Commissioner Visit Estes Park Schools
By: Dwight D. Jones
Commissioner of Education
Colorado Department of Education
Editor’s Note: On Oct. 24, 2008 Dwight D. Jones, Commission of Education traveled to Estes Park to tour our schools. Here is his account of his trip.
After a beautiful morning drive up the canyon from Lyons to Estes Park, I was welcomed by Superintendent Linda Chapman and three board members—president Todd Jirsa, vice-president Becky Johnson, and board member Bob Johnson. Over coffee we talked about the Colorado Growth Model, the Building Excellent Schools Today grant program, and needed improvements in the educator licensing department at CDE. (Yes, improvements are on the way.)
The schools in Estes Park are all on the same campus with the administration building so it was a short walk down the hill to Estes Park High School, where we toured the new gymnasium, training facility, technology lab and art classrooms. Next we walked to the elementary school, serenaded by the marching band, which was out on the football field practicing for its half-time show for that night’s game against Eaton.
Estes Park High School students took a break from a workout in their new gymnasium and told me about their college plans.
Given the excellent facilities and compelling teachers it was no wonder that the staff and leadership in Estes Park Schools are full of energy, enthusiasm and optimism. At the same time, I’m impressed that so much learning can take place in such a beautiful spot—the surroundings are as stunning as the school facilities.