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McAfee ready to inspire students, teachers at Buffalo Ridge Elementary

CASTLE ROCK – Buffalo Ridge Elementary School is starting the 2013-14 school year with a new principal, and she is looking forward to igniting a passion for learning in all students who pass through the doors.
Sarah McAfee is not afraid of challenges. Shortly after she graduated from college, she and her husband picked a spot on the map and moved to Colorado. A job offer landed her at a private school, where she first experienced thematic-based teaching. While working, she put herself through a Master’s program, earning a degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Reading from the University of Colorado. Part of her motivation was watching students in her own classes struggle with reading. But she soon realized that this was only part of the puzzle, and pursued an administrator’s license.
“I decided that it isn’t enough to be just a literacy coach. I could only touch a certain number of kids,” she said.

The decision to become a principal was fueled by her two boys, ages three and seven.

“I don’t want my child or other children to have a bad educational experience. The biggest impact I can make as a principal is by inspiring, educating and working with teachers. I am really excited and passionate about that,” McAfee said.

Reading comes into play again when asked about the person who influenced her educational career. Her reading professor, Dr. Swaby, imbued McAfee with an enthusiasm for education and teaching students to read.

“I had my little boy go read with her, and he wanted to go back to her the next day,” she noted.

McAfee’s own personal challenge to reach every student she meets led her to Douglas County.

“I picked DCSD because I believe in what is being done here. The philosophy of providing a world-class education means it is not enough to just deliver the common core. You have to be innovative, you have to push learning and have rigorous, yet relevant education,” she explained.

She also is impressed with the strong foundation currently in place at Buffalo Ridge, and commented about on how its dedicated teachers have created a true parent community.

“The students that I have met are just warm, welcoming and embracing to change. They have passion and love –they are just great kids. I am excited to move Buffalo Ridge forward to make sure that every student continues to learn. I am so big on making sure that each child is touched with learning,” she added.

McAfee looks forward to the challenge of helping Buffalo Ridge find its own voice. She explained that as a community neighborhood school, she wants to work with staff and parents to figure out what that means to them.

“Once we decide where our focus is going to be, then we can build a world-class education around that focus,” she said.

She shared a recent experience she had with Lauren, one of her fifth-grade students.  Lauren is the state ambassador for the “Fuel Up to Play 60” program and scheduled an appointment to talk to McAfee. 

“She wants to change something because of her passion and she is doing it through the education she has received. She wanted to collaborate in order to figure out how to do this in a way that it is effective. I think that is where we need to take all learning and I think that is where the District is going with world-class education, and I want more Laurens,” said McAfee. 

Making sure she is visible and accessible to parents is important to McAfee. She plans on hosting monthly events where parents can talk with her.  “I am here for your kids,” she said. For more information about Buffalo Ridge Elementary or to contact Principal McAfee, email her at sarah.mcafee[at]dcsdk12[dot]org or call (303) 387.5575.

October 14, 2013 | By Anonymous | Category:

District News

graduates standing in line outside, smiling

DOUGLAS COUNTY – Graduation rates in the Douglas County School District (DCSD) continue to climb. Data released today by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) shows the on-time, four-year graduation rate is now 90.4 percent.

DCSD students also made an impressive showing at graduation. The class of 2017 earned more than $82 million in scholarships.

DCSD has one of the highest graduation rates in the Denver metro area. According to CDE, DCSD graduation rates have risen steadily from 81.9 percent in 2009 to 90.4 percent in 2017.

Five female students standing on stage smiling and laughing at the awards ceremony

The top two-percent of female athletes in Douglas County School District (DCSD) were honored at the annual Girls and Women in Sports Luncheon last week at Chaparral High School. This year represented the 30th national celebration of Girls and Women in Sports Day, created to encourage and promote the participation of girls in athletics. The girls who were honored were selected by their school’s coaches, athletic directors and principals for their outstanding achievements.

Superintendent Search text based logo

Working through the recent winter break, the Douglas County School District Board of Education has kicked off its search for DCSD’s next permanent superintendent. Following a thorough vetting of potential search firms, Ray & Associates (no relation to Board Director David Ray) has been hired to conduct the national search. The cost of the firm, excluding travel expenses, is $40,000. The money will come from the school board's budget, which is used for costs such as legal expenses and conferences.