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  • Carrie Zimmerman

Center of Focus

Focus on the Fabulous

April 8, 2022

Our district has some pretty amazing things to celebrate!

We are happy to announce that Center School’s Teacher of the Year is Alex Magness. Alex is one of our amazing 5th-grade teachers and this is a well-deserved recognition. Alex connects with her students and provides quality instruction in a fun, engaging way. She is a building leader and supports colleagues on a regular basis. She serves on the building leadership team and is also one of our resident experts in educational technology. Mrs. Magness comes to school daily with a positive attitude and sets a good example for her peers. She has helped to spread sunshine during this challenging time in public education. She is committed to being a life-long learner and participated in the cognitive coaching opportunity with a number of her peers. We are grateful to have her as part of our Viking team! Congratulations Mrs. Magness!

I shared earlier that Coach Rodney Mondragon was selected as the Coach of the Year in wrestling. Because he has been recognized at this level, he has been invited by the Colorado High School Coaches Association to participate in the All-State games in June. Congratulations on this accomplishment Coach Mondragon!

We all know how hard our three fantastic nurses have been working to keep our students and staff safe throughout the pandemic. Even in the midst of all of that our district has been recognized on the Immunity Community Honor Roll, thanks to Randi Asbell, Wendy Murillo, and Tiffany Smith. Wendy gave credit to Randi especially and shared that this success was due to her efforts. We are one of only 27 districts in the state to achieve this honor.

The Immunity Community Honor Roll, put together by Immunize Colorado using school district vaccination data from CDPHE, recognizes K-12 schools and school districts that have achieved exceptional vaccine coverage. For a school district to be listed on the Immunity Community Honor Roll, all schools in the district must report vaccination rates that meet the Healthy People 2030 goals: vaccination coverage of 95% or above for DTap, HepB, MMR, Polio, and Varicella and 80% for Tdap when applicable (schools with students in 6th grade or higher). Thank you ladies for your hard work and dedication. This is quite an honor! Congratulations!

Our seniors are in the midst of their capstones projects. You are probably seeing evidence of some of these projects throughout the building and community. Students are working on murals, car shows, movie nights, and other fantastic projects. Our district leads the state in our post-secondary and workforce readiness efforts thanks to the dedication of so many of our staff.

In January, Katrina Ruggles presented to the RSA cohort on the PWR work that has been accomplished. Our kids have some pretty amazing experiences in our district.

Last week, all of our students were able to visit Adams State and hear Jimmy Santiago Baca present. He is an award-winning poet whose inspirational story exemplifies overcoming adversity. One of our graduates, Genesis Villa, was a highlight of the experience as she shared an original poem that she had authored. It was pretty cool to see that our students made up the audience for the morning session. Thanks to Kindra Rounds and Hanna Hays for coordinating this event and to all the staff that attended and supervised so that our kids could have this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Students also had the chance to attend a second SLV Career Fair. You may have seen our students featured in the Valley Lifestyles magazine. Our students were invited back specifically because of their participation and questions the last time they attended. Thanks, Adele for making that happen for our students.


We began our first week of state assessments this past week. Overall, things went smoothly thanks to the extensive planning efforts of our DAC, Dr. Stephanie Hensley. She goes above and beyond scheduling, ordering, planning, and organizing to ensure that the testing process is a smooth one. Thanks to all the staff that has worked hard proctoring the tests and pitching in to get everything accomplished. Our middle and high school students are done with CMAS and will have PSAT and SAT this coming week. The elementary will begin their CMAS testing next week.

March 28th- 30th I participated in the final convening of the Rural Superintendent Academy in Canon City. Monday I had the opportunity to visit Fremont High School and spend time with Dan Melendrez, the high school principal. It was great to see the work his school was doing related to the homegrown talent initiative. They have an established program and the school is doing some great work in developing partnerships to create homegrown, career-connected learning experiences for students. The following two days I met and worked with other superintendents throughout the state. This experience has been beneficial in expanding leadership capacity and establishing a stronger network of district leaders that work together to support and share resources and ideas.

Our district received funding through the EASI grant- Empowering Action for School Improvement. We are going to begin some exciting work, partnering with the Colorado Education Initiative, focusing efforts on accelerating our district improvement efforts. As a district, we have made important progress over the last several years, despite the challenges that the pandemic presented. We will be continuing that work zeroing in on the four domains of rapid school improvement- culture shift, instructional transformation, leadership, and talent development. Our district leadership team has been engaged in this work, developing and implementing our district action plan, based on our UIP. Now we are going to be intensifying that work and want to engage everyone in the process in various roles. Our first step will be data collection. A lot of that has already taken place. CEI will begin looking over the data we have collected, will gather more information from the community, staff, and students if needed, and then will use that information to help us establish areas of focus. We will be conducting some building and classroom walkthroughs and we will have some focus groups to get feedback from a variety of perspectives.

Forward Focus

Our CHS track and field team is competing in Swink on Friday, April 8th. The C-Town Classic and Custom Car Show will be held on Saturday, April 9th. This is Cael Ruggles and Cruz Reyes’ Capstone Project and community event! Our baseball team is competing at home on Saturday against South Park. Games start at 11:00 am. Our girls are playing soccer with Del Norte and they have a game in Del Norte against Bayfield on Saturday at 11:00. CMAS will start next week for elementary. SAT for all juniors will be on Wednesday, April 13th and the PSAT for all 9th and 10th graders will be on Thursday, April 14th.

Monday, April 11th DHAC and SRTS Coalition meetings are scheduled. Tuesday morning the Superintendents' Advisory Committee meets at BOCES for the monthly meeting. The District Accountability Committee will meet Tuesday afternoon at 4:05 pm. Our monthly BOE meeting will be Tuesday night at 6:00 pm in the Community Room.

It will be a busy, productive week!

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