Making a difference behind the scenes


For most of us, there’s at least one teacher whose name we will never forget. For me, that was my first grade teacher, Mrs. Jones. I remember how much she cared about me and how she made me feel special.

In Pagosa’s schools, Mary Kurt-Mason is one of those teachers whose name many will never forget. She changes lives. Once again Kurt-Mason has been nationally recognized for the work she does with her students and it’s certainly no surprise that she is uncomfortable with the idea that she does that work alone.

Scott White is another unforgettable teacher. In June, White will be taking 38 of his eighth-grade students to experience our nation’s historical sites firsthand in Washington, D.C. White’s American History class also hosts the annual Veterans Day breakfast. The event is a living history lesson for his students and a welcome event for veterans. White’s hands-on approach to education is commendable.

Pagosa has many amazing teachers and school staff who do their work and don’t look for praise — they are in it for their students. They are quick to point out that they aren’t the only ones who are working to leave a lasting impression on our children. In the background you will find many people working to set our students up for success.

Teachers rely on their aides, office staff, support staff and registrars on a day-to-day basis.

You will find counselors, behavior coaches, gifted and talented staff, prevention specialists, therapists, nurses and even Jaycie — the black Lab pup — all helping in a variety of capacities.

Working to assist students in becoming academically successful are librarians, media specialists and technology staff.

Those making the tough decisions are the superintendent, assistant superintendent, principals and school board. Implementing those decisions are the business and finance director and administrative staff.

Transportation personnel include bus drivers and directors, along with mechanics, service technicians, routing and dispatch, warehouse and receiving, who all work to provide safe, reliable transportation to and from school, athletic events and school activities.

Food service staff prepare healthy, safe meals and snacks, enabling students to perform their best both physically and academically.

Coaches motivate, inspire and influence our student athletes, striving to make them well-rounded individuals.

Our custodians and maintenance keep our facilities operational, clean and safe.

There are the many parents and community volunteers involved at every level of education lending a hand and making a difference.

We also have our early childhood centers  — Head Start, Seeds of Learning and private in-home daycare providers all preparing our children for what lies ahead.

There are after-school programs through the Education Center, Youth Center, 4-H programs, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, among others.

Every amazing teacher along with their exceptional team of support staff, should be recognized for their positive impact on our children’s lives.

Who should you say “thank you” to today?

Terri Lynn Oldham House