Hines and McGavin swearing in DCSD

Jennifer McGavin (left) and Kristina Hines (right) take the oath of office administered by Laura Esplin, district notary. David Skarka, district attorney, looks on.

Delta County School District 50J welcomed two new board members while saying goodbye to President Jan Tuin and board member Ron Germann during the Nov. 19 school board meeting.

Kristina Hines and Jennifer McGavin took the oath of office for their respective positions. Laura Esplin, district notary, and David Skarka, school district attorney, jointly administered the oath.

Both ladies swore that they would faithfully uphold the Constitution of the United States and the State of Colorado and to faithfully perform their duties as a member of the school board. Hines takes the place of Germann representing District One. McGavin takes the place of Tuin representing District Five.

During board comments at the conclusion of the meeting, board member Linda Ewing welcomed both Hines and McGavin to the board. She stated that the election results were accurate. Fellow board members, Dan Burke and Beth Suppes also welcomed the two new members.

“Thank you for being so open and already talking to us. I think we already have a good head start,” said McGavin.

“I just want to say ‘thank you’ to everybody for being so welcoming to me and I also want to say that I love to see the students come in at the beginning of the meeting,” Hines added.

“Congratulations to both of you,” said Caryn Gibson, district superintendent, as she then gave a farewell hug to Tuin and Germann following the swearing-in ceremony.

With the seating of the new board members, the floor was opened for the election of new school board officers. Burke was elected president, Ewing was elected vice president and Suppes was elected secretary/treasurer.

In other school board news, Gibson provided the superintendent’s report highlighting an upcoming ‘on boarding’ meeting which helps both new and current board members learn about the school district, board responsibilities as well as Colorado’s Sunshine Law.

Gibson also made an announcement concerning the start of a new high school sport for girls taking place this winter.

“We are happy to share that we are starting a girls wrestling team. We have approval from the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) to start this program. We looked at the district and we are going to offer that program at our North Fork High as an option up there, but all girls within the school district can go there,” Gibson reported to the board.

Last year Delta County girls were able to participate in the Olathe High School wrestling program. Gibson said over a dozen girls from various county schools are participating in the sport.

“It also helps us with Title IX, we do have more males playing sports than females so this does help our numbers,” she said.

Jim Farmer shared information about the district’s Panorama Survey of district students.

“This survey is providing data on the culture and learning environments in our schools and our class room and the teachers. This is the seventh year that we’ve given this survey,” Farmer told the board.

He said the district has all the previous data and is able to track each area throughout the survey’s inception. The survey is given to students third grade through twelfth grade. About 40% of the district’s students have taken the survey.

The school district also recently completed a Resiliency Survey for students third to twelfth grade. The annual survey looks at six parameters including the importance of education, confidence, actions, stress, well-being and intrinsic motivation.

Data from the Resiliency Survey used by administrators and counselors to help struggling students as well as obtain various counseling grants. The information is shared with the student’s parents, administrators, counselors and some teachers within the school the student attends.

Gibson said the survey takes a look at student’s social, emotional and mental health. One major area of concern was student’s health and well-being. The scores were showing some stressors that are likely associated with COVID-19 pandemic.

Lisa Young is a staff writer for the Delta County Independent.

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