Monday’s meeting of the Buena Vista school district board of education carried through it a theme of change as school staff prepare for the new school year – the last before moving into the district’s new middle and high school building.
First, board members met with some of the district’s new hires for the 2019-2020 year. Some have traveled from across the country to teach here, others are Buena Vista High School alumni returning to school and others are returning to Buena Vista after years away.
The principals of the district’s schools also spoke on their hopes and expectations for the new year.
McGinnis Middle School principal John Emilsson confessed to some nervousness about some of the challenges that the new school construction may present, but was ultimately optimistic.
“It’ll be a great opportunity for our staff to practice what we preach to our kids, which is resiliency,” he said. “Things don’t always work out the way you want them to work out, and when that happens, what are you going to do?” Lay on the ground and cry, or are you going to get up and dust yourself off and move forward?”
Judy Lynn, the interim principal for Avery-Parsons Elementary School, said, “We are hiring, we are hiring, we are hiring, and we have so many exciting people” in the new year. “They each brought prior knowledge they were able to share.”
Lynn, who is filling in as head of the elementary school following the departure of principal Tim Scott at the end of the last school year, said that “we are really focusing on communication and making sure the community knows what’s going on.”
The district has been hosting a series of meetings the tenth of each month this summer, which will continue through October, to seek parent input on what they want to see in a new principal.
“We are jumping into the deep end at CCHS this year,” said Christine Bailey, the interim principal of Chaffee County High School following the resignation of Mike Post. “We have a staff of eight and five of us are in new positions. There’s not a lot that’s staying the same, but we’re dancing a fine line between how to bring new energy and freshness with respecting what has been there before and on what we have.
“There’s a reason one of our five core values is ‘Evolve,’” Bailey said.
BVHS principal Kevin Denton said that he also had a busy summer hiring, and that “the folks we have in place it’s like they were meant to be here after all that stressing and fretting in the summer.”
This year, Denton’s motto that he wants to instill in staff is “Stretch for others, lead from strength, see the good.”
Lynelle Denton, the head of the Avery-Parsons early school, said that her staff and volunteers were hard at work preparing the building previously used by the boys and girls club for a new year using additional preschool classrooms.
“It’s going to be so awesome knowing that space is going to be ready for teachers to just move their stuff in and everything will be done,” Denton said.
The district reached an agreement with the Boys and Girls Club to use the space after discussions over purchasing the Colorado Mountain College building on CR 319 fell through in June over the issue of cost.