Community School worth investment |

Community School worth investment

Dear Editor:

As an alumna and now a parent of the Aspen Community School, I realize that my years learning in Woody Creek were some of my most influential educational experiences of my lifetime.

In the beginning, I remember that the big kids in our kindergarten-through-eighth-grade school resembled superheroes who were on our side. I learned the “Time Warp,” punctuated by all the correct moves. I witnessed some of the most outrageous and creative Halloween costumes I’ve ever seen. I fell in love with math and its logical beauty.

Later, I remember skitching behind the school bus and playing soccer in a field of thistles. I was taken on outdoor education trips that lasted a lifetime and learned how to navigate the wilderness. Drama demanded our full attention, opened our vulnerable sides and produced spectacular and moving performances. I played Hellen Keller in “The Miracle Worker.” I met my best friend. I was captivated by art and had some of the best teachers who, to this day, remain mentors and friends. I became one of the superheroes myself.

As a parent of two young children attending Aspen Community School, I’m brought back to my childhood playground. Many things have changed with the times, but much of the original spirit has survived – along with the relic of a building that has been pushed to its physical limits. I realize that in between my colorful memories, what I truly learned was a profound sense of self and community that helped me in the following years. Socially, I was prepared to bridge diverse circles, and academically, my ability to learn paved the way to the honor roll.

I cherish the school’s history and its approach to learning, combined with the level of excellence that has only grown stronger over the years. It’s what made me send my own kids there in light of having an equally impressive public school just around the corner. The Community School embraces the individual, and it was the right choice for me and my family.

For all that the school has given me and our community, it’s now time to give back. It’s time to ensure that this place lives on for others to experience. We are on a mission to build the future of the school with a campus campaign that urgently needs your support. I encourage anyone who is curious about this endeavor to visit the school for a tour. I will personally welcome you and lead the way.

To learn more, go to For a tour or information, call 970-923-4080.

Erica Balderson Murray

Snowmass Village

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