Natalie Torres selected to be new Roaring Fork School Board president
Torres is first Latina to hold the post
Natalie Torres of Glenwood Springs, who was elected last year to the Roaring Fork School District Board of Education, was selected Wednesday night to serve as the board’s next president.
Torres will fulfill the role of president of the board at the next meeting on Jan. 13 — becoming the district’s first Latina and Spanish-speaking board president.
Board member Jen Rupert of Basalt has served as president of the board for the past three years.
“I appreciate Jen’s leadership and experience,” Torres said of taking on the board president’s role. “She has led this board with courage, empathy, and understanding.
“It’s a difficult time to serve on a school board, and perhaps a little crazy to even consider becoming a board president,” she said in a statement sent by the school district. “However, I feel confident entering this role with the support and collaboration of these dedicated women serving alongside me, and the talent we have with our executive team.”
The school board elects a new president and vice president every two years, typically in conjunction with the election of new board members. However, Rupert agreed to take on a one-year extension when Torres and two other newly elected board members, Jasmin Ramirez and Maureen Stepp, joined the board in fall 2019.
“Jen Rupert has been a steady leader through board transitions and during an especially difficult year,” Superintendent Rob Stein said in the news release. “(Her) commitment to process and governance has helped us navigate tough decisions and focus on what’s best for kids.”
He added, “we are grateful to Natalie for stepping into this leadership role, and I look forward to working with her as our next president.”
Said Rupert, “I always believed that we would be the most successful if we could use the values and behaviors we wish to see our kids learn to guide our work. This team has shown that it is possible to lead and govern with compassion, collaboration, inclusion, and vulnerability and show growth and movement towards common goals. I am grateful for the experience and relationships I’ve gained in this role.”
Ramirez, also a Latina, was appointed to serve as secretary/treasurer for the board, and board member Jennifer Scherer has another year in her term as vice president of the board.
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Andrew Huntsman and Ralph Smalley were chosen by the seniors to give the class address during Basalt High School’s graduation ceremony on Saturday. This had the two BHS teachers questioning the legitimacy of those diplomas they were about to hand out.