Poudre School District’s Mountain Schools were recognized for their excellence in a awards ceremony held December 2 at the Colorado Department of Education office in Denver. PSD was one of 27 districts acknowledged as districts of distinction under the state’s accountability system and received the ELPA Excellence Award.
Recognized for exceeding expectations in the area of academic growth over a three-year period, Stove Prairie Elementary School received the Governor’s Distinguished Improvement Award. In 2014, 128 schools earned this award.
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Red Feather Lakes Elementary School received the John Irwin Award for academic achievement exceeding expectations over three years. In 2014, 160 schools earned this award.
Mountain Schools principal Matt Marietta expressed his pride in the schools’ accomplishments. “The Mountain Schools have a tradition of being effective and we work hard to maintain it,” Marietta said. He indicated that he and the school staffs did not direct their efforts specifically to earn these awards, rather they work every day to maintain excellence.
Marietta credits their success to a supportive community of parents, a strong and dedicated staff, committed students and an entire community supportive of the schools.
As principal, Marietta spends time each week in three different schools with a total of 130 students. “I don’t think I have ever spent time in any of the schools when there wasn’t a parent volunteering,” he said.
There were 96 students in the mountain schools three years ago when Marietta left a principal’s job in Iowa to join the mountain schools. As the school population grows, Marietta stressed the importance of keeping an open mind, maintaining transparency, and at the same time maintaining the tradition that makes the schools special.
“Both the staff and the community have a ‘whatever it takes’ attitude, he said. “They’re resilient, support each other and remain open to change.”