Dear CSS Families,
Several important members of our community have let me know that their future plans are taking them in new directions next year. We wish them well and are thankful for the time and talent they shared with us during their tenure at CSS. Hiring is one of the most important things I do as Head of School, and we take great pride and care to hire the best for CSS.
Faith Madsen has brought optimism, organization, and warmth to her role as Director of Admission. Her ability to see the big picture, build relationships, and focus on institutional advancement has been an excellent service to our small school. During her tenure, we rolled out the Indexed Tuition program and saw an increase in the school’s enrollment of over 10%. This fall, Faith informed me that the US military has changed its orders and the Madsen family’s plans to remain in Colorado Springs for the indefinite future have been altered. Graciously, Faith offered to stay and help with a transition until near the end of February. I am very grateful to Faith for serving in this position. The school benefitted greatly from her efforts and talents.
This winter we conducted a national search and I am pleased to announce that Joy Maguire-Parsons has accepted my offer to become our new Director of Admission. Joy has 12 years of experience as Director of Admission at an independent pre-K through 12th grade independent school in Ojai, California. Her references speak to her ability to build relationships, create recruitment events, build “bridges” between groups, and have a finger on the pulse of the community. The search committee was impressed with her intelligence, professionalism, deep knowledge and belief in the mission of CSS, and her ability to connect with people. She will start July 1st, 2017.
Maggie Beltrami has agreed to step into the Interim Director of Admission role during the period of time after Faith’s departure to Germany on February 22nd and Joy’s start date on July 1st. Maggie has been at CSS for almost a year now in her current role as Admission Assistant. She and Faith have been preparing for this transition for several months. I’m thankful for her willingness to take on an expanded role during the spring and early summer.
Carol Mayberry, our Children’s School division lead teacher, has informed me that her professional career is going in new directions. Next year, she’ll join her husband Peter at a national organization involved in youth ministry. Throughout the three years that Carol has led the Children’s School, I’ve been impressed with her “feel” and respect for all people, her contagious optimism about children, and her growth mindset about both teaching and the CSS Children’s School in general.
On July 1st, Maggie Beltrami will “switch hats” from the Interim Admission Director position to become our next Children’s School Division Lead. Maggie will bring with her not only her recent experience with the CSS Admission office but 15 years of serving as executive director of a progressive preschool and kindergarten in Boise, Idaho. Maggie’s knowledge of our program, connections with our teachers and parents, and broad knowledge of teaching and learning in the early grades will serve her well in this important rule. Her input into recent events like our newly reinstated Kindergarten Information Night has already had a positive impact on our Children’s School.
Rick Risk has let me know that he plans to retire and enjoy more time with Anita in the years ahead. I appreciate the abundant and positive school “spirit” that Rick has brought to CSS in his 18 years here. CSS athletics have evolved a great deal under Rick’s guidance and encouragement. We will miss his presence at CSS from the coaching bench to the senior admin team and literally everywhere in between.
After a careful search, an internal candidate was named as Rick’s successor. A veteran CSS PE teacher and coach, Vicki Vaughan will take up her athletic director duties at the end of the year. As we all know, Vicki knows the school well, is organized, professional and motivated to take CSS athletics to the next level!
Upper School faculty member, Anne Taylor has agreed to serve as the Director of our new Capstone Experience program. Born out of faculty discussions on our summer reading book, The Path to Purpose, the Capstone Experience program will debut in the 17-18 school year. It builds upon the CSS tradition of experiential education by allowing seniors release from traditional classwork time during the last three weeks of their senior year in order to pursue a project, internship, or educational experience which suits one of their passions. Anne is an excellent choice to help design and support this project. Her relevant experience includes being the founder and director of the REACH program, her long service as a faculty member at Head-Royce School in the Bay area (which has a similar program), and her well-established ability to inspire her Upper School students with hands-on learning.
This is also a time of change in the classroom. Mariana Pereda has made “retirement” plans to seek adventure in the Colorado high country next year. An excellent world languages teacher and department chair, Mariana is also a great colleague and leader amongst our Middle School faculty, as well as an active and thoughtful advisor to her students. Mariana will be missed for her strong teaching skills, high standards, and good cheer.
Libby Leachman, our kindergarten teacher for the last 11 years has made plans to return to the South to be closer to family and for her spouse to pursue greater professional opportunities. Over the years, her classroom has harbored the sounds of budding readers and mathematicians and the walls and countertops have displayed the good work of young experiential learners. I thank Libby for her passionate teaching and care of our kindergarteners.
Lastly, both Jennifer Hedden and Paul Young have both expressed an interest in transitioning to part-time teaching at CSS in the future. Over the course of their nearly 20-year careers at CSS, both Jen and Paul have earned justifiably high reputations for our Upper School math program. We are thrilled that they will still both be here next year.
We are pleased with the progress made thus far, but there is still much to be done. As you can tell from the information above, we are still determining staffing assignments in the Children’s School, searching for candidates for our PE position, Upper School mathematics, MS/CS Spanish, and an Admission Assistant. Open positions are posted on the website. We’ve enjoyed strong levels of interest and we will continue to bring the best educators to CSS for our students.
Please join us for the following events to honor important people in our community.
Senior Night with Rick Risk, Athletic Director
Send-off for Faith Madsen, Director of Admission
Tuesday, February 21, 2017, 3:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Trianon Terrace Room
Come for cake and to wish Faith and her children well wishes on their final day at CSS.
Head of School