Former teacher steps up

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Denise Connelly has an intimate knowledge of the Steamboat Springs School District. She retired last year from teaching English and Spanish for 28 years in Steamboat's middle and high schools, and she and her husband have three children in district schools. She also has been involved with curriculum, has chaired departments and served on the Steamboat Springs Education Association.

Connelly is running for the District 3 seat on the Steamboat Springs School Board. She does not have an opponent.

Being a part of the School Board is a way for her to stay active in helping prepare students for their futures. "I see this position as a positive continuation of my career in education, and I think I can make a difference in the lives of the children of our district," she said.

Of top importance to Connelly is attracting and retaining quality teachers and staff, even as the school district deals with ever-tightening budgets.

"With a high turnover rate, we lack continuity in curricula and programs," she said. "We train teachers and send them off to other districts. Retaining experienced teachers is what's good for our students."

Other key issues the School District is facing include class sizes, replacing and expanding aging buildings, curriculum, and increasing communication and trust between the administration and teachers and parents.

"These issues are important because they affect the education of the students of Steamboat Springs," she said. "That is the bottom line for me."

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