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Ready to lead

Newly elected School Board members to focus on education quality, facility upgrades, construction

Bridget Manley

Newly elected Moffat County School Board officers Rod Durham, Andrea Camp and Trish Snyder said they are ready to lead the district through campus upgrades and construction while maintaining quality education.

“I think we’re definitely prepared to handle what comes our way,” Camp said.

At its Nov. 27 meeting, the board elected Durham president. It also selected Camp as vice president and Snyder as secretary.

With four other board members, the officials will oversee school campus improvements and the construction of a new middle school.

Voters passed a $29.5 million bond issue in November that will fund the project.

The board’s task is twofold and includes ensuring the quality of Moffat County education while acting as “good stewards” of the community’s tax dollars, Durham said.

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While the facilities project will be a major concern for the board, its primary focus – ensuring quality education for Moffat County students – remains the same, he added.

The three officials possess 14 years of combined School Board experience. Durham has served on the board six years, and Camp and Snyder have completed four-year terms.

Given their experience, the members are well-prepared for the tasks before them, said Joel Sheridan, Moffat County assistant superintendent.

“They’ve been through tough decisions : and have (had) to look at issues different ways,” Sheridan said.

In addition to overseeing various stages of the facilities project, the School Board is responsible for selecting one of three models for middle and elementary school student placement while the new middle school is under construction.

The options were placed before the board during the Nov. 27 meeting.

One of these options entails placing next year’s eighth-graders in the high school, an option the board viewed unfavorably at its last meeting, Sheridan said.

Another option entails moving next year’s fifth-grade students and teachers to surrounding elementary schools while housing sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students at Craig Intermediate School.

A third option would lodge seventh- and eighth-graders in modular units around CIS, leaving fifth- and sixth-grade students in the school.

“We’re looking at the ramifications of all the models,” Sheridan said. “I think it’s fair to say that no model is ideal.”

The board is expected to reach a decision by its next monthly meeting, Dec. 20.

Yet in the midst of construction, board members and administrators intend to maintain focus on ensuring quality education for Moffat County students.

“I think we have to keep focused on what we’re here for – educating kids,” Sheridan said.

If the bond issue had failed, the decisions placed before the board would have been more difficult, Sheridan said. Among them would have been taking money from operating funds and programs to finance facility maintenance.

With the bond issue’s approval, facilities “won’t take so much attention,” he said.

Bridget Manley can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 207 or