Westside schools thank departing board members
Support has helped lead to upswings in enrollment, test scores

       Several Westside schools sent delegations to the District 11 Board of Education meeting Nov. 21 to thank outgoing board members Mary Wierman, Karen Teja and David Linebaugh for their efforts.
       Present were the principals, as well as staff, parents and/or students from Bijou (alternative high school), Bristol, Coronado High, Howbert, Ivywild, Midland and Pike.
       The event was organized by long-time Westside school volunteer Pam Staley. In a brief statement to the board, she said the district has given Westside schools “so much support” in improving themselves over the past several years. She mentioned the district-appointed Westside Task Force, which suggested the magnet-school approach that has since occurred with favorable effects, and the Long Range School Use (LRSUS) Task Force that gave Westside schools additional direction. Also in the past two years, the board resisted staff suggestions to close one or more Westside schools, instead giving them a chance to boost low enrollment and test scores.
       None of the three board members ran for re-election Nov. 1. Wierman, who had been on the board for 12 years, was term- limited, while Teja (8 years) and Linebaugh (4 years) stepped down. Their replacements are John Gundvangen (elected board president later in the meeting), Tami Hasling and Sandra Mann.
       Musicians from Holmes Middle School participated in the annual Pikes Peak Middle School Honor Orchestra Concert Nov. 19 at Doherty High. The Holmes students (all violinists) were Eliza Foster, Michelle Wood, Brittany Ware and Heather Jeffrey.
       Coronado High School head of security Ray Peterson dressed in a turkey suit Nov. 22 (two days before Thanksgiving) as a gag to bring attention to a school fund-raising effort for EPYCS (El Pomar Youth in Community Service), through which the El Pomar Foundation will match $500 from the school with $7,500. Under the arrangement, the school gets to spend $500 on any non-profit group that matches the EPYCS mission, with the remainder going for Coronado grants and scholarships.
       Coronado's EPYCS program is guided by math teacher Nancy Morlock-Hollins.

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