During the Archuleta School District (ASD) Board of Education meeting on Dec. 8, the middle school library saw its largest audience in months.
The Pagosa Springs Education Association (PSEA) attended the meeting, during which president Aaron Wamsley gave a presentation to the new school board.
The PSEA currently has 16 members, representing approximately 17 percent of the 94 teachers working in the ASD.
Wamsley recently filled the position vacated by Peggy Shipman, who served as president of PSEA for nearly a decade.
Wamsley teaches second grade and has been with the district for four years. His presentation to the board was not on the agenda; therefore, he was technically allotted three minutes to speak during public comment.
The board granted permission for an extension, and Wamsley spoke for 13 additional minutes, and outlined numerous concerns pertaining to the salaries and benefits of Pagosa teachers.
“After four years of listening and seeing what has happened to the district, I feel compelled to speak before you today, as I worry about my current and past students. I have seen things get worse in this district during my tenure, and speak before you today with hopes that things will get better,” Wamsley said.
The first half of his presentation focused largely on insurance costs. Wamsley came to the district with a master’s degree, and later added a STEM certificate.