4 appointed to council of education leadership

Four local education leaders and elected officials will represent a Western Slope perspective on reimagining the future of education in Colorado, from preschool to college, on Gov. John Hickenlooper’s Education Leadership Council.

The council, made up of 25 people, was formed in 2011 and revived by executive order in June.

Colorado Mesa University President Tim Foster, Clifton Elementary School Instructional Math Coach Felicia Casto, Rep. Bob Rankin and Rep. Millie Hamner were appointed to the board on Sept. 26.

The leadership council will gather input from local communities and make recommendations to the governor’s office and the Legislature on how to improve Colorado’s education system, from early childhood education to universities and colleges.

“A fundamental aim of the education leadership council will be to give a voice to those who are served by and those who serve within the education system, who are closest to the daily activity of preparing to be successful in tomorrow’s economy and society, and who have critical views on what works and what does not,” Hickenlooper said in the June executive order.

Foster said he’s looking forward to talking about the affordability of postsecondary education.

“It’s a good group of people, and you always enjoy working on things that look at moving forward and at how to get more people to go to college or graduate high school,” Foster said.

“I want to bring a focus on affordability and how do we get back to engaging students, eighth grade through seniors, about what they want to be and what they want to do. In all likelihood it’s going to require some college, so how are they going to make it happen?”

Casto said she hopes to gain a better understanding of education at the state level and how that applies to Mesa County schools.

“I’m excited to be a voice for kids, and as our mission is to develop a strategic plan for education in Colorado, I’m excited to bring a math perspective and that elementary lens of what it will look like,” she said.


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