Superintendent cites climate, morale boosts
The 2004-2005 school year my first full year as superintendent of schools for Summit School District has come to an end. As our students transition into summer activities, I can catch my breath for a few moments to reflect on the highlights of this school year.It has been a terrific year for the district, a year that culminated with 173 seniors graduating from Summit High School ready to embrace their futures.These students, members of the largest graduating class in our history, were supported by our amazing community with $243,000 in scholarships to support their college educations. More than 80 percent of this class is moving on to higher education to further their education. Many of these students were accepted at major universities throughout the country but most have chosen to attend Colorado institutions. We are very proud of all of our graduates and the community support for their continued studies.This year has been one filled with expanded opportunities for our students. This spring, the staff, community and school board rallied in support of the introduction of a dual-language program next year at Dillon Valley Elementary.This exciting pilot program for the school district will help all children develop proficiency in English and Spanish. Also, we were able to expand our high school alternative program to reach more students who have struggled with the traditional program. As a result of this program, six students attained high school diplomas.We spent a great deal of time this year studying our special education program and, with the help of our parents and staff, have developed a plan to implement next year to help us realize our vision for this important program.Even though public schools throughout Colorado cannot count on significant new funding from the state next year, we were able to work collaboratively with the Summit County Education Association to renegotiate the teachers contract and reach agreement about salary and benefits for next year. The process we used this year in negotiations modeled the districts commitment to problem solving and building positive staff morale and resulted in even stronger relationships between administration and teachers.We received the first sign that this would be a terrific school year when our voters in November demonstrated the community support for public education that exists in Summit County. As a result of the mill levy success, we have been able to develop our programs and resources rather than face budget cuts. And, because of the approval of the bond election, we have three construction projects in various stages of implementation at Frisco Elementary, Summit Middle School and Summit High School.Yes, it has been a terrific school year of improved climate and morale districtwide.I credit the vision and dedication of our school board, the hard work of students, teachers, principals and support staff, and the support of our parents and community members for this great school year. Superintendent of schools Dr. Millie Hamner can be reached at (970) 668-3011.
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