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Leadership Douglas County and education; More than reading, writing and arithmetic

by Patte Smith, photo by Carla Kenny

“Wow, where to begin,” says Leadership Douglas County (LDC) member Carla Kenny. “Our leadership group learned about the exciting and innovative educational developments happening in our county during our last session.”

The team visited Legend High School which is known as an AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) school. AVID is a program developed to give support to students, especially those considered to be in the academic middle. It is a college-readiness system that challenges students to reach their fullest potential so they will be successful at four-year colleges.

Legend’s Principal Corey Wise noted that the entire staff has purpose and passion in everything they do. “We strive to use the technology of today, even cell phones, in a positive way in the classroom,” said Wise. “The fact is teens use cell phones and text and there is no getting around that,” explained Wise. Teachers want students to use them openly in the classroom in an educational way to look up information, answer a question, or calculate and share data.

The LDC members toured Legend High School and were amazed when they walked into a classroom that was set up as an emergency room in a hospital, including a nurse’s station. “It was remarkable to see the opportunities that abound for students in Douglas County,” stated Kenny.

DCSD Superintendent Elizabeth Celania-Fagen’s presentation focused on the exciting time it is in education right now and the vision, values and goals for the district. Celania-Fagen applauded the two Castle Pines elementary schools, Timber Trail and Buffalo Ridge. She noted that each school is unique in its educational methods and each has achieved great success.

Dr. Celania-Fagen explained that while Douglas County Schools have less money per student than every other school district in the Denver Metro area, the county offers a superior education. Through innovation, the push for excellence, and economic efficiency, the DC schools are able to offer first-rate education to children.

“We realize that technology plays a big role in education today,” explains Celania-Fagen. “There are ‘digital natives,’ our kids, and ‘digital immigrants,’ parents and grandparents.” An example of a digital immigrant is a person who prints an e-mail so they have a paper file. “Today’s kids are way beyond that and their brains work differently. They have capabilities that far surpass us and our goal is to challenge them and give them a world-class education.”

For more information on Douglas County Schools visit

Leadership Douglas County members try a new way of “group” communicating via chatting online to one another in a classroom at Legend High School – an educational tool that is currently used in the schools.



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