Clear Creek school board briefs

Deb Hurley Brobst
dbrobst@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 2/17/21

Val/sal discussion still on the table Clear Creek school officials plan to evaluate later this year its practice of naming a valedictorian and salutatorian in the graduating class, including a …

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Clear Creek school board briefs

Posted

Val/sal discussion still on the table

Clear Creek school officials plan to evaluate later this year its practice of naming a valedictorian and salutatorian in the graduating class, including a discussion of course rigor, concurrent enrollment in college classes and weighted grades.

School board members at the Feb. 11 work session said they want input from many stakeholders because the issue will be controversial.

“We need to dive into what this looks like and what it means,” board member Kelly Flenniken said. “It should be a holistic conversation, not a rushed one. There are strong emotional feelings, and there needs to be a lot of due diligence.”

While some say the competition for valedictorian and salutatorian honors can motivate students to work harder, others say it causes too much stress and has made enemies of families whose students vie for the honor.

While board President Mitch Houston said there were good reasons to keep the valedictorian and salutatorian selection process, board member Erica Haag suggested the district could consider a cum laude system rather than rankings.

“If we rank students, then why not give notoriety and allow them to apply for scholarships available for valedictorians and salutatorians?” Haag asked. “Or there would be the irritation that ‘I’m No. 1, so why can’t I be valedictorian?’”

Superintendent Karen Quanbeck said that she wanted Clear Creek High School principal Chris Gould to create a committee of students, parents and educators to make recommendations to the school board this summer.

“We need it done in a way that everyone knows what’s going on,” she said.

Minimal teacher turnover expected

The Clear Creek School District is expecting minimal turnover in its teaching staff for the 2021-22 school year, a change from past years, Superintendent Karen Quanbeck told the school board during its Feb. 11 work session.

She said she didn’t have exact figures because the district was still gathering information on teacher plans for the next school year. Some are retiring or moving out of state.

“I don’t hear about teachers looking (for other jobs) because they’re unhappy,” Quanbeck said.

Athletic Director David Schuessler has announced his retirement at the end of the year, and Quanbeck said she was discussing whether to make the AD position an assistant principal rather than a teacher who also takes on those duties.

While she said she doesn’t like to lose teachers, those vacancies allow conversations about how to best educate students.

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