Julie McCluskie: Kudos to Summit Schools | SummitDaily.com

Julie McCluskie: Kudos to Summit Schools

Julie McCluskie, Parent
Summit County

Good leaders have a vision. Great leaders have the courage to make that vision a reality.

Three years ago, Summit School District was one of six school districts in the state selected for a special federally funded grant opportunity to close the achievement gap. Out of the 178 school districts in Colorado, Summit was poised to take on this ambitious task because of a variety of factors: size, shifting demographics, demonstrated commitment to professional development and strong leadership. I also like to think that someone noticed Summit’s “X Factor” – that mountain maverick-like spirit you find in our county.

Last month, I was at the State Board of Education meeting in Denver during the presentation of Colorado’s statewide CSAP scores. To my delight and pride, Summit School District was recognized as one of only five districts in the state with CSAP scores and growth model results that showed consistently positive performance. While I know CSAP is only one of many measures, the acknowledgment from state leaders was significant.

These are examples of that special stuff that continues to make me proud and pleased to be a parent in Summit Schools. While some may argue that this positive recognition only means we’re doing exactly what we should be doing, and it is important to keep doing things the same old way – I would propose that it is Summit’s fearless drive to take on new challenges and innovative approaches to classroom learning that give us an edge in public education. As a community we need to give our amazing school leaders and dedicated educators the time and patience to implement these changes with success.

I extend my personal thanks as a parent to Jon Kreamelmeyer, who has demonstrated a gift few board members possess. Over these past eight years, he has been able to put aside personal interest and advocate for the (and I dislike this term) “regular kid.” Thank you, JK, for being a dedicated, strong and courageous leader.

To the majority of our current board members who continue to take their responsibility to consider the often conflicting perspectives of many, but to act with the sole purpose of serving in the best interests of all students, all the time, thank you.

In our increasingly diverse community and ever expanding global workplace, I am grateful that my daughter is learning to think critically, problem-solve and work cooperatively with students of different abilities, from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, from different countries and from different levels of income in every classroom at Summit Middle School. I believe she will be a better person for it.

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