Every Friday morning Cache La Poudre Elementary School Principal Roxann Hall takes a walk in LaPorte. She heads out back of the K-5 IB World School to the scenic bike path along the Poudre River, leaving all other duties behind for half an hour. In her wake, a small line of students follows.
Beside getting out of class for a while, these lucky kids, one chosen from each class, get to walk with their principal. One-by-one, she calls them to her side and they chat — about school, about home, about pets and teachers and brothers and sisters. And then the next student gets his or her turn for a 5-minute chat.
It’s no surprise — though it was to her — that Hall recently received the Mary Hull Collaborative Award from Poudre School District Foundation. Walking each week with students who have earned “pieces of eight,” for good behavior (their school mascot is a Pirate) is only one of the ways Hall collaborates in order to enhance the learning experience in this school of more than 300 pupils.
The integrated services team, which serves the school’s special education students, led Hall’s nomination because of her on-going efforts to include special education students in the life of the school. She visits special education classes every day. She attends integrated staff team meetings, and she’s continually looking for creative ways to let special education students know they are valued.
School social worker and counselor Ann Lawler-Perry says Hall also has taken the time to work with parents and community agencies to support both staff and students. “She provides encouragement, empathy, high expectations and a listening ear which has made it possible for our team to build a special education program that is exceptional academically and behaviorally,” Lawler-Perry said.
Hall has been principal at CLP for four years after serving as a teacher in Akron and elementary principal in Rocky Ford.
“Cache La Poudre draws from diverse areas,” Hall explains. “Our students come from mountain communities, rural and urban Laporte, from the north edge of Fort Collins, and from the Terry Lake area. It’s important that we come together as a united community.”