available to date as well as what needs to be accomplished in order to achieve performance goals by the end of the year. Administrators will be reaching out in the coming week to schedule mid-year reviews for all staff members.

We will be kicking off our second semester on the 10th. Some things to keep on the radar for the month include January 21st, which will be a PD day for staff with no students, and January 27th, which will be an ICAP/early release for all students and a PLC day for staff.

Here's to a great 2022!

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