"Safe, Smart and Happy!"
Board of Education Recap November 29th, 2017
News from Sheridan School District No. 2

Contact: Mark Stevens


303-495-8699 (mobile) • 720-328-5488 (office)


News Release

Nov. 29, 2017

New Board of Education Member Daniel Stange Joins Three Returning Incumbents; Bernadette Saleh Elected President

The Sheridan Board of Education at its meeting this week (Tuesday, Nov. 28) certified results of the Nov. 7 election and immediately welcomed new board member Daniel Stange to the board. Stange defeated outgoing board president and longtime board member Ron Carter, 494 votes to 401, in District A.

In addition, incumbents Sally Daigle and Bernadette Saleh won their elections (respectively) over Karla Cuevas Flores and Indira Guzman-Sais.  Daigle’s vote total in District C was 468 to Flores’ 425. Saleh garnered 456 votes to 426 for Guzman-Sais in District E. Incumbent Karla Najera ran unopposed.

The certified results from Arapahoe County were delivered late in the afternoon Monday, Nov. 27. The swearing-in ceremony was delayed to ensure that the results were accurate.

No candidates emerged for District B, which has remained vacant since 2009.  This means the board will operate, as it has done for years, with four members.

In its first activity, the new board elected Bernadette Saleh as president and Sally Daigle as vice-president. Both Saleh and Daigle were the lone nominees for their posts and both were installed by acclamation. 

President Saleh appointed Karla Najera as board secretary and board member Stange as treasurer. Najera was also appointed as the board’s Head Start Policy Council Representative.

Crisis Team Praised

Superintendent Michael Clough praised all members of the district’s mental health and crisis response teams for its response to the tragic loss of SOAR Academy student Steve Soledad-Lopez. In particular, Clough recognized SOAR Academy principal Christian Ramaker and special education director Jenny Pilger. “You did an amazing job of taking care of our children,” he said. “It reminds you that in the toughest times what it means to be a family.”

Steve Soledad lost his life in what Denver police believe was a random shooting around midnight on Friday, Nov. 24. 

Facility Master Plan-Update

The district appears poised to prepare another application for a grant under the state’s BEST (Building Excellent Schools Today) program. Cyndi Wright, Director of Facilities and Transportation, and Aimee LaLone, from WOLD Architects & Engineers, walked board members through an overview of current facility conditions. A Facility Master Plan Committee has been working most of the year on an assessment of the district’s facility needs.

The committee’s preliminary recommendations, to be finalized at a special morning meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 5, are to:

=         Replace the Sheridan High School building and improve the site;

=         Consider targeted improvements at Alice Terry Elementary School and at the Early Childhood Center and SOAR Academy (which share the same roof).

=         Address the most urgent needs with building systems, such as mechanical and electrical.

=         Address safety, security and technology upgrades


Issues at Sheridan High School, Alice Terry Elementary School and at the building that houses both SOAR Academy and the Early Childhood Center include site drainage concerns, gyms and lockers in poor condition, roof leaks, inadequate fire sprinkler coverage, building code issues, asbestos, way-finding and signage, confusing entryways, bathrooms, all-school gathering spaces, sub-par kitchens, technology needs, cracking masonry, outdated interior finishes, and gloomy spaces, among others.  

The big question is how much money Sheridan might be able to secure through the state’s competitive BEST grant process—and whether Sheridan voters might approve the required local match.

A previous BEST grant, along with local voter approval in 2012, led to the construction of Fort Logan Northgate School and many other improvements across the district, including major upgrades for the Early Childhood Center and SOAR Academy.

Wright told the board that the work on the new grant application is on a fast-track. The grant process will open in January and applications will be due in February. Board members scheduled a work session for Tuesday, Dec. 5 at 7 a.m. to take final action on this proposal.

The city of Sheridan and Groundwork Denver have applied for a grant through Great Outdoors Colorado (GoCo) that would support the cost of improvements of outdoor spaces, such as outdoor learning and play spaces for Alice Terry Elementary School, Fort Logan Northgate School, and Sheridan High School.

Superintendent Search

Superintendent Clough, who has announced that he will leave the district in June of 2018, presented the board with an overview of the superintendent search process and the key decisions ahead as the board begins its work on finding a new leader.

In the process of selecting this one particular employee, said Superintendent Clough, the board acts as its own human resources department. All applicable policies and laws, particularly around discrimination and equal opportunity, apply.

Superintendent Clough discussed the need for confidentiality, the pros and cons of hiring a search firm, and the options for the scope of the search (local or national). He talked about setting a timeline, engaging the community, determining compensation parameters, writing an application, developing a recruitment plan, planning interview questions and the interview process, evaluating and screening applicants, conducting background checks, conducting reference checks, and many other steps. 

While the board is interviewing applicants, he said, the applicants are also interviewing the board and evaluating the district, too.  The more that the board executes a well-designed hiring process, said Clough, the better chance of landing the board’s top choice.

Seal of Biliteracy

Language, Culture and Equity Director Linda Chapman said Sheridan is among a handful of school districts in the state that are pursuing an effort to offer a seal of biliteracy on its high school diplomas. The district will develop and propose specific criteria to the board, she said, but students who meet minimum state requirements will be able to apply for the seal on diplomas awarded for the Class of 2018.

The seal of biliteracy recognizes students who have studied and attained proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation. Both employers and universities, said Chapman, would view the seal as favorable in hiring students for work or accepting them for further study.

Consent Agenda

All consent agenda items were approved.

About Sheridan School District 2

Located southwest of Denver, Sheridan School District 2 seeks high-level post-secondary options for all students through continuous improvement of quality instruction. More: www.ssd2.org

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Sheridan School District NO.2
4150 South Hazel Court
Englewood, Colorado 80110
email: info@ssd2.org
phone: (720) 833-6991
fax: (720) 833-6650