Time to gear up as summer winds on

I say this every year at this time, but, “Wow! Really? Already?”

Didn’t class just let out for summer a few days ago?

And now here we stand again, poised and ready for our schools to throw wide their doors and students to trundle in with various degrees of enthusiasm. Instead of “no more classes, no more books,” it’s almost time for “no more downtime, no more games.”

In my (much) younger days, I would look toward the start of the school year with a mix of excitement and trepidation. I had the good fortune to travel quite a bit during the summers, so school meant the chance to reunite with friends and once again pursue my passion for music, theater and musical theater.

It meant expanding my mind and learning about new and interesting things. And algebra … I also learned about algebra.

But I have to admit, xx years (actual number redacted to protect the innocent) after finishing my post-graduate work, I miss that sense of excitement.

Which is why I’m a little envious this year of the students and teachers at Harrison School District 2. You see, the district is in the throes of the $180 million facility overhaul that you, Southeast, approved via vote last November.

Renovating each of the district’s campuses and the administrative headquarters is expected to take six years, but work began in earnest at Otero and Centennial elementaries as well as Sand Creek International School almost as soon as the last students left the buildings. (In fact, some work began before the academic ended.) Mountain Vista Community School, Sierra High and Fox Meadow Middle School also got some TLC over the summer months.

Does that mean all students are going to be walking into shiny, new buildings? Not at this point.

Does it mean they will be walking into safe, up-to-date facilities that are ready for learning? Absolutely.

And that’s all because of you. As a community, Southeast recognized the need to invest in its future — not just for a year or even five down the road, but for the next generation. And that deserves commendation.

It’s not outside the realm of possibility that a student who returns to his or her freshly renovated school this year may be inspired to come back a decade or so from now and take the helm in that same classroom.

Just ask Sierra football Head Coach Draye Ersery. The three-sport Sierra athlete and alumnus of the class of 2005 returned to his alma mater last season to turn around the program.

“I care about this school,” he told Express intern Lily Reavis for a season preview. “These guys are actually trying. There’s an honest effort here to change character.”

And that really sums up the undertakings of the district as a whole.

Good schools are critical to the character of a healthy community, and Southeast has some shining stars. Granted, there is still plenty of work — both physical and academic — to be done, but thanks to your vote of confidence, progress is under way.

Please join us as we go back to school, and stick with us as we will continue to keep a watchful eye on your school district, its renovations and all that come with them.

** Related content: Inside the investment **

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Now for a few bookkeeping matters.

First, we are delighted to welcome Nohea March to the Express team. Nohea will be hitting the streets of her home community of Southeast, helping our community’s businesses, nonprofits and local organizations build marketing campaigns and spread the word via our pages.

So if you run across our newest Expresser with her big, friendly grin, stop and say hi. And, as we are constantly growing, don’t hesitate to reach out to her for help creating a marketing plan that will get your business before an estimated 80,000 readers.

Nohea can be contacted at 719-329-5217 or

Lastly, we at the Express are seeking the help of a few good citizens. We need 25 volunteer community ambassadors who would be game to answer a quick survey with each edition and to spread the word about the paper within your community. We promise we won’t take too much of your time; but as we continue to grow and develop, it’s important that the Express continues to meet our readers’ expectations.

To learn more or to volunteer, feel free to drop me a call or an email. I look forward to working with you!

Contact Southeast Express Editor and General Manager Regan Foster at (719) 578-2802 or