Remembering former superintendent and D60 Education Foundation founder, Dr. M. Edmund Vallejo

posted Jul 9, 2020, 9:17 AM by Anthony Sandstrom

Current and former superintendents of Pueblo School District 60 (L-R): Dr. M. Edmund Vallejo, Charlotte Macaluso, and Dr. Henry Roman, in 2019. Vallejo passed away at the age of 90 on July 7, 2020. (District 60 Communications).

Former Pueblo School District 60 superintendent, Dr. M. Edmund Vallejo, passed away July 7, 2020 at the age of 90. Dr. Vallejo was D60 Superintendent from 1985-91, which closed out a 36-year career as an educator in Pueblo.

Current D60 Superintendent Charlotte Macaluso said: “As an education leader in our community, I am humbled to say that I stand on the shoulders of giants who have come before. One of those giants is Dr. Vallejo. Dr. Vallejo leaves a legacy with a very deep reach. It is a legacy of love and service to D60 and the Pueblo community. There is no greater reward, no greater legacy, than to positively change the trajectory of countless lives. Dr. Vallejo is the epitome of a life well lived….a life of purpose and impact.”

Dr. Vallejo was born in Kansas City, Mo. on Sept. 10, 1929, but lived his developing years at St. Joseph's Foundling Home and Mt. St. Vincent Home, a Catholic orphanage in Denver, until 1943. He graduated from St. Mary High School in Walsenburg in 1947 before working toward his Bachelor of Arts degree in English and History/Political Science from Adams State College in 1955. He would attain his Master of Arts degree in Educational Psychology and Guidance from the University of Northern Colorado in 1958, and his Ph.D. in education from Kansas State University in 1975. He also did postdoctoral work at Teachers’ College, Columbia University in New York City in 1982.

In addition to his education, Dr. Vallejo was also very proud of his service in the United States Navy during the Korean War as a photographer.  

Dr. Vallejo served his entire 36-year career in education in Pueblo School District 60. He was an English teacher, part-time school counselor, reading specialist, junior high and middle school principal, and associate superintendent for instructional services before being named superintendent of schools in 1985. 

After his retirement in 1991, Dr. Vallejo served as a volunteer mentor and tutor to at-risk children, most of them high school dropouts. Dr. Vallejo was so passionate about supporting students that he established the Pueblo School District 60 Education Foundation in 1990. Dr. Vallejo was the longest standing trustee of the board, having served each year since its inception. Under his leadership and guidance, the Foundation developed partnerships with major organizations that allowed D60 to resurface the track and field at Dutch Clark Stadium, award numerous college scholarships to deserving students, and grant thousands of dollars to D60 teachers on an annual basis to enrich and improve the overall quality of education in our school district. 

Macaluso said her career in education was informed by her interactions with Dr. Vallejo, and that he touched her life in immeasurable ways.

“My first introduction and encounter with Dr. Vallejo, was when I was a student at East High School and Dr. Vallejo was serving as D60 Superintendent,” Macaluso said. “As a young and impressionable student, Dr. Vallejo served as an important Latino role model and motivational figure for me, who stressed the importance of education. My last and most recent encounter with Dr. Vallejo was sitting next to him in a D60 Education Foundation board meeting. I remember distinctly, taking the time to be truly present in the moment and reflect upon my gratitude for his positive influence in my life and my career choice.”

Vallejo was the 11th individual, and the first Hispanic to serve as superintendent since D60 was consolidated from Districts 1 and 20 in 1946. Upon his retirement in 1991, he was the longest-serving superintendent D60 has had since consolidation.

“We will continue to honor his legacy, as it serves as a catalyst for action to continually work toward improving educational outcomes for all students and to advance the work of the D60 Education Foundation,” Macaluso said.

D60 enrolling for FREE Pre-K for qualified 3- and 4-year-olds this fall

posted Jul 8, 2020, 3:24 PM by Anthony Sandstrom   [ updated Jul 8, 2020, 3:26 PM ]

The Pueblo School District 60 FREE Preschool program plans to open in the Fall of 2020 with in-class instruction throughout our district schools. The goal of the D60 Pre-K program is to serve students ages 3-5 with the highest need that face educational challenges due to family, economic, or developmental concerns.

Enrollment in the Pre-K program is by application only.  Normally, the application is an interview process conducted one-on-one with a district preschool staff member, but for your safety and convenience, you can now apply online!

We will offer a hands-on, developmentally-appropriate learning environment that focuses on the social, emotional, and educational needs of our preschool students through small group interactions inside and outside the classroom.

As we open, we will follow guidance from the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment, the Colorado Department of Public Health, Governor Jared Polis, the Office of Early Childhood Child Care licensing, and CDE guidelines for schools so that parents can rest assured that their students are in a safe environment. 

Some anticipated measures may include daily temperature checks for staff and students, reporting your child’s health during the past 12-24 hrs, staggered start times, movement in a cohort group, and mask-wearing.

Again, D60 is excited to welcome our newest learners to the classroom environment! If you have a student that may be interested in enrolling, or know someone who does, please encourage them to enroll online today!


D60 making preparations for upcoming school year

posted Jun 29, 2020, 12:04 PM by Anthony Sandstrom

PUEBLO, CO – By late July or early August, Pueblo School District 60 plans to release details 
regarding the instructional model that will be used for the 2020-21 school year.

District 60 leadership has been actively working with a 75 member Stakeholder Task Force to determine the instructional model for the 2020-21 school year. Additionally, a survey was distributed to the community, asking respondents to share their instructional preferences. Approximately 3,600 families responded to the survey, with 87% of households indicating a preference for in-person instruction or a hybrid of in-person instruction and distance learning.

“Though no final decisions have been made, our hope is to be able to provide in-person instruction in some form with appropriate health and safety precautions in place,” said Suzanne Morey, D60 Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning. “D60 will also accommodate those students who require 100% online instruction.”

Final decisions regarding health and safety measures will be informed by and remain responsive to guidance from the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Governor Jared Polis’s recommendations, as well as the Colorado Department of Education’s COVID-19 guidelines for schools.

Anticipated health and safety measures may include:
  • daily temperature and wellness checks of both adults and students
  • frequent hand washing
  • social distancing when possible
  • specific cleaning and sanitation procedures
  • a culture of mask-wearing.
To ensure equity of access to instruction, D60 will distribute a technology device to each Kindergarten through 12th grade student for use both in the classroom and at home as needed.

“Access to technology will allow for a seamless transition in the event we need to transition from in-person instruction to at home learning as needs occur,” Morey said.

Dalton Sprouse
Director of Communications
Pueblo School District 60

Three District 60 employees recognized as 2020 Classified Staff of the Year

posted Jun 23, 2020, 5:28 PM by Anthony Sandstrom

Three outstanding Pueblo School District 60 classified employees - Heritage Elementary Nutrition Services Leader Shay Robinson, D60 Teaching and Learning Administrative Assistant Kathy Vail, and Centennial High School Principal's Secretary Pam Hough - were named the recipients of the Pueblo School District 60 Classified Staff of the Year Awards, announced Tuesday at the D60 Board of Education meeting.

Thirteen classified staff employees were nominated by D60 staff members, parents and/or administrators for going "above and beyond" in their service to D60 and their schools. In addition to Robinson, Vail and Hough, the nominees included Dianne Carrillo (D60 Athletics), Valerie Gallegos (PAA), Cleone Harder (Corwin), Heather Huffman (Central), Scott Marshall (D60 Custodial), Rochelle Medina (Corwin), Lydia Portillos (Franklin), Chris Romero (D60 Maintenance), Tony Saiz (Carlile), and Amanda Vigil (PAA).

The District 60 Classified Employee of the Year Awards is currently in its second year. The Classified Employee Award recipients will be recognized alongside the three previously-selected Pueblo County Chapter Colorado Teacher Award recipients at a ceremony to be announced at a later date. 

Shay Robinson, Nutrition Services Leader, Heritage Elementary
Nominated by Krista Lauricella and Catherine Sajbel

From her nomination letter:
"Shay goes above and beyond for our students.  She ensures that every day that meals are prepared and served to our students.  She knows our students by name and all of their needs.  When we have special events, she is always there to participate."

"She runs a tight ship. Her kitchen is immaculate. She greets everyone in the morning with a smile. She genuinely cares. When we need help, Shay is always there to lend a hand."

"She knows which students have food allergies, and reminds them what they can have. She demands respect, and in turn, gives each student respect as well. The students use their manners, saying "please and thank you". She demonstrates integrity every day. She inspires me to be a better person."

Kathy Vail, Administrative Assistant, D60 Administration/Teaching & Learning
Nominated by Morganlee Kempf and Jacque Phillips

From her nomination letter:
"The first thing you notice about Kathy is her calm and pleasant demeanor. She is a dynamic individual ready to tackle new challenges. She carries it out to the highest degree and without doubt no matter what is asked of her. Her energy in attacking a task is almost unparalleled. Kathy is meticulous in her work and handles all responsibilities with efficiency and professionalism. Her attention to detail is evident in the work she does. If you need help, Kathy is there to help without a doubt!"

"Kathy's commitment to the district is unwavering and her work shows her inspiration for the students. Kathy assisted with the organization and planning of several district celebrations, such as the District Spelling Bee and the District STEM Science Fair, that serves students, parents and community members. Because of her support with planning, preparation, and fine detail, these events were a huge success!"

"The secretary is the face of every building or organization; a face that can make a relationship or break it. Kathy is a person who will certainly make that first impression fun and long lasting."

Pam Hough, Principal's Secretary, Centennial High School
Nominated by Dave Craddock and Nic Roberts

From her nomination letter:
"If you asked any employee here, they would say that Pam is the epicenter of our school."

"Pam is a champion for students. She works tirelessly on her own time to create and promote achievements by our students. She assumes the responsibility for running our website because it is one of many vehicles to promote students. On her own time, she bridges that gap between a foundation board that operates mainly on nightly meetings, to ensure that information regarding students and staff are immediately promoted the next day at school. She continues to use her personal time to digitally design and produce products that advertise our students, staff and initiatives, which saves the school thousands in design costs. Pam makes everyone at Centennial and our community feel special and appreciated."

"She understands that at the high school level, important activities extend beyond the time clock and she truly models how to be a volunteer for the good of our school and kids."

D60 Summer Meal program begins June 9

posted Jun 2, 2020, 4:11 PM by Anthony Sandstrom   [ updated Jun 2, 2020, 4:20 PM ]

Beginning June 9 and continuing through July 31, D60 will transition to its Summer Drive-Thru Meal program.

The Summer Drive-Thru Meal Program will operate similar to the current "grab-and-go" meal distribution format District 60 has conducted for the past two months.

D60 will provide meal kits to children age 18 and under on Tuesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., adhering to proper social distancing standards during distribution. Three days' worth of meal kits, which includes breakfast and lunch, will be distributed.

Meals will be distributed at the locations listed below:
  • Bessemer Academy 1125 E. Routt Ave.
  • East High School 9 MacNeil Rd.
  • Heritage Elementary 625 Brown Ave.
  • Irving Elementary 1629 W. 21st St.
  • Pueblo Academy of Arts 29 Lehigh Ave.
  • Risley Middle School 625 Monument Ave.
  • South Park Elementary 3100 Hollywood Blvd.
Summer meals will also be offered to students attending the Pueblo Boys and Girls Club at the SRDA and Sprague club houses, the El Pueblo History Museum's summer program for children, and the YMCA's summer program for children.

Please note that meal service will be discontinued at Heaton Middle School beginning on June 8, and meals for senior citizens (60+) will end at all locations on June 30.

In partnership with Care and Share of Pueblo, pantries have been established at South Park and Irving elementary schools. Families in need can visit these pantries at the following dates between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.:
  • South Park Elementary June 15, June 29, and July 13
  • Irving Elementary June 22, July 6, and July 20

Three D60 teachers receive Colorado Teacher Awards for Pueblo County chapter

posted May 7, 2020, 2:21 PM by Anthony Sandstrom

Three outstanding Pueblo School District 60 teachers - Haaff Elementary School Kindergarten teacher Marcia Griglak, Goodnight School Kindergarten teacher Courtney Lockett, and Irving Elementary School physical education teacher Chris Markert - were named the recipients of Colorado Teacher Awards for the Pueblo County Chapter Thursday.

Annually, the Colorado Teacher Awards recognizes the teaching profession by honoring the distinguished teachers in a school system that has a Colorado Teacher Awards chapter.

In the Pueblo County Chapter, which is in its 36th year, nine outstanding teachers were nominated. Griglak, Lockett and Markert were selected by a 12-member committee, co-chaired by Pueblo attorney David Lytle and Leslie Shepard of SunWest Credit Union.

The Colorado Teachers Awards, founded by Charles W. Lerch in 1956, recognizes excellence in teaching as a tribute to all teachers and provides a means by which the business community and general public can honor outstanding teachers. 

Marcia Griglak, Kindergarten teacher, Haaff Elementary
Nominated by Sandra Montoya and Kathleen Lewis, 
Principal Betsy DeCesaro

Marcia Griglak has taught at Haaff Elementary since 2001, teaching 3rd grade, 4th grade and Kindergarten. She is also Haaff's math coach, its No Bully implementation coach, Peace Summit coordinator, PBIS chairperson, school beautification coordinator, social committee chairperson and a certified trainer for "7 Habits of Highly Effective Families."

From her nominators: "Mrs. Griglak does not view teaching as her 'job' but as her responsibility to enrich the lives of children. She sets a standard of high expectations for herself and those around her which has proven to be contagious among our staff. Other teachers strive to reach the standard set by Mrs. Griglak."

Courtney Lockett, Kindergarten teacher, Goodnight School
Nominated by Alison Selle and Heather Atencio, 
Principal Andrea Glaeser

Courtney Lockett has taught Kindergarten at Goodnight since 2010. In addition to establishing a standard for excellence in her Kindergarten classrooms, she has been active in multiple Goodnight organizations, including the Building Leadership Team, P.B.I.S., P.T.O., and school accountability, social and carnival committees. She has also been an assistant girls soccer coach at South High School during her time at Goodnight. 

From her nominators: "From the day her students enter her classroom, they are met with some of Courtney's mantras, such as 'there is no 'can't' in our room at all' and 'you don't have to be perfect as long as you try' ... Her philosophy is that this sense of independence establishes the confidence they need to think critically and work on their own later on."

Chris Markert, physical education teacher, Irving Elementary School
Nominated by Miranda Genova and Assistant Principal Christina Benavidez

Chris Markert has been a teacher since 2001, teaching the 5th grade from 2001-16 at Somerlid Elementary, Heroes Academy, and Irving Elementary. Since 2016, Chris has taught P.E. at Irving, where in addition to his role as an educator, he has also become a mentor for other teachers at the school.

From his nominators: ""Mr. Markert encourages our students. He always encourages open communication and free thinking with students to make them feel important. Mr. Markert is enthusiastic, praises students often and recognizes them for their contributions... Not only is Mr. Markert our Physical Education teacher at Irving, he is also a well-respected mentor ... Mr. Markert demonstrates for each teacher the expectation and then allows the teacher to practice, providing them in-the-moment feedback."

Among the nominees for a 2020 Colorado Teacher Award from the Pueblo County chapter were: Verla Hutchins (Corwin), Kim O'Connor (Bessemer), Janet Rivera (Franklin), Kerrie Studen (Beulah Heights), Kimberly VanHee (Central), and Kelsi Vigil (Highland Park).

The recognitions from the Pueblo Chapter of the Colorado Teacher of the Year Awards would not be possible without the contributions of sponsors: Legacy Bank, SunWest Credit Union, Colorado Bank and Trust, Black Hills Energy, Xcel Energy, St. Mary Corwin Medical Center, Parkview Medical Center, Little Caesar's Pizza, PS I Love You Flowers, and the Pueblo Chieftain.

Board of Education allows for members to attend remotely

posted Mar 23, 2020, 5:04 PM by Anthony Sandstrom

The Pueblo School District 60 Board of Education convened for a special meeting Monday, Mar. 23 to amend its policy to allow for electronic participation of board members in future Board meetings. The meeting was conducted in accordance with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment guidance, gatherings of 10 people or more are prohibited. The Board practiced "social distancing" guidelines recommended by the CDC, CDPHE, and executive orders issued by Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, sitting more than six feet away from one another. 

The policy amendment was approved unanimously at the 10-minute meeting, in which three board members were present (President Taylor Voss, Dennis Maes and Tommy Farrell). Barb Clementi and Vice President Dr. Margaret Wright attended the meeting remotely via webcam.

The move is in response to the current public health emergency in Colorado in response to the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) outbreak. Monday, in-person attendance was limited to essential District personnel and Board members. It is also consistent with Colorado House Bill 20-1301, passed by the Colorado Legislature on March 14.

The law allows school district boards to adopt a policy that allows remote participation in meetings via electronic means, only if a quorum of members are physically present.

The next scheduled Board of Education meeting is a work session scheduled for Thursday, April 9. The next regular Board of Education meeting is Tuesday, April 28.

Addressing the matter of transparency, the public is invited to view these and any other future meetings via live video feed. Video feeds will be posted on District 60's Vimeo page (, which includes archived meetings, as well.

The public can also join future meetings by phone to access the audio feed by dialing ‪1 929-249-3773‬ and entering the pin: ‪861 691 630‬#.

Staff, students tour three Colorado schools, taking notes for Centennial, East builds

posted Mar 2, 2020, 3:52 PM by Anthony Sandstrom

Various stakeholders including community members, teachers, students and administrators from District 60, Centennial High School and East High School toured three Colorado schools Friday, taking notes on school features and amenities as the design stage for new Centennial and East high schools gets underway.

Jack Mousseau, a Principal Architect with MOA Architects, which along with HGF Architects are drawing up plans for the new high schools, arranged the tours to give the Pueblo contingent a chance to essentially “window shop” school features.

Tours took place at Vista Peak High School in Aurora, Cherry Creek Innovation Campus in Aurora, and Chinook Trail Middle School in Colorado Springs. Two of those schools, Vista Peak and Chinook Trail, were designed by MOA/HGF.

Vista Peak is a more traditional, comprehensive high school while the Cherry Creek Innovation Campus is a specialty campus for Career and Technical Education (CTE) students. Chinook Hills, while a middle school, was built for 1,000 students, which is the planned capacity for the East and Centennial high schools.

“We wanted to show off a variety of schools,” Mousseau said. “Each school has a different component, and it’s part of showing this group what education looks like today.”

Each building demonstrated current educational trends and approaches in action, and though the schools were nothing alike, they all had similar modern approaches to school security, energy efficiency, natural lighting and architectural style.

Centennial Principal David Craddock and East Principal Andy Clementi examined details of each school, taking notes along the way and thinking about the needs of their students.

“I’m looking at everything,” Clementi said, “looking at the flow of the building and the safety. Also, with us being a neighborhood school, it’s important for us to look at things like competitive gyms, auditoriums, places for our CTE programs. These are things that our community wants.”

Craddock said his biggest takeaway was the focus on shared learning spaces, an emerging trend in education. Larger cooperative classrooms and “pods” that encourage collaboration between classes and students were on display at all three schools.

“I liked the shareable space concept,” Craddock said. “Industries today have a lot of shareable, collaborative space, and to see that and how (the schools) use it in education was a nice thing that I was looking for.”

Centennial freshman Abbie Odell saw eye-to-eye with Craddock on the concept of larger learning spaces. 

“One of the biggest things for me was comfort,” Odell said, “and things that would provide a better learning environment. The bigger learning spaces, better chairs and desks is what’s important for me.”

Comfort and collaboration was also key on East freshman Kayla Valdez’s wishlist. She enjoyed the larger joined spaces at each school, both in and out of the classroom.

“I love the modern looks, the furniture, the higher ceilings and the larger learning spaces,” Valdez said. “A place that is more open and has social spaces for students, that makes me feel more comfortable.”

The features of the schools toured Friday will be one of many items being discussed on Thursday, March 5 at a Community Public Forum about the schools’ designs. The forum beings at 6 p.m. and takes place in the Ryals Room at the Rawlings Pueblo Library. 

District 60 working closely with state and local health organizations on coronavirus response measures

posted Mar 2, 2020, 9:07 AM by Anthony Sandstrom   [ updated Mar 2, 2020, 2:14 PM ]

Pueblo School District 60 (D60) has been working closely with our local and State public health agencies as we monitor the global outbreak of
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

It is important to know that during an outbreak, we would follow the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment’s lead on any quarantines, closures, or other health measures needed. D60 has a Management of Communicable Disease plan in place to handle any infectious disease-related outbreak. In addition, the District works closely with the health department when outbreaks arise. D60 has a robust crisis management plan and team that would be activated in case of any emergency situation.

What is coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath. These viruses spread through coughing or sneezing, much like the flu.

What can I do to stay healthy?
Again, the risk to the general public in the U.S. from this virus is considered low, but just as is recommended for other respiratory viruses, people can protect themselves and others by practicing everyday actions:

  • Practice good hand hygiene.
    • Wash your hands frequently - remember to wash your hands after coughing or sneezing
    • Wash with soap and water, or
    • If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to clean hands
    • Avoid direct hand contact to the eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Practice respiratory etiquette.
    • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
    • If you are ill, you should try to distance yourself from others so you do not spread your germs. Distancing includes staying home from work or school when possible.
Additionally, we have cleaning practices in place to help avoid disease transmission.

Feeling Sick? Stay Home!
As always, we encourage anyone who is feeling ill to stay home, especially if they are experiencing cold and flu-like symptoms. 

Added instructional time in 2019-20

posted Feb 17, 2020, 6:47 PM by Anthony Sandstrom   [ updated Feb 18, 2020, 2:47 PM ]

Because of time missed due to recent weather delays and closures, District 60 will be adding a few minutes to the beginning and end of the school day, starting on Monday, Feb. 24. The reason for this addition is to allow District 60 to meet State of Colorado requirements for instructional time
  • All elementary schools will add two minutes to the start time and two minutes to the end time of each day.
  • All middle and high schools will add three minutes to the start time and three minutes to the end time of each day.

In the event there is a need to call any additional delays or snow days, the instructional calendar will need to be extended to include June 8th and June 9th as possible make-up days.

Our updated bell schedules for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year are as follows:

Elementary: 7:43 a.m. - 3:07 p.m.
Baca • Belmont • Bessemer Academy • Beulah Heights • Bradford • Carlile •Columbian • Fountain International Magnet School • Franklin School of Innovation • Haaff • Heritage • Highland Park • Irving • Minnequa • Morton 
• Park View • South Park • Sunset Park

K-8: 7:42 a.m - 3:38 p.m.
Goodnight School

Middle Schools: 8:27 a.m - 4:23 p.m.
Heaton Middle School • Pueblo Academy of Arts  Risley International Academy of Innovation  Roncalli STEM Academy 

Middle School: 8:02 a.m. - 3:58 p.m.
Corwin International Magnet School 

High School: 7:27 a.m. - 3:23 p.m.
Centennial • Central • East • South

High School: 7:43 a.m. - 3:43 p.m.

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