The last bell of the school year rang Thursday in the Roaring Fork School District, so now is a good time to take a deep breath and reflect on a very busy school year. Here are just some of the top highlights from across the district.1. Construction workers, local subcontractors and management teams kicked into high gear at various sites across the district and will be very busy this summer at 10 active construction projects to remodel, enlarge or build new facilities.2. New Superintendent Judy Haptonstall will be spending time this summer moving into an adjacent office. The 18-year veteran district administrator was named the new superintendent in April following an extensive five-month search that involved principals, teachers, community members, staff and the board of education.3. The district continues to play a leadership and teaching role for other school districts in standards-based grading and instruction. This year the RFSD provided guidance to about a dozen different school districts from as far as New Hampshire that visited, arranged phone conferences or requested information. 4. Teams of district and building leaders also were asked to make presentations regarding standards-based education at regional or state conferences, including the upcoming Colorado Association of School Executives annual Middle/High School Summit for Administrators.5. Despite the high cost of living in the valley, the teacher turnover rate this spring was the lowest in a decade. The district continues to strive to attract and retain high-quality educators with the mill-levy override advantages of funding for competitive salaries, technology and small class sizes. Staff continues to be empowered through the district’s use of a consensus process called Interest-Based Bargaining that gives certified staff direct involvement in the budgeting and planning process.6. In addition to strong teacher support programs such as a well-developed orientation, the district created a Middle School Instructional Council, strengthened its building leadership team at every school, and added an A La Carte staff development program. 7. Several of the district’s quality educators received special recognition this year, such as Carbondale Middle School physical education and reading teacher Joe Markham, who received the 2006 L.S. Wood Teacher of the Year for excellence in instruction, community contributions and the capacity to inspire a love of learning. Glenwood Springs High School mathematics teacher Joey Sustar was named the 2006 Local Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year and now is eligible to compete for the State Teacher of the Year award.8. The district and Adams State College wrapped up a grant-supported program that provided the opportunity for some 35 district teachers to earn a master’s degree for free in reading or ELL. The program helped push the ratio of district teachers with a master’s degree to 61 percent.9. The spring saw the promotion of several RFSD teachers or administrators to leadership roles. Brad Ray, former assistant principal, took over as principal at Glenwood Springs Middle School. Drama and English teacher Gayla Rowe became the new assistant principal at her alma mater, Glenwood Springs High. Special education teacher Barbara Mason was promoted to assistant principal at Roaring Fork High. GSHS ELL teacher Adriana Ayala was named director of the district’s pre-collegiate program.10. The outstanding high school graduates across the district were recognized with a wide variety of prestigious scholarships and awards, such as Glenwood Springs seniors Jon Jay, who was named a Boettcher scholar, and John Hoban, who earned the Hazel Woodruff Memorial Scholarship to attend CU-Boulder. Dozens of students from across the district were recognized by the school board during an awards night in May for earning first, second or third place in state or national competitions in everything from business to health occupations, choir to journalism.For RFSD information, call 384-6000 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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