Kudos & Kindness (May 2, 2021)
Mullins showed grace under pressure
With Ann Mullins’ last Aspen City Council term nearing an end, a big thank you is in order. For eight years Ann brought well thought-out views, a willingness to listen and explore all facets of an issue, a clear vision of the path forward, unflagging objectivity and pragmatism. Uniquely, she has the ability to analyze from both the micro as well as macro levels, a true architect of the landscape.
Ann is the gold standard of what we expect from elected officials. And as the cast of characters churned, she was at times called on to “mother” the petulant and adolescent behavior of other council members. In the uncharted waters of the last year, she was a clearheaded, leveling influence.
We agreed on many issues, disagreed on others but I always came away thinking how lucky Aspen was to have her representing the entire community at the table.
Fond memories of Aspen
Kudos to Tony Vagneur for his great write-up on Paula & Howie (“Hey, hey Paula … we want to celebrate you,” commentary, April 24, The Aspen Times). It brings back old patrol memories of names of that era — Balls, Apples, Mic, Bones and Kegs at the Onion
Gratitude for teachers and staff
The Roaring Fork Schools are recognizing May as Staff Appreciation Month. As we celebrate end-of-year achievements for our students and schools, we want to recognize the heroic teachers and staff members who make those successes possible. While we have worked hard over many years to build a world-class school district, nothing makes a bigger difference than the people who work with your children in the classroom, on the playing fields, in the cafeteria, and on the school bus.
This year, more than at any other time in recent history, the people who work in our schools have stepped up, taken personal risks, learned new skills, managed health and safety concerns, and made strides in student learning. Every time I read a newspaper headline about “lost learning” in other parts of the country, I feel gratitude for the teachers and staff members who helped our students learn many new skills, knowledge, resilience, perseverance, and empathy.
Let’s also remember that our teachers and staff members struggle to afford to live and work in our community. Due to Colorado’s school funding model, our teachers work in the third highest cost of living school district in the state while our district pay ranks 37th. So in addition to sharing gratitude for the people who work with your children, please consider that the time has come for us as a community to step up in the voting booth to contribute to a local solution to the pending wage crisis in our schools.
Now more than ever, we appreciate every staff member for making a difference for our students and communities. Personally, and on behalf of the board of education and leadership team of the school district, I want to thank all staff members for making the Roaring Fork Schools a great place to learn.
Superintendent, Roaring Fork Schools
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