School groups seek members

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— Jerry Kozatch likened the Steamboat Springs School District to a ship. The Education Fund Board and its three commissions are like the captains, keeping the crew and craft on course.

Kozatch is president of the Technology Commission, one of three commissions that help the Fund Board decide where to spend district money generated through the half-cent sales tax.

The other two commissions are the Educational Excellence Commission and the Capital Commission.

The Technology Commission and the Educational Excellence Commissions have vacancies.

Residents living in the Steamboat Springs School District boundaries can serve on any of the three commissions, which played a role in distributing about $2.3 million in half-cent sales tax money in 2005-06.

The half-cent sales tax is expected to generate more than $3 million this year.

The Technology Commission has three vacancies on its nine-person board. A technology background isn't required because commission members are responsible for asking questions about hardware and software costs and benefits and how technology changes or upgrades will affect students and staff.

"The idea is to be a representative forum of community members who are going to make intelligent decisions," Kozatch said.

He acknowledged that technology is no longer a luxury. The fact that Steamboat has one committee responsible for tracking technology use speaks to the district's desire to keep up with technological advancements.

The Educational Excellence Commission has one vacancy. Former teacher Stuart Handloff recently filled the other vacancy.

"I would love if a teacher would fill that position," said Educational Excellence Commission President Paul Sachs.

The Educational Excellence Commission, formerly a growth commission, was formed to talk about and make decisions regarding curriculum and instruction, which is why Sachs is interested in a teacher's perspective.

"The Educational Excellence Commission spends a majority of the funds because we fund small-class sizes, but we are open for any funding request," Sachs said.

The Educational Excellence Commission has been involved with funding the English as a Second Language program as well as the articulated Spanish program designed to teach English-speaking students Spanish in district schools.

The commissions make recommendations to the Fund Board on how to use the half-cent sales tax money. The Fund Board discusses all the recommendations it receives and decides on gifts to the Steamboat Springs School Board. The board can accept or reject the gifts.

The Capital Commission, which has five members, takes requests to make capital improvements in the district, such as the recent artificial turf field and the ongoing addition of the middle school, which is scheduled for completion next year.

The Educational Excellence Commission meets on the second Wednesday of every month. The Technology Commission meets on the third Wednesday of every month. The Capital Commission meets on the fourth Wednesday of every month.

Meetings generally begin at 7 p.m. at the George P. Sauer Human Services Center on Seventh Street. All meetings are open to the public.

- To reach Melinda Mawdsley, call 871-4208 or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com

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