For incoming Roaring Fork School District Superintendent Judy Haptonstall, continuing to enhance communications within the community and to build collaborative community and school district partnerships are key to her dreams for students.”In 30 years in education, my focus has always been on the students who depend on us to chart their future,” Haptonstall said. “As superintendent, I believe it is critical that the collective wisdom of many voices is reflected in the decisions that we will make for our children.”Haptonstall is filling her spring schedule with as many conversations as possible with individuals, parents, groups and civic leaders to listen and learn about their hopes, challenges and interests within the district and to participate in discussions on community growth and development. Rotary club and chamber luncheon meetings already are part of the outreach, and any interested individuals who want to meet or sit down informally at a local coffee shop can contact Haptonstall at the district office at 384-6000.”By building bridges in each community, I believe we can work together to build an even brighter future for our children,” Haptonstall said. “It is my hope that everyone will choose to be part of the journey.”For the last 10 years, Haptonstall has focused largely on internal district issues as the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. In June, the focus of her work will shift toward broader external and community issues.”All of the hard work being done by teachers, administrators and classified staff to continue the focus on student learning will remain at the heart of the work I will do,” Haptonstall said. “However, it is exciting to add a new piece to my job, which is to begin opening new doors to collaborative work between communities and the school district.”One of those collaborative dreams currently in the community-brainstorming phase is the creation of a “high challenge school and community learning center” at the Carbondale Middle School building after middle school students move to a renovated Roaring Fork High School building. That initiative kicks off with an April 22 fundraising event and educational seminar hosted with the nonprofit Computers for Kids Foundation based in Carbondale. Community members are invited to “Technology & Education: Making a Difference” from 8:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. at the Aspen School District Theatre. Tickets are available at the RFSD district office at 1405 Grand Ave. or log on to http://www.c4kfoundation.org.Haptonstall said the dream of a mid-valley learning center would increase student and community access to technology and computers as well as to high challenge learning opportunities in math and science. “The center would not only rival the high-challenge, high-technology learning environment as a marriage of business and education, but it will provide incredible hands-on learning opportunities for students of all ages as well as community members,” Haptonstall said. “When we make connections like this one with Computers for Kids, we exponentially increase the opportunities we can offer our students.”An acknowledged workaholic, Haptonstall has helped to create a variety of successful collaborative programs during her 18 years with the district, ranging from the Family Resource Center to the Pre-Collegiate Program. The enthusiastic, energetic educator isn’t stopping there. “I plan to move us into a future that continues to build on the exemplary reputation of the school district, especially in terms of standards-based education and in offering a high-challenge learning environment for all students,” Haptonstall said. “We have achieved this status due to the hard work, unwavering commitment and involvement of staff, the board and our diverse communities. By working together, we will continue on our path to prepare our students for their future.”Suzie Romig is the RFSD public information officer.
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