Basalt Middle School principal announces retirement after three decades in education

Taylor Cramer
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Jennifer Ellsperman.

Basalt Middle School Principal Jennifer Ellsperman has announced her retirement at the end of the 2023-24 school year, marking the end of a 31-year career in education. Ellsperman, who has dedicated 21 years of her service to the Basalt area, will leave a lasting legacy in the community.

Ellsperman reflected on her career with a blend of emotions. 

“It’s very bittersweet.” Ellsperman said. “It’s been an incredible 21 years and I couldn’t be more appreciative of the staff that I have had the opportunity to work with, and definitely the students.”

Her passion for education and the impact she has had on her students is evident in her emotional recollections, such as the memory of witnessing students express themselves through poetry.

The driving force behind Ellsperman’s dedication has always been the students. 

“Definitely the kids. Just the kids and everything they bring every day, all their struggles, all of their excitement,” Ellsperman said.

As she prepares to step away from her role, Ellsperman said she looks forward to spending more time with her family — including her sons, nephews and elderly parents

“I am at a point where I’m feeling more urgency to spend time with my own family,” she explained, emphasizing the challenge of balancing her demanding career with personal life.

Post-retirement, Ellsperman plans to indulge in self-care activities like yoga, walking her dog, cooking and traveling to visit family members. However, she intends to stay connected with education, revealing plans to substitute teach in Carbondale and Basalt. 

“I think I’m going to need some connection with the kids and want to keep watching them grow through our system,” she said.

Ellsperman’s impact on the community and the school has been profound. Basalt Middle School teacher Jane Douglass praised Ellsperman’s leadership.

“She has brought so many different opportunities for the students at Basalt and she has been a great leader,” Douglass said. 

Ellsperman’s retirement coincides with principal hiring processes at Glenwood Springs Middle School and Basalt High School. Her departure marks the end of an era for Basalt Middle School, leaving behind a legacy of commitment, care and impact on the lives of countless students and educators.