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Feb. 4 Board Briefing

Presidential Scholars candidate Shawn Ong


The Douglas County Board of Education convened for business at 7 p.m. on February 4, 2014. Sophie Pepin, member of the Student Advisory Group and ThunderRidge High School senior joined Board members on the dais. The Board conducted business items and engaged public comment from a crowd of students, parents, teachers, and community members. 

The live stream of board meetings can be found on the official DCSD Livestream channel.


Student and Staff Recognition

The Board of Education was proud to recognize the achievement of outstanding students and staff.

Outstanding Journalism Teachers

Board members celebrated educators that are doing some amazing work with student journalists.

Journalism Teachers Melissa Larson and Jessica LeifheitRecently the Journalism Education Association announced Melissa Larson, Mesa Middle School, and Jessica Leifheit, Castle View High School, will be recognized with the “Rising Star” award in April at the organization’s spring conference. The award started in 2006 to recognize promising teachers with up to five years of experience teaching or advising student journalism. Only 14 teachers across the country will receive this award this year.  It is a remarkable honor for DCSD to have to teachers on this prestigious list.

Journalism Education Association Advisor of the Year

Jed Palmer, Sierra Middle School, is one of only three teachers nationwide to be named a distinguished Advisor of the Year by the Journalism Education Association. Jed is one of only three teachers nationwide to be named Distinguished Advisor of the Year. In the 18 years that JEA has been naming Distinguished Advisors, this is only the second time that they have chosen a middle school teacher for the honor and only the fourth time they have chosen an advisor in Colorado.

2014 U.S. Presidential Scholar Candidates

Three DCSD students have been named as candidates in the 2014 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. Every January 20, forty students from each state are chosen as candidates for this award. The Board of Education honored Shawn Ong, Douglas County High School, Julie Newman, Mountain Vista High School, and Ben King, Rock Canyon High SchoolPresidental Scholars candidates

The Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 by Executive Order of the President. It is one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students.  In fact, only 141 students from across the country will receive this prestigious award. The process begins with the selection of 3,000 academic candidates based on SAT and ACT scores. Shawn, Julie, and Ben all achieved perfect scores on his ACT scores. There is a process to narrow the candidates including a review by the Commission on Presidential Scholars. The Commission will select up to 121 Academic Scholars and up to 20 Arts Scholarships. Last year, Highlands Ranch High School graduate Amy Chen was one of two Coloradoans selected as a Presidential Scholar.  The winners are flown to Washington, D.C. for an all-expense paid awards ceremony.

Public Comment

The Board engaged in public comment with members of the community.

Superintendent Reports

Douglas County School District Lobbyist Jason Hopfer provided a legislative update. Approximately forty education bills have been introduced to date. Hopfer addressed bills impacting school finance and the growing number of state-mandated standardized tests.

Board Committee & Liaison Reports

Director Judi Reynolds announced the upcoming District Accountability Committee (DAC) meeting will focus on the DCSD Strategic Plan.

Adoption of the Consent Agenda

The Board voted by a margin of 6-0 to adopt the consent agenda: Staff recommendations, detailed in Agenda Items #14-#17, organized for the Board of Education block approval.

Action Items

Board of Education President Kevin Larsen proposed a resolution regarding state education funding. The resolution was unanimously approved.  


audio iconSession 1 audio recording
Session 2 audio recording






February 5, 2014 | By SCPaulsen | Category: Board of Education

District News

kids running outside as part of a race

DCSD is requesting parent input on the health and wellness of our students. Last year, DCSD received a large planning grant from Colorado Health Foundation in an effort to assess how the district supports students through the lens of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model (WSCC). The mission of this grant is to review the current state of DCSD's student health and wellness program, and then formulate a three to five-year plan based on stakeholders’ needs, the latest research, and best practices. As part of this process, we would like your input.

How are we doing?

We want to hear from you! How often do you prefer to receive email newsletters from DCSD? How can we improve the news and information you receive? This brief survey should only take a minute or two of your time. Thank you for giving us your input!

Tell us what you think, here!


glowing purple lights hover over trays of seedlings in a dark room

It may look like a plain, white shipping container was just parked on the backyard grounds of Mountain Vista High School. The contents of the container are anything but plain, though. Walking inside the container, different colors of ambient lighting glow, futuristic-looking equipment and tall towers are suspended from the ceiling, and the humidity level is set to 70 percent. The container has been recycled into a new kind of learning opportunity for students.