Lt. Gov. Garcia to talk literacy in Steamboat |

Lt. Gov. Garcia to talk literacy in Steamboat

Joe Garcia’s appearance at school the start of a weeklong tour

Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia will be in Steamboat Springs on Monday as part of a weeklong tour of Colorado schools.

— As part of an initiative to improve early childhood literacy programs in Colorado, Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia will kick off a weeklong tour of Colorado schools Monday morning at Strawberry Park Elementary School in Steamboat Springs.

Garcia will meet with Steamboat Springs School District staff and students, read to a class of first-graders, and listen to community members as they describe what they are doing to improve the literacy rates of children attending schools in the Yampa Valley.

"By engaging in this weeklong dialogue, we will learn how communities foster early childhood literacy and what state leadership can do to support their efforts," Garcia said in a news release Friday.

Garcia will be accompanied by representatives from Mile High United Way, which recently received a $3.6 million grant that literacy programs can apply to receive funds from to improve their early childhood reading programs.

Mile High United Way Chief Executive Officer Christine Benero said Sunday that Garcia chose to visit Steamboat partly because elementary school students in the area have scored above state averages on their standardized reading tests. She said she and Garcia hope to see and hear about the school programs and teaching methods the district uses to achieve success.

The lieutenant governor will be at Strawberry Park Elementary from 9:30 to 11 a.m., and members of the public are invited to attend.

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School Board meeting Monday

Also Monday, the Steamboat Springs School Board will meet to decide whether to bring back a position the district eliminated in 2009.

Superintendent Brad Meeks said Sunday he would like the district to hire a director of teaching and learning that would be responsible for overseeing and implementing all of the district's educational programs and curriculum. Formerly called the director of curriculum, the position was nixed from the school district's budget during the 2009-10 school year, a move then Superintendent Shalee Cunningham said saved the district more than $111,000 a year. Curriculum development since has been the responsibility of the superintendent, principals and Instructional Support Services staff.

"It's a position that is needed and warranted in this district," Meeks said Sunday, adding that the director of teaching and learning would work with principals on a daily basis to improve teaching methods across the district.

He said without the position, there is a lack of coordination in some areas between the district's elementary, middle and high schools in regards to curriculum.

Meeks said if the School Board approves the position, it would be posted internally for five days and advertised as an interim position that would be evaluated for renewal at the end of this school year.

He said the director would earn between $81,974 and $107,266 a year depending on his or her experience.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email

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