By Kate Cocchiarella
I may sound like a broken record, but I don’t think I will ever be able to adequately express the gratitude I have for this community for its support of the 3A and 3B tax measures. From my conversations with people over the past season on the hill and in our schools, I understand better than ever the breadth of support that Eagle County has for our kids.
I’ve been told that the school board is a thankless job, but I do not find that to be true. I get thanked often by community members who value the work we do. I appreciate these words of gratitude and share them with our team.
Educators have a critical job. Preparing future generations for a fast-paced and rapidly changing world is difficult. Demographic and economic changes in our county over the last 20 years have presented challenges for us. Shifts in society and modern culture require us to adapt.
Regardless of the difficulty, we will persevere in our mission to teach the children of Eagle County to have creative and active minds, compassion for others, enthusiasm for lifelong learning, and the courage to act on their dreams.
Parents and families are our biggest supporters. This is not surprising. Parents are in the thick of it. The dedication and care shown by teachers are evident through daily interactions. Parents and families are invited to class parties and school events. They watch sports and debate competitions. Parents read the newsletters and emails; they are informed of the day-to-day value received from taxpayer funding. Involved families are important for the success of our students.
However, I am especially grateful to those who do not have children in our system. Your support of our public education system benefits everyone. Our intention is to produce engaged and workforce-ready citizens. This enormous task is made easier when the entire community is invested. On behalf of the Board and Eagle County Schools, I want to acknowledge the contribution made by our non-parent taxpayers. We are humbled by your trust. Please be assured that we strive daily to meet your expectation that our students will leave Eagle County Schools as valuable contributing members of our society.
The budgeting choices that we are making as we plan for next year are much easier thanks to the support of our community. We are able to improve the quality of services we can offer to our kids. Our learning environments are safe and welcoming. Technology is helping to transform modern education. Teachers benefit from collaboration time and professional development. The additional local funding that we receive makes a difference for kids.
It is not just the quality of the snow that warms my soul and makes me proud to call Eagle County my home, it is the quality of the people and the love and care that they show for all. We value community; we support each other. Education is a priority. Kids are a priority. It is an honor to serve and to live here with you all.
Kate Cocchiarella is the president of the Board of Education of Eagle County Schools. She can be reached at email@example.com.