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Students, officials, staff represent school district at conference

Students represented School District 50 JT and district administrators made presentations at the 70th annual Convention of the Colorado Association of School Board at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs.

Believing in Achieving: Leadership for Student Success was the theme for this year’s convention.

Kelsea Anderson and Reahna Ray from Pagosa Springs High School participated in the Student Strand at the CASB conference. The students participated in workshops and keynote events with other students from around the state.

Highlighted workshops include the importance of an effective student voice in public schools; positive impacts of increasing student leadership capacity; and the politics of education reform and survival skills for the 21st century workplace. Kelsea and Rheana had the opportunity to connect with school board members and had the opportunity to hear positive motivational speakers, see presentation skills in the different breakout sessions and learn of some of the challenges school boards are faced with in these difficult economic times.

This was the first year Pagosa Springs students were part of the Student Strand, but two years ago the Pagosa High School Jazz Band opened the General Session. Art from our school district has also been on display in the exhibit hall in the past. We are one of 178 school districts in the state and have had great representation in recent years.

In preconvention workshops, Superintendent Mark DeVoti and Director Bill Nobles were part of a morning panel representing small rural school districts in the PR Academy track. The all-day session, titled “Believe It and Achieve It: Great School Communications for Board Members,” was facilitated by CASB staff members and members of the Colorado School Public Relations Association. The panel discussed how communication works or doesn’t work in their school districts.

Friday afternoon, DeVoti, Director Joanne Irons, Assistant Superintendent Linda Reed, high school Principal David Hamilton, middle school Principal Chris Hinger and elementary school Principal Kate Lister led a breakout session titled “School and District Performance Frameworks: How a culture of Continuous Improvement Supports Student Growth.” Officials, teachers and staff at our local school district believe it is the community’s and district’s responsibility to empower every student to achieve personal and academic success. To that end, the district has embraced the new state system for school and district accreditation and is using it to support students through a culture of continuous improvement.

Board members from around the state listened to the presentation as did members of the Colorado Department of Education. Maximizing resources for achievement growth in difficult fiscal times and producing results is what Archuleta County has demonstrated can be done. The collaborative effort of administration, teaching staff and community gives the tools needed to students to achieve their personal and academic growth. School board President Linda Lattin, Vice President Ken Fox and Director Greg Schick also attended the conference.

For more information about the district, go to, or contact any school board member.