Aspen School District leadership change welcome

Aspen School District leadership change welcome

Six great candidates for the School Board! It’s been awhile (ever?) since we’ve had such a choice. As a veteran educator (almost three decades in the Aspen School District) and having lived in Aspen for almost 45 years, I am thrilled there is so much active interest in education. And although I am retired from the Aspen School District, I continue to be a full-time professional in the field and care deeply about the quality of education in our community.

And at this point in my life and my profession, I know these things:

1. ALL students deserve a safe, invigorating, challenging learning environment every day in every classroom.

2. Teachers are a school district’s greatest resource and as such, must be valued, supported, and challenged to ensure excellence in every classroom.

3. To do that, district leadership must place the greatest value not on ‘stuff’, not on ‘programs’, not on ‘structures’, but on creating the conditions for ALL teachers to thrive.

I believe a school board’s primary responsibility (after safety) is to ensure that their employee, the superintendent, leads with an unrelenting focus on student and teacher success.

That said, my perspective is quite opposite of Dr. Maloy’s. I worked alongside Jonathan Nickell for two years on the DAC (District Accountability Committee). I have worked on school-related issues with Bettina Slusar. Both are candidates who do their homework, who walk the talk of caring about students and teachers, and most importantly, who are committed to student-centered decision-making.

As a community we now have the opportunity to make much needed changes in district leadership. And it’s time.

Barb Pitchford