Barb built her first career in Pueblo District 60’s middle school classrooms, inspiring and motivating thousands of adolescents. Captivating and focusing the energy of a roomful of thirteen year-olds is no small task, and Barb is well known as a master teacher and facilitator throughout the nation.
With over thirty years of experience and expertise, Barb holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Education, a Paralegal Certification, and a Master’s degree in Educational technology. She is certified in a variety of training programs ranging from leadership and coaching to facilitation and consensus building and organizational development.
Barb has spent her career as a facilitator, developing people by applying the principles of consensus building and inclusiveness to her work. Barb loves new ideas and approaches to her work. In previous ‘lives’, Barb introduced project-based assessment to her schools, brought Steven Covey’s work to Pueblo School District 60 (eventually training every administrator and a majority of the teachers and staff), and chaired the committee to re-vision her school. Barb is the facilitator of choice in the organizations she is affiliated with, having led groups as widely varied as those designed to codify policy to groups designed to completely restructure a member-led organization. She has consulted nationally on labor-management collaboration.
I brought a lifetime of public education experience to this position – both classroom and quasi-administration work, and once elected four years ago, I quickly learned how much I didn’t know. In these last four years I have worked hard and learned much. I have represented the district at the state level with CASB (CO Association of Schools Boards), and was appointed to the CASB legislative advisory committee. School Finance and district budgets can take years to comprehend; I have studied and worked to learn and understand them far beyond the basics.
I bring these four years of training and experience to this work, together with my background in classroom teaching (middle school language arts and reading), systems management and growth, and education law. And at my core, I believe in and work for our students, the staff that devotes their lives to our kids, and our community.
I am running for re-election to finish the good work that has begun. The foundation for greatness is in the process of being rebuilt in the district. Real change that is deep and authentic takes time. Consistency and experience on the Board of Education will be important to maintain and further the progress that has been made. And, while much has been accomplished, there is still much to do.
First, my energy is focused on passing Bond Issue 4A. This investment in our community and in our kids is necessary, urgent, and timely. I hope that the information that has been shared and is being shared about the state of many of our buildings is heard by community members simply as truth. These buildings that we have all grown used to seeing and loving are long beyond their life expectancies, even though our facilities staff has worked miracles in keeping them open and safe to this point. With the passage of 4A, the district will be able to update our high schools (two with completely new buildings!) and several other middle and elementary schools. Although this bond will not solve all the district's facilities issues, it move us as a community forward in a great way. If the bond does not pass, the Board of Education and district will be forced to make difficult decisions about facilities. Either way, the education, and educational programming for District 60 students will continue to be a priority. D60 has produced thousands and thousands of students who make significant contributions to every aspect of life across the globe. Our alumni are successful in extremely competitive universities and careers around the world. The District will continue to improve on and offer more and exciting new educational opportunities for our students.
Over the last several years, the School District, with the support and leadership of the Board, has worked to put the right people in the right positions, to rebuild the policies, the procedures, and the common expectations for the district which were in disarray, and to develop a clear and real vision for moving forward. A new and viable strategic plan has been developed with authentic community input. A facilities master plan has been implemented. Reserves have been decreased to 9%, moving more than three million dollars into the classroom to benefit students. A new online school has been intentionally created. We have show-cased many of the outstanding programs in the district and through them, the strength of our instructors and the talent of our students. Collaborative partnerships have been built between businesses and schools and the district. We have reclaimed our identity as Pueblo School District 60 with a logo and mission in which all can take pride. The effects of these district changes have begun to translate into improving achievement and growth scores. Moving forward, I'd like to see the district expand on these successes, and build out its CTE offerings, reclaim its standing as the school district others look to when they want the best ways to serve the community and meet the needs of our students.
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Raised and educated in Pueblo Colorado, Carmen graduated from East High School and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Psychology from, what is now, Colorado State University- Pueblo. She later earned her master’s degree in Clinical Psychology at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, followed by a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Denver, School of Professional Psychology. Carmen also earned a JD in Law at St Louis University and passed the Missouri bar.
Carmen’s professional career includes 10 years at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Aurora, Colorado providing mental health services to active duty service members, retires, and their families. Later she worked at Aurora Health Center and Kaiser Permanente as a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. In addition to providing therapy services, Carmen was trained in mediation and served as a union steward. Carmen also advocated for children as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) in St Louis, Missouri. CASA is a national association that supports and promotes court-appointed advocates for abused and neglected children. While in Missouri, she provided legal services to children and their families involved in the court system through the Legal Services of Eastern Missouri Family Court Program. Carmen also worked as a contractor at the John Cochran Veterans Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri providing compensation and pension examinations.
I am a licensed clinical psychologist and an attorney, both of which rely heavily on critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Over the course of my career, I served on steering committees responsible for budget oversight, as well as establishing and monitoring annual goal performance, the implementation of policies, and compliance with regulations.
I have applied my skills in numerous roles ranging from serving as a union representative at Kaiser Permanente in collective bargaining negotiations, to advocating for children as a court-appointed advocate, and to representing children and their families in the family court system.
I believe my background and experiences make me uniquely qualified to restore accountability and build trust in D60 School Board.
I am running for a seat on the District 60 school board because I believe someone with the right experience, energy, and passion needed to step forward and advocate for our children. I entered this race to offer a change in the direction District 60 is heading, the restoration of confidence in the District’s decision-making, and a return to D60 as Pueblo’s schools of choice.
I was raised in Pueblo and educated in District 60 schools. The educators in D60 provided me with a strong foundation that lead to my lifelong love of learning and a successful career. I want that to be the legacy of District 60 for all of Pueblo’s children.
I entered this race because I believe the Board have failed to demonstrate leadership, they have failed to make decisions based on evidence and good data, and they have failed to hold themselves and others accountable when expectations and goals are not met.
I offer a change from business as usual;
I offer restoration of confidence in the District's decision-making;
I offer a return to D60 as Pueblo's schools of choice.
I offer a change you can trust.
On a personal note, my twin grandchildren will be entering school in four years and I want them to have the same quality of education I received, and I want them to get that education in D60, because in every other way Pueblo is a great place to raise a family.
District 60's mission is to educate our children. A school board's primary responsibility is to provide governance, oversight and leadership to accomplish that mission. The district administration's role is to support schools and teachers in educating our children.
I am a strong advocate for school and teacher autonomy. School principals should be given authority to make the right decisions for the students, families, and communities they serve. This can include the authority to hire, manage personal, and select curriculum that best meets the needs of their students. As such, I envision a district in which the day-to-day operations and management of a school is the responsibility of the principle. I am running on a platform of getting the school board out of the business of managing teachers. The School Board should be setting policy that supports teachers and spending more time listening to what they need to support them.
School autonomy is related to higher preforming schools. According to a survey reported in Forbes, school autonomy is the number one reason charter schools outperform in-district schools. Schools with autonomy are better able to respond to the needs of their students and that translates to a better quality of education for our children.
Because I am a strong advocate of school autonomy, it is natural that I support the families and community leaders advocating for a Community School in District 60. A Community School is both a physical building and partnerships between the school and the community. Its integrated focus on academics, youth development, family support, health and social services, and community development is associated with improved student learning. While this may not be the solution for every struggling school, it can be the solution for some. As a board member I would advocate for and support the efforts of those committed to undertaking such an endeavor.
I also propose reducing the use of computers in the lower grades. Silicon Valley executives send their children to schools that do not allow computers. Computers limit human interaction, inhibit creative thinking, and reduce attention spans. Instead, I would put the emphasis a teaching philosophy that focuses on creative, hands-on learning. We have elementary school children using computer programs that can’t read at grade level or type. Seems in many ways we are putting the cart before the horse and the District is spending a large amount of money on computers and programs that could be better spend elsewhere.
At the upper levels, I support skill based and vocational training. Not every student is college bound and the district has an obligation to prepare them for their future as well. I support a comprehensive program such as The Academy of Manufacturing, Agriculture, and Construction (AMAC) available to D70 students. I want to invite the trades into our schools. This relationship not only provides classroom expertise but provides mentoring and builds relationships important to our student's future.
The growing number of students and families that are choosing on-line schooling is alarming. I do not believe on-line instruction offers the same quality of education as a traditional brick and mortar school. To entice students back into the classroom, we need to create a learning environment that fosters interaction and creativity. This does not require new programing or large investments of money. We have the resources to do this now. It is our teachers who can bring students back to D60 schools, by allowing them to teach without micromanagement from administration, and making classroom learning engaging. We must also ensure that the classroom is a safe environment so that every student can learn without the fear of being bullied.
Pueblo and District 60 schools have a lot at stake in this election. The District faces serious challenges on multiple fronts from decreasing enrollment, to failing schools, and a financial crisis brought on from years of neglect of our building. We cannot afford business as usual.
I offer to work hard to improve District accountability. A school board’s primary responsibility is governance of the district. This includes setting policy and ensuring the district goals are achieved. District 60 needs to institute accountability processes to include: 1- Initiatives taken by the Board need to be informed with facts; 2- Detailed plans, timelines, and milestones need to be developed to define success regarding those initiatives; 3- The Board needs to build feedback loops to measure and report on progress made on those initiatives; and 4- The Board needs to be willing to hold themselves and others accountable when expectations are not met.
I advocate for a comprehensive strategic plan to address the capital needs of all 30 schools for years to come. In business, when a company makes a capital expenditure first they formulate capital plans and consider all of their expenditures together in order to understand which investments make the highest and best use of their capital. The current board has failed to do this. 4A is a stop gap measure that only addresses 13 of the district's 30 schools.
I advocate for a reduction in the administration budget and a redirection of those resources to the classroom. According to the budgets released by the District, spending on classroom instruction has remained essentially flat since 2014-15, while spending on support services and administration costs have increased by 35% over the same period. The District is in the business of educating our children and our spending priorities should reflect that priority.
It is essential that trust is restored in District 60. Trust is an essential quality in successful organizations. High-trust organizations have more effective leadership, higher employee satisfaction, and better collaborative efforts across all levels leading to a better education for our children. I am committed to building trust through clear and honest dialogue with the community, town hall meetings, and developing a culture of transparency.
As District 60 tackles the challenges before them, we cannot afford a school board that makes decisions that impact the education of our children and the entire community in isolation. When the current school board voted to switch to a 4-day school week, they implemented this change without coordinating with the families and community of Pueblo. As a result, families were left without childcare and agencies such as Boys and Girls Club of Pueblo County, the El Pueblo Museum, Pueblo City-County Library, our religions institutions, and many others responded to the need and have filled the void left by the school board's decision. These agencies were forced to react to the District's decision, rather than be allowed to be in partnership with D60. I believe D60 must form relationships and partnerships with the community. The solutions and energy needed to tackle the challenges facing our schools are more than can be found in one organization.
I envision a school district in which the board, administration, teachers, students, families and community of Pueblo are partners in providing a high-quality education to our children.
I urge you to vote for those candidates that best represent the change you want to see, and then I invite you to roll up your sleeves and join me as we all work together to make District 60 schools the type of school every child deserves.
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I spent over 30 years in banking. Five as a loans officers and 10 as a Bank Manager. After which, and because it became too much about selling and profits than about the customers, I became a Financial Planner. I married and moved to the U.S. in 2002 and lived in WA State where I became a District Manager for a large Corporation. I was then asked to be the CFO for a minor league baseball team (The Tacoma Rainiers) where I found plenty of things that needed "fixing." While my background if mainly finance, I have a great love of music, art and media...which lead me to founding the OTR Foundation (Pueblo House(s) & KOYC Radio Station. All three houses were abandoned and boarded up. Subsequently I and many volunteers restored them for youth creative spaces. The radio station is a local low power frequency serving only Pueblo and we cover plenty of local news and talent. As you can see I bring a wealth of information, skill and talent to the table!
What makes me stand out is my ability to see trends, plus I understand both business and finance given my extensive background in those fields. I have vision and an understanding of why things are not working and what is needed. I look for solutions and resources to get the job done and I don’t waste time. I do not “go along to get along” because, if common sense or my facts show otherwise or contrary to the popular vote, I’m not afraid to stand out even if it means standing alone.
I have been in Pueblo for almost 8 years now and watched a struggling education system flounder. I haven’t seen much in the way of solutions or innovative ideas, but rather witnessed the same old, same old. I grew tired of hearing the talk about how Pueblo will not entice businesses, unless we do something and as I looked at the existing board I didn’t see any sign of the vision or strategy needed to make that happen.
Even though I have a full plate, I have decided that the education of Pueblo is the most important to me and to the future of Pueblo. That is why I have spent the last 7 years renovating 3 houses to make creative space for youth. I’ve interviewed hundreds of kids and found the same theme…school is boring, there are bullying issues and the buildings are lacking, i.e. air conditioning. So, I’ve decided that rather than sit back and wait for someone to take the bull by the horns I would jump in and bring the expertise that I have, to help set a new plan and vision for our city schools. I’m a doer not a talker! Pueblo has more meetings than any city I’ve lived in yet very little gets done and when it does it takes forever.
I’m a huge proponent of MakerSpace and STEM programs for hands on, enhancement programs. Technologies, tech skills and other trained skills are just as important as classes, if not more so, as it better prepares the student for the real world. I’m not a huge fan of lecture type education and I’m sure the student’s aren’t either. Now with social media the youth have shorter attention spans, so we have to consider this in the classrooms if we want to improve the learning environment.
I'm well versed in the community school model. I believe they are a great way to turn around a failing school and help the “whole essence” of a child learn. It’s important that we approach education looking at the whole child and help find, and provide the resources, needed to encourage a learning environment. Plenty of factors come into play with children and sometimes their coping skills are lacking. If we can help bring a child into a better state of mind, or ensure they are fed and/or well rested we will have a better chance at helping educate our youth. I would suggest implementing full community school model at Bradford instead of closing it. The majority of kids today do not come from Brady bunch or the Cleaver’s families. The importance of helping students and guardians in all aspects of their lives will be critical to their successful transition to an adult and positively impact the Pueblo community and economic development with a better workforce ready for the future. Whether the bond passes or fails we should be looking at every possible revenue source like grants and businesses, who can help us find the resources to make our schools better, inside and out.
From what I’ve witnessed and heard from teachers, I would say the needs of the students are not being met, which would account for declining enrollment. After interviewing 10 students, for our radio station, I found that bullying and suicide were significant problems, which will require our attention and resources.
By focusing on what's going on inside the schools, and finding out if the students are being given access to resources that would help them, and understanding the environment in the schools we will have a better opportunity to fix them.
At great risk, aside from our students leaving, is the economic viability of Pueblo, which is at stake when businesses are needed to bring jobs to our city and do not feel comfortable with the way our schools are presently being run.
Tenacity and persistence will be required to bring changes, supported and driven by a district wide 3-5-year strategic plan for implementation. Perhaps not every facet of community schools may work for Pueblo, so we must have a plan of how to implement and incorporate the community schools’ concept permanently into the culture of the district.
I do not support the closure of schools. Extensive and genuine outreach must be done to those parents and guardians to bring them back. Closing schools now, in my opinion would be bad timing, given Pueblo will be growing substantially over the next few years, especially when we start making a serious effort to change things. I already see people moving here because Springs and Denver “are too expensive to live.” We have a lot of good things started in Pueblo already, with the many initiatives like “Pueblo Makes” being spearheaded by those of us who believe we can and will be so much better in the coming years. Instead of closing schools we should be looking at to better utilize the space for other programs to enhance learning, i.e.: tech skills, technology, makerspace centers, etc. If there are programs that are known to work, then those should be incorporated where ever possible and used as the minimum standard in our schools. Technology is taking the place of text books and lecture driven classrooms: are we keeping up? My plan is to bring a common sense approach to the decision-making process. It's not my intention to "go along to get along" but rather to challenge our current processes and systems to find better and more economical ways to get the results we want. Now is the time, with interest and attention garnered from the recent teacher’s strike and the bond issue, to begin the process of creating a real 20-year strategic plan for D60. Together we can create a new shared vision and set goals and objectives with the outcome to create the best education for our youth. We should be embracing proven metric and science-based new ideas and techniques.
PhD in educational research and policy analysis with a concentration in curriculum and instruction; Master of School Administration; Master of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Arts in Theatre.
Experienced educator (35+ years): education director/principal; assistant principal; teacher (high, middle and elementary schools)-core content teacher (English); Special Education teacher (gifted-reading & English); fine arts teacher (theatre and dance); English Second Language (ESL) teacher; paraprofessional (hearing impaired); substitute teacher; and education consultant-providing professional development for teachers, paraprofessionals and school administrators.
Pueblo Small Business Owner Educational Advocate/Consultant/Counselor in Business and Technology Center (BTC);
Colorado Certified Addiction Counselor II (CACII);
Colorado Registered Psychotherapist;
Current chair-Colorado Juvenile Parole Board;
El Pomar Leadership Plenty Facilitator 2019;
Leadership Pueblo 2016;
El Pomar Emerging Leaders Development;
Received AdvancED (SCAS CASI) Chair Training-as an AdvancED Quality Assurance Review Chair for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Council on Accreditation and School Improvement; trained to lead a quality assurance review team to visit any SACS CASI/AdvancED-member school.
Pueblo, Colorado, she served on District 10 Senate Bill 94 Board and later as an educational liaison helping the families with children transitioning from PYC detention center who were being denied re-entry into District 60 schools by fighting for their rights to a “free and appropriate” education and getting them back in school.
Currently, she is the President/CEO of Collaborative Educational Supportive Services, LLC an educational consultancy which represent families and fight for the rights of students in Pueblo to receive the education that they “legally” and “ethically” deserved (related issues: discipline, suspensions, truancy, mental health, 504 plans, IEPs, behavior contract, assessments, etc.); provides competency restoration educational services and counseling.
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD);
American Educational Research Association (AERA);
Colorado Association of Psychotherapist;
Greater Pueblo Chambers of Commerce-Member;
Pueblo Latino Chamber of Commerce
I am qualified to lead: PhD in educational research and policy analysis with a concentration in curriculum and instructions, Master of School Administration degrees;
Chair Training National Certification as an AdvancED Quality Assurance Review Chair for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Council on Accreditation and School Improvement; trained to lead a quality assurance review team visit into any SACS CASI/AdvancED-member school.
Extensive experience as an educator (35+ years): educational consultant, education administrator/director, principal/k-12 public school teacher;
Leadership Pueblo 2016; El Pomar Leadership Plenty Facilitator; Current chair of Colorado Juvenile Parole Board.
Pueblo Small Business Owner-(educational consultant/advocate/counselor) in Business and Technology Center
I have provided successfully educational leadership to improve the quality of education in alternative educational settings with vulnerable populations (youth incarcerated and/or in a residential mental health treatment facility) improving state test scores, academic performance, graduation rates, Career Technical Education certifications, and GED completion rates.
I have the passion, drive and commitment.
Seeing the challenges facing our students in District 60, when I moved to in Pueblo 6 years ago, I immediately became involved through Senate Bill 94 helping the families with children in PYC detention center who were being denied re-entry into District 60 schools by fighting for their rights to a “free and appropriate” education and getting them back in school.
Then, I opened a small business in Pueblo- educational advocate/consultant/counselor to represent families and fight for the rights of students in Pueblo to receive the education that they “legally” and “ethically” deserved (related issues include: discipline, suspensions, truancy, mental health, 504 plans, IEPs, behavior contract, assessments, etc. (over 90% of my clients were from District 60).
I began conducting workshops In Pueblo: “Knowing Your Educational Rights”-educating the parents, grandparents, foster parents, kinship parents and students of their educational rights so that they would be empowered to advocate for themselves.
I am running for Pueblo District 60 school board to prioritize students, empower teachers and make fair and equitable decisions. When I say prioritize students, I mean looking at our achievement gaps, discipline policies, graduation rates, promotion practices, suspension rates, truancy rates, special education services and educational programs to see what is working and what is not working, so we can make the needed changes to keep our students and give them ALL a first class 21st century education.
Empower teachers to teach by giving them autonomy of their classrooms, adequate resources, relevant professional development and paraprofessionals in classrooms with students with high needs.
Making fair and equitable decisions means putting in place a more comprehensive strategic plan (3-5 years) which includes every facet of District 60 and costs, i.e. building and equipment maintenance, educational programs expansions, personnel, union negotiations, a depreciation plan (for buildings, equipment, technology, vehicles, etc.) in the budget, etc. so that we do not get in this situation again.
If the bond succeeds:
1) Put in place a more comprehensive strategic plan (3-5 years) that includes every facet of District 60 and costs, i.e. maintenance, educational programs, personnel, union negotiations, a depreciation plan (for buildings, equipment, technology, vehicles, etc.) in the budget, etc. so that we do not get in this situation again. The strategic plan should include a task analysis to determine the best place to put personnel and resources to help the students succeed.
2) Partner with local businesses and organizations (PEDCO, Southern Colorado SBDC, local business owners, PCC, CSU-P) to bring Career Technical Education certifications into the schools to establish apprenticeships, internship, certifications for students. Use the model similar to PCC and St. Mary Corwin to utilize the unused spaces in the school buildings.
3) Partner with businesses and community organizations to put air conditioning in every school by the end of this school year.
4) Retain our students by looking at our achievement gaps, discipline policies, graduation rates, promotion practices, suspension rates, truancy rates, drug misuse and our special education services to see what is working and what is not working so we can make the needed changes to keep our students and give them ALL a first class 21st century education.
5) Create pipeline from K-college and K-business community.
6) Meet student needs: using innovative research proven models of school instruction: arts and PE in every school, community schools, social emotional learning, etc.
7) Build family communication-Meet families’needs-flexible hours for meeting with caregivers (parents, grandparents, etc.) to address family concerns, perhaps start Parent/Teacher/Student/Association (PTSA) in every school.
If the bond fails:
1) a Mil Levy override would be the next possible strategy to provide for construction as well as other resources.
2) Put in place a more comprehensive strategic plan (3-5 years) that includes every facet of District 60 and costs, i.e. maintenance, educational programs, personnel, union negotiations, a depreciation plan (for buildings, equipment, technology, vehicles, etc.) in the budget, etc. so that we do not get in this situation again. The strategic plan should include a task analysis to determine the best place to put personnel and resources to help the students succeed.
3) Partner with local businesses and organizations (PEDCO, Southern Colorado SBDC, local business owners, PCC, CSU-P) to bring Career Technical Education certifications into the schools to establish apprenticeships, internship, certifications for students. Use the model similar to PCC and St. Mary Corwin to use the unused spaces in the school buildings.
4) Partner with businesses and community organizations to put air conditioning in every school by the end of this school year.
5) Retain our students by looking at our achievement gaps, discipline policies, graduation rates, promotion practices, suspension rates, truancy rates, drug misuse and our special education services to see what is working and what is not working so we can make the needed changes to keep our students and give them ALL a first class 21st century education.
6) Create pipeline from K-college and K-business community.
7) Meet student needs: using innovative research proven models of school instruction: arts and PE in every school, community schools, social emotional learning, etc.
8) Build family communication-Meet families’ needs-flexible hours for meeting with caregivers (parents, grandparents, etc.) to address family concerns, perhaps start Parent/Teacher/Student/Association (PTSA) in every school.
1) Board Governance Training- so that every new and existing board member knows how to operate as a “governing” board.
2) Board structure: Analyze the current board structure to determine if additional board officers are needed, for instance a school board treasurer. The treasurer’s key responsibility would provide oversight in financial matters and would serve as the board representative/liaison between the board and financial staff.
3) Governing board to have access to data and direct communication to all critical components of the District (i.e. Senior administrative staff, reports, studies, etc.
4) Put in place a more comprehensive strategic plan (3-5 years) that includes every facet of District 60 and costs, i.e. maintenance, educational programs, personnel, union negotiations, a depreciation plan (for buildings, equipment, technology, vehicles, etc.) in the budget, etc. so that we do not get in this situation again. The strategic plan should include a task analysis to determine the best place to put personnel and resources to help the students succeed.
5) Communication & Trust-use technology to keep public informed, e.g. live streaming meeting, put budget on website, etc.
6) Changes driven by students’ needs.