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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Zimmerman

Center of Focus

September 26, 2022

Focus on the Fabulous

On Thursday, September 15th, Haskin Elementary 2nd grade students celebrated International Dot Day! The Dot, by Peter H. Reynolds, is a book that celebrates creativity, courage, and collaboration. Dot Day was celebrated for the first time in a single classroom in 2009 and has grown into a global event. Today, people from across the world participate in a dot-filled day of making your mark. The central message of The Dot is- “Just make a mark and see where it takes you.” Thanks to Christy Mikeljack for sharing this fun event that our students participated in!

Our District Accountability Committee (DAC) met for the first time on September 13th. The DAC plays an important role in district leadership and has a number of responsibilities including budget recommendations, monitoring of the Unified Improvement Plan/District Action Plan, parent engagement, and staff evaluation measures. Current membership consists of building and district administration, staff representatives from each building, and parent representatives from each building. It’s important to ensure that we are honoring multiple perspectives and giving voice to all stakeholders in district decisions and areas of focus. Parent and community engagement was identified as an area of focus in our diagnostic review. We will be working to get more representation on committees from families and community members. We will also be working to provide families with meaningful engagement opportunities at both the building and district levels.

A big part of our district improvement efforts is the development of our Graduate Profile. A graduate profile is a document that a district uses to specify the cognitive, personal, and interpersonal competencies that students should have when they graduate. This will be co-created with input from key stakeholders and will be another way that we will be pulling in family and community engagement. The graduate profile will be a clear shared visualization of priority goals for teaching and learning that will be easily communicated to students, parents, faculty, and staff to align our collective efforts. We will be eliciting feedback from families during our Open House on Wednesday night as we start this process. The first part of the work is to build empathy and determine what hopes and dreams our community has for our graduates. The community is inclusive of staff, students, parents, guardians, and community members.

Ms. Donaldson is introducing the Viking Athletic Association Membership card this year to support our Viking athletes and Center sports. For $50, you can get admission for 1 adult into ALL Viking HOME games for the 2022-2023 school year. If you are interested in purchasing a card, please see Debra or Rosa in the HS Office, or find Ms. Donaldson. Become a member of the Viking Athletic Association and support our student-athletes! Thank you for your support.

Focus on our Fabulous Staff

We are happy to welcome Jerica Gonzalez to our Center team. Jerica is joining us as the Haskin Elementary counselor. This is her first year in our district but she has 8 years in early childhood learning. She was a family advocate for the Early Childhood Council. In this role, she served all Valley counties, but she primarily worked with Alamosa and Center. She is excited to be back working within our community. Jerica has also worked as a probation officer but feels like her calling is to work with children. Jerica has already been working hard to establish positive relationships with students. Her strengths are in her communication skills and patience. On a personal level, Jerica is married and has three children, Josh who is 14, JaeLee who is 8, and Angelo (AJ) who is almost 2! In her free time, she loves watching her kids play sports, specifically basketball and football. Her family also enjoys camping in the mountains during the summer!

Caitlin Jimenez is our new art teacher. You can already see the great work she is doing with the students decorating the hallway upstairs. This is her 7th year in education. Caitlin has diverse work experiences that include working at Crestone Charter School, at the El Pueblo Museum in the hands-on history program, and at VIPKID as an ESL teacher. She considers her strongest assets as an educator to include her sense of humor and her compassion and empathy for others. She is looking forward to engaging students in exploring the creative process through art and culture. Caitlin’s family is from Colorado with roots in New Mexico and Mexico. She is a 3rd generation Coloradoan. In her free time, she enjoys photography, filmmaking, and going on walks in nature with her family and pets.

Camille Villa is a familiar face in Center. Camille is a Center graduate and our 2018 Valedictorian. Camille just finished her education at UNC in Greeley and is our middle/high special education teacher. Mrs. Villa considers her strengths in the classroom to be successful and engaging in classroom management. She works well in teams and individually. Camille is a true leader and is actively serving in the Army National Guard. We are thrilled to have her in our ranks in Center and we are appreciative of her service to our country. Camille is married to another Center alum, Fidel Villa. Camille experienced a lot of success as a Viking runner and she is now at the helm of our cross country program. We are so glad to have you back Camille! You are a tremendous addition to the team.

We are excited to welcome our new secondary counselor, Stephany Rodriquez. Some of you may recognize her as she used to be a student here! She is excited to be back in the district working with all our students, staff, and teachers. Stephany attended Adams State University and received her BA in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in psychology, sociology, and a minor in Spanish! That's pretty impressive. She is currently working on her Master's degree in school counseling and clinical mental health. We are fortunate to have her here working with our students. Stephany loves being outdoors and working out. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends. She is bilingual and a first-generation migrant Latina student. Her favorite quote is- "Education is the only thing that no one can take from you." B.B. King. If you haven't already, please give her a warm Viking welcome!


Last week I attended the CASE Superintendent's Conference in Beaver Creek, Colorado. The first day was on Colorado School Finance and focused a great deal on communicating the use of ESSER funds successfully to the community. Thursday, Ray McNulty presented on using the future and past to guide our work. This was a deep dive into proven and effective strategies for leading in a constantly changing environment. His message started out with being future-focused, and it reinforced the work we are doing in Center, as we are Focused on the Future! There was also quite a bit of time dedicated to recruitment and retention in education. Once again, I feel like we are staying on top of this through our R & R team. I’m representing K-12 education on the ASU Presidential Search Committee. We had our second meeting on Thursday evening. The search committee is looking to hire an outside firm to lead the search efforts. I will keep you updated on the process and we will be coordinating listening sessions to share our perspectives and desires for ASU from the world of public education.

Fast Forward

Upcoming dates to get on calendars

Monday, September 26th- Recruitment and Retention Meeting- 12:00 pm

District Leadership Team Meeting- 3:00- 5:00 pm

Wednesday, September 28th- Rural Alliance- 8:00- 9:00 am

Superintendent PLC- 1:00- 2:00 pm

Open House- 4:30- 6:00 pm

Monday, October 3rd- Official Student Count Day

Friday, October 7th- Staff PD- Life Spot Safety Training- 8:00- noon

Staff Appreciation Day- 1:00- 4:00 pm

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