Califano to lead Summit School District’s academic efforts |

Califano to lead Summit School District’s academic efforts

summit daily news

SUMMIT COUNTY – Longtime Colorado educator Gerald Califano is taking the reins on classroom programs at Summit School District this year, serving as the district’s new director of instruction. Califano replaces Lou Marchesano, who retired from the position at the end of last school year.

In his new role, Califano will lead the district’s efforts on a number of instructional initiatives, including writing and implementing curriculum, seeking federal funding for programs, continued implementation of the International Baccalaureate program and oversight of the English language learner, gifted and talented and special education programs.

Califano comes to Summit from Falcon School District in Colorado Springs, where he served as the executive director of secondary schools, supervising operation of all the district’s high school, middle school and alternative education programs. Summit superintendent Millie Hamner said Califano’s experience at Falcon makes him especially well suited to aid in reform efforts for Summit High School this year.

Califano, a Colorado native, has three decades of experience as an educator, mostly in the Pueblo-Colorado Springs area. In addition to his work in Falcon School District, he has served as the director of curriculum and instruction for a charter school system, as principal at a handful of high school and middle schools and as a teacher.

“I think what has always appealed to me is the notion of every student being successful,” Califano said. “That’s what I’ve been focused on my entire career. We really have to make sure every student makes one year’s growth.”

When Marchesano announced his retirement from the position, Summit School District officials pondered whether to fill it, given current budget strains created by declining revenues. However, research led them to conclude that the position’s leadership and oversight of academic programs was essential to ongoing improvements in student learning, according to Hamner.

“The Director of Instruction is a key position in the school district,” Hamner said. “We have so much instructional work that’s going in the right direction right now. It takes a lot of collaboration and leadership to maintain that.”

SDN reporter Julie Sutor can be reached at (970) 668-4630 or

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