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News Release - Rural Education Council Established

Dec. 9, 2011

News Release

Colorado’s Education Commissioner establishes Rural Education Council

Colorado Education Commissioner Robert Hammond today announced the establishment of a Rural Education Council to oversee, support, conduct research and advocate for the needs, concerns and particular problems of rural education districts. The Council was established to support the work outlined in A Rural Needs Study: Improving CDE Services to Rural School Districts. The study identified numerous opportunities for improving services to rural districts across the state and also pinpointed areas of needed services and resources.

“The Rural Education Council will provide ongoing feedback to me and the Department on the unique needs of rural communities and school districts throughout the state and how those needs can be supported by the Department,” Hammond said. “We are making good on our pledge to better meet the needs of rural districts.”

The Council is comprised of one rural superintendent from each of the eight regions in the state and representatives from local school boards, teachers, principals, and business/community members. Members of the Council are:

  • Don Anderson, superintendent, Burlington School District RE-6J
  • Janae Ash, fifth-grade teacher, Pagosa Springs Middle School, Archuleta County School District 50 JT
  • Randy Black, director of member relations, Colorado Association of School Boards
  • Randy Boyer, executive director, San Juan BOCES
  • Bruce Caughey, executive director, Colorado Association of School Executives
  • Scott Cuckow, superintendent, Crowley County School District RE-1J
  • Terry Ebert, superintendent, Ellicott School District 22
  • Tina Goar, superintendent, Gilpin County School District RE-1
  • Cheryl Gomez, superintendent, Ridgway School District R-2
  • Ken Haptonstall, superintendent, Garfield County School District 16
  • John Knapp, Department of Agriculture and Board of Directors, Colorado Association of School Boards
  • Dale McCall, executive director, Colorado BOCES
  • Rick Mondt, superintendent, Briggsdale School District RE-10
  • Raylene Olinger, principal, South Routt Elementary, South Routt School District RE-3
  • Donna Rohde, school board member, Cheraw School District 31
  • Paula Stephenson, executive director, Colorado Rural Schools Caucus
  • George Welsh, superintendent, Center Consolidated School District 26JT
  • Troy Zabel, superintendent, Bayfield School District

The Rural Council will work closely with Jhon Penn, the Department’s special advisor on rural needs and Associate Commissioner Keith Owen who assembled and will oversee the Council.

The Council will hold its first meeting on Thursday, Dec. 15 in Denver, and subsequent quarterly meetings around the state in rural locations so hosts can highlight the unique needs of their communities.

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