Vail Daily letter: Easy to be a big fan of school district superintendent |

Vail Daily letter: Easy to be a big fan of school district superintendent

Wendy RimelVail, CO, Colorado

Contrary to Joe Kamby and his letter “Not a fan of schools chief,” I am a big fan of Sandra Smyser, the superintendent of Eagle County Schools, and am saddened by the prospect of losing her.That puts me in the camp of:• The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.• Colorado Association of School Executives, who named her “Superintendent of the Year.”• Hundreds of teachers and parents that I know and work with.• Most importantly at the moment, Poudre School District.Our school district will be hard pressed to replace someone of Smyser’s caliber. The community wanted the best superintendent we could find when we hired Smyser, and her salary is commensurate with her experience and expertise. The best and the cheapest are mutually exclusive. Poudre schools, and countless others, will happily pay her more, because she is worth it. Staff reductions and pay cuts are the result of state-reduced funding. During the past three years, the state of Colorado has cut $14.5 million from Eagle County Schools’ budget. In 2011, our community rejected a mill levy designed to mitigate those cuts. Smyser worked tirelessly to minimize the damage that the state funding reductions could inflict on student achievement and has shown leadership during a very difficult time. Our district is at a point where reinvestment can produce the world-class results we expect of the institutions in our community. Rather than condemn her in the papers and drive her decision to leave, I wish we would express our appreciation and give her reasons to stay. As a parent, and community volunteer, I am grateful for all she has done for our students. They are the primary beneficiaries of all of the great programs, national recognition and successes of Eagle County Schools.Wendy Rimel

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