Class notes

Here’s what’s happening inside classrooms and school board rooms …

Honoring excellence

A pair of Colorado Springs educators recently received coveted recognitions.

Palmer High School digital media instructor Sean Wybrant clinched the Colorado Succeeds Prize Excellence in Technology. Wybrant, a Colorado Springs School District 11 instructor, won a $15,000 award to support his tech-forward initiatives.

The recognition will allow the school to expand its student-to-student collaboration with youths in Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands. 

And at Harrison School District Two, Soaring Eagles Elementary School second-grade math and science teacher Sarah Symanski was recognized as one of the nation’s top educators this year. The Milken Family Foundation surprised Symanski in December with a 2018-19 Milken Educator Award, an honor reserved for no more than 40 American teachers.

This marks the second Milken Educator Award for Soaring Eagles. Literacy coach Gina Oellig, earned the honor in 2010.

Oversight committee seated

Seven community members will take on the oversight of D-2’s $180 million bond. The initiative was approved in November and will allow the district to pay for physical renovations, safety updates and technology improvements at each of its schools.

In its ballot question, the district specified that if the initiative were approved, it would form a citizen’s committee to oversee the implementation and completion of the process. The board members were announced Jan. 7 and they held their first meeting Jan. 14.

The members are: Joann Brown, Ann Charfauros-Merwede, Deborah Hendrix, Augi Perez, Abby Simpson, Butch Skinner and Michelle Wills-Hill.

D-11 recruits planning team

District 11 is setting a course for its long-term future.

The district is in the early phases of creating a strategic plan that will serve as the blueprint for change and a framework for future decisions. The proposal will include a district mission, a plan of action and measurement tools to chart progress.

But district officials can’t do it alone.

To reflect the ideas and interests of all communities in its boundaries, the district recruited interested community members, parents, staff, students and its own leaders to serve on the Core Planning Team.

Members will meet for three days in February, and present their recommendations for final review on May 4 .

Districts accepting choice enrollments

Both District 11 and D-2 are now accepting new students and taking applications for inner-district transfers.

District 11 set a Feb. 15 deadline to submit choice open enrollment paperwork for the 2019-20 academic year. D-2 will keep its window open through March 15.

Choice enrollment offers parents the chance to place their students in a school other than their neighborhood campus. It also means students may opt into out-of-district institutions.

Both districts offer award-winning talented-and-gifted, international baccalaureate, magnet and charter programs. Enrollment forms can be found on each district’s website.

For D-2, visit and click on “CHOICE OPEN ENROLLMENT FOR 2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR” from the homepage. Call the Student Support office at (719) 579-2554 for more information.

To find District 11’s application, log on to For further help or with questions, call (719) 520-2297.

— Compiled by Regan Foster

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