Summit School District principals and vice principals wrap up school year with celebratory presentations |

Summit School District principals and vice principals wrap up school year with celebratory presentations

Dillon Valley Elementary School is pictured on April 19, 2017. Principals and vice principals from around the Summit School District gathered on Thursday, June 9, 2022 to celebrate victories of the 2021-2022 school year.
Courtesy Summit School District |

The song “Celebration” by Kool & The Gang could be heard playing from outside of the Summit School District Board of Education meeting this past Thursday, June 9. Upper Blue Elementary Principal Robyn Sutherland danced to the song on her way to the front of the room before her presentation. 

All of the Summit County School District elementary school principals, along with a few of the vice principals, presented a slideshow to the board.

Each presentation celebrated victories that teachers, students, administration and parents experienced during the 2021-2022 school year.

There were mentions of fun events, along with results from the Teaching and Learning Conditions in Colorado survey. The survey is intended to inform, both on a local and state level, how conditions in Colorado state schools can be improved. 

Upper Blue Elementary

Upper Blue is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary, so Sutherland was excited to share that they created a video to show the spirit of Upper Blue.

Upper Blue also created a new tradition of a school-wide sleepover in the elementary building.

“They started kindergarten when I started as principal,” Sutherland said. “So we’ve been talking for years, ‘wouldn’t it be cool to stay in the school?’” She laughed and joked that she hadn’t slept at all that night. 

Upper Blue’s survey results showed that “100% of staff feel that we have a shared vision that is student-focused,” Sutherland said.

“Definitely, there are things to work on, but overall, it’s been a successful year.” 

Upper Blue will also be adding another pre-K class next year. 

Frisco Elementary

This school year was Frisco Elementary School Principal Todd Kirkendall’s first year as an elementary school principal.

“I think this year was growing together, and I think we did do that,” Kirkendall said. 

Kirkendall was proud to say Frisco Elementary’s survey reported that “99% of staff have good overall impressions of the school and of future employment plans,” which, according to his presentation, is 17 percentage points higher than the Colorado average.  

“When I came in, I wanted to rebuild a culture that was very trusting and caring — just like students learn when they are taken care of and feel safe, teachers perform when they are taken care of and feel safe,” Kirkendall said. 

Dillon Valley Elementary

Dillon Valley Principal Kendra Carpenter was excited to report that Dillon Elementary had many more in-person events than in previous years due to past COVID restrictions. They held community service events, cultural celebrations like Mother Tongue Day and a fun run.

All of Dillon’s staff, according to their survey results, “felt as if the school was a safe place for students to learn.” Through the end-of-the-year parent survey, Dillon found that “90% of students enjoy coming to school quite a bit or a tremendous amount.”

“We are super proud of those positive responses from parents,” Carpenter said. 

Breckenridge Elementary

Breckenridge Elementary Principal Ann-Mari Westerhoff was also proud of how far they have come during COVID. “One of the main things we wanted to start with was really building that positive school culture,” Westerhoff said. 

From Breckenridge’s survey, “95% of students at the school have at least one adult on staff they can trust to support them with social, emotional and personal concerns.”

“We really worked hard on that, making sure that every kid had a connection,” Westerhoff said.  

Westerhoff also said the school participated in some fun field trips. Kindergarteners visited a ski area to learn about how lifts work and third graders got to meet Breckenridge Mayor Eric Mamula. 

Silverthorne Elementary

Silverthorne’s survey had a 100% response rate, where “97% of participants agreed that the school is led by an effective team.” 

Silverthorne Elementary School Principal Louise Wacaser reported that Silverthorne fully funded an after-school care program through scholarships and donations.

For the 2022-2023 school year, a kindergarten through fifth-grade dual language program will be fully implemented. “Every single grade level will have that support and we’ll be a whole Spanish and English-speaking school. We’re very excited,” Wacaser said.

Summit Cove Elementary

Summit Cove Elementary Principal Crystal Miller was not able to attend. 

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