Taliaferro ready to begin new life beyond BOCES

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— After 33 years working in various educational positions, Sharon Taliaferro is ready to dabble in a field entirely new to her -- retirement.

Taliaferro, special education director for the Northwest Board of Cooperative Educational Services, will retire June 13 after five years in her current position and 20 years in Routt County education.

"I've been really proud of my association with Northwest BOCES," Taliaferro said. "I've gotten to know a lot of wonderful people, parents and children. It's going to be hard to leave all this."

Robin Tschider, special education coordinator for the South Routt School District, will replace Taliaferro.

BOCES is a federal-, state- and district-funded program that offers special education services to six area school districts; East Grand, West Grand, Hayden, North Park, South Routt and Steamboat Springs.

The special education director has numerous responsibilities, including responsibility for the Child Find Program, which identifies children from birth to 21 years old that are in need of special services; supervising the transition coordinator and overseeing the Individual Educational Plan process for all 634 special-needs students in the six school districts.

Additionally, the special education director provides each district with current staffing needs and is the early childhood coordinator for each district. The special education director supervises and evaluates BOCES staff, meets with special education directors from around the state and serves as the mediator and liaison between parents and schools in conflict over special education issues.

"It's a significant position," Steamboat Springs School District Superintendent Cyndy Simms said. "It's a huge job."

Taliaferro was hired by Northwest BOCES as a speech pathologist in 1982. In 1988, Taliaferro won an award for Outstanding Public School Speech and Language Program of the Year in Colorado.

In 1994, she was named principal of Soroco Middle School. Five years later, she was hired as special education director.

"The thing I've loved is the learning experience I got working with parents, professionals, administrators and staff from the Colorado Department of Education," Taliaferro said. "It never ceases to amaze me how much more I can keep learning. I'm going to miss it."

Taliaferro and her husband, Sam, plan on enjoying retirement together. The couple is planning to travel across the United States.

"We've both been workaholics," she said. "We're just going to go see what the U.S. looks like."

Taliaferro and Tschider, her replacement, know each other well. As Soroco Middle School principal, Taliaferro hired Tschider as a resource teacher. While at the middle school, Tschider started a special education program.

"I've really been mentoring her ever since," Taliaferro said. "This is what she's wanted to do. She will do a beautiful job. She's knowledgeable, professional and kind to others."

Taliaferro was not involved in the hiring process for her replacement, she said.

Tschider first came to Steamboat Springs in 1996 when BOCES Executive Director Jane Toothaker hired her as a hearing specialist.

With a master's degree in special education and two master's endorsements in special education -- administration and special education -- moderate needs, Tschider said she's ready for the job -- a job she's wanted for some time.

"I want to support all the wonderful professionals who work with these kids every single day," Tschider said. "I want to support everyone from a bigger umbrella. I am thrilled and I am honored. I couldn't be more excited to be working with Jane Toothaker again."

Tschider will fit nicely into the BOCES staff, Toothaker said.

"I think (Tschider's) prepared for it really well," Toothaker said. "She's attended a lot of necessary classes and spent a lot of time with (Taliaferro). She's got a lot of enthusiasm and energy. I'm very excited about being able to work with her."

"On the flip side, (Taliaferro) has a real depth of experience that's hard to replace. We're just really going to miss her. She's done a lot of great things here," Toothaker said.

Tschider will take over the position July 1, 2003.

Taliaferro, special education director for the Northwest Board of Cooperative Educational Services, will retire June 13 after five years in her current position and 20 years in Routt County education.

"I've been really proud of my association with Northwest BOCES," Taliaferro said. "I've gotten to know a lot of wonderful people, parents and children. It's going to be hard to leave all this."

Robin Tschider, special education coordinator for the South Routt School District, will replace Taliaferro.

BOCES is a federal-, state- and district-funded program that offers special education services to six area school districts; East Grand, West Grand, Hayden, North Park, South Routt and Steamboat Springs.

The special education director has numerous responsibilities, including responsibility for the Child Find Program, which identifies children from birth to 21 years old that are in need of special services; supervising the transition coordinator and overseeing the Individual Educational Plan process for all 634 special-needs students in the six school districts.

Additionally, the special education director provides each district with current staffing needs and is the early childhood coordinator for each district. The special education director supervises and evaluates BOCES staff, meets with special education directors from around the state and serves as the mediator and liaison between parents and schools in conflict over special education issues.

"It's a significant position," Steamboat Springs School District Superintendent Cyndy Simms said. "It's a huge job."

Taliaferro was hired by Northwest BOCES as a speech pathologist in 1982. In 1988, Taliaferro won an award for Outstanding Public School Speech and Language Program of the Year in Colorado.

In 1994, she was named principal of Soroco Middle School. Five years later, she was hired as special education director.

"The thing I've loved is the learning experience I got working with parents, professionals, administrators and staff from the Colorado Department of Education," Taliaferro said. "It never ceases to amaze me how much more I can keep learning. I'm going to miss it."

Taliaferro and her husband, Sam, plan on enjoying retirement together. The couple is planning to travel across the United States.

"We've both been workaholics," she said. "We're just going to go see what the U.S. looks like."

Taliaferro and Tschider, her replacement, know each other well. As Soroco Middle School principal, Taliaferro hired Tschider as a resource teacher. While at the middle school, Tschider started a special education program.

"I've really been mentoring her ever since," Taliaferro said. "This is what she's wanted to do. She will do a beautiful job. She's knowledgeable, professional and kind to others."

Taliaferro was not involved in the hiring process for her replacement, she said.

Tschider first came to Steamboat Springs in 1996 when BOCES Executive Director Jane Toothaker hired her as a hearing specialist.

With a master's degree in special education and two master's endorsements in special education -- administration and special education -- moderate needs, Tschider said she's ready for the job -- a job she's wanted for some time.

"I want to support all the wonderful professionals who work with these kids every single day," Tschider said. "I want to support everyone from a bigger umbrella. I am thrilled and I am honored. I couldn't be more excited to be working with Jane Toothaker again."

Tschider will fit nicely into the BOCES staff, Toothaker said.

"I think (Tschider's) prepared for it really well," Toothaker said. "She's attended a lot of necessary classes and spent a lot of time with (Taliaferro). She's got a lot of enthusiasm and energy. I'm very excited about being able to work with her."

"On the flip side, (Taliaferro) has a real depth of experience that's hard to replace. We're just really going to miss her. She's done a lot of great things here," Toothaker said.

Tschider will take over the position July 1, 2003.

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