On Wednesday, Jan. 22, the Trinidad School District No. 1 Board of Directors met for their regular meeting to discuss several topics of importance for the future of the district as they begin the new semester. Before the meeting took place, the school board, along with a few teachers, administrators, students and parents gathered for an awards ceremony for Trinidad High School.
The school board recognized Denise Sciacca as Teacher of the Month for Trinidad High School. Beyond teaching, Sciacca leads an extracurricular program called Cooking Matters, a cooking class at the high school that works with students and families to teach them about healthy eating.
There were also many students honored for their work and diligence throughout the school year. The students of the second quarter of the 2019-2020 school year were announced and given certificates as follows:
— Ninth grade: Gabriel Lujan Avila and Caitryn Tieszen
— 10th Grade: Hudson Clark and Rylie Pachelli
— 11th Grade: Fernando Porras Jr. and Amy Diaz
— 12th Grade, Andrew Santistevan and Kaitlyn Vecellio
— Edward Jones Awards: Gabriel Lujan Avila received the Academic Award, Fernando Porras Jr received the Most Improved Award and Steven Dennis received the Service Award.
— Science: Bryn Sears for chemistry, Kylie Sanchez for physical science, Jilly Xu for life science, Amy Diaz for environmental science, Mckenzie Fernandez for engineering, and Megan Pierce for the overall science award.
— Perfect Attendance: Joshua Apodaca, Koalten Jusypowycz, Caitryn Tieszen, Bernadette Vasquez and David Vasquez for the first semester of the 2019-2020 school year.
Major Pro Temp Karen Griego also attended the ceremony to present the School Board Recognition Proclamation saying, “This is the school I went to as an elementary school student. Being in public service myself, I understand that these gentlemen and Mrs. Monterra put up with limited funds. We entrust the most precious gift that this community has, and it’s our children. I trusted you then and I’m sure these parents trust you now. Thank you so much for your service to this community. And for all the teachers and administrative staff, thank you as well because you do a great job.”
The proclamation recognizes the month of January 2020 as School Board Recognition Month in Trinidad, Colorado, and Griego presented certificates of recognition to each board member.
Following the ceremony, the school board discussed in their meeting upcoming items and events such as the Trinidad Middle School renovation due to the Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) Grant. Jeff Roybal, facilities project manager for TSD1, gave an update on outgoing bids. According to Roybal they are still in the process of getting contractors and are collecting bids until Feb. 3. Roybal said he had “been impressed” with the interest shown by local contractors so far, and that those in charge of the renovation project are not just looking for the lowest offer but for someone who best fits the schedule and needs of the school. Renovation to the building will begin this spring.
The board also discussed the upcoming Leadership Day, which invites the local community into TSD1 schools to showcase what they are doing with the Leader in Me, a school improvement program that promotes leadership and life skills in students. As TSD1 is the only district-wide Leader in Me program in the state, they have opted for a district-wide Leadership Day that will take place on Feb. 27. The event will involve all students and staff, as well as members of the community who wish to come. It will begin at 9 a.m. in the Trinidad High School gym, and Josh Covey, son of Stephen Covey (co-author of “The Leader in Me”), will give the opening keynote address.
Trinidad High School Principal Chuck Smithey updated the board on the possibility of a new cosmetology course, in which 17 high school students showed interest. The course would be offered through Trinidad State Junior College, with students possibly able to receive a science credit.
The board also voted to approve new sets of laptops for the middle school.
Trinidad Middle School Principal Deana Pachelli said: “Laptops would be used with our current curriculum and our textbook series. We just ordered new literacy textbooks that have a ton of online applications.”
At this point in time there will not be enough laptops for each student to have a personal computer, so the sets will remain in the core classrooms. The middle school is excited about the new technology and teaching methods that will be available.
“It’s just going to provide so many opportunities to our students,” Pachelli said.
The next regular school board meeting will be Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 6 p.m.