School Views: A cornucopia of community |

School Views: A cornucopia of community

Philip Qualman
Valley Voices

Now is the time of year when we reflect on that which is important to us and what we’re thankful for. As a school district, it’s hard to look around and not be grateful for our community. In my previous School Views column, I began expressing our gratitude for the many outside organizations serving children in our valley. We live in an incredibly generous, supportive community, abundant with educational experiences for the young people of Eagle County.

On this day of Thanksgiving, I’d like to give special recognition to our closest community partner: the Education Foundation of Eagle County.

For years, EFEC has stood by the students and staff of our district and has been a steadfast political advocate for public education. School districts cannot use time or resources advocating for an initiative once it is placed on the ballot. EFEC, however, can support an issue, and it was instrumental in our community’s passage of 3A and 3B in 2016.

These essential initiatives allowed Eagle County Schools to rebuild and renew our physical infrastructure, retain and attract teachers and support staff, decrease class size, restore programs, and ensure all students have access to school counselors.

Our school district would not be the same without the critical effort and revenue that EFEC generates as our primary supporter.

With the help of their own partners and sponsors, EFEC financially supports teachers through classroom grants, monthly E•ƒ(ec)tive Apple Awards, and academic scholarships for distinguished teachers. To top it all off, it hosts an end-of-the-year celebration for all of our teachers: Evening of Stars.

In September, EFEC helped organize and produce Wild West Day, a local old-west event filled with entertainment for the whole family where the proceeds go to the PTAs of our nine elementary schools to enrich the quality of learning. Those PTAs determine how to spend the funds to best support their schools based on their needs.

EFEC’s next event is Project Funway. This unconventional, avant-garde, fashion show challenges amateur designers to create outfits out of anything but fabric for a runway appearance in front of expert judges. This remarkable and entertaining night showcases our community’s creativity, and generates funding for the EFEC and, in turn, Eagle County Schools.

If you’re interested in being a designer or volunteering for this event, complete an application at The event is Feb. 1 at Dobson Ice Arena, but designer applications close Dec. 1.

I highly encourage all of our staff members and families to get involved with the Education Foundation of Eagle County. Whether you’re a member or a donor, your contributions flow most directly into classrooms through EFEC.

We are thankful for the many contributions the Education Foundation of Eagle County and others make to Eagle County students. On behalf of Eagle County Schools, I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving — full of family, friends, love, and laughter!

Philip Qualman is the superintendent of Eagle County Schools. Email him at

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