We are excited to announce that Ms. McKay has been named Colorado Assistant Principal of the Year! Her dedication to serving our students and our community has been incredible during these last three school years. We are lucky to have her be a part of the Alicia Sanchez team!
2021 Colorado Outstanding Assistant Principals of the Year for Elementary Schools
Friday, January 8, 2021
Cherry Creek and Boulder Valley School District Leaders Named Colorado Outstanding Assistant Principal of the Year for Elementary Schools in 2021
DENVER — The Colorado Association of School Executives (CASE), along with the Colorado Association of Elementary School Principals (CAESP), are thrilled to recognize two outstanding Colorado leaders as the 2021 Assistant Principals of the Year for Elementary Schools in Colorado. Dr. Michelle Chambers from Cherry Creek School District and Ms. Becky McKay from Boulder were selected by a committee of their peers through a highly competitive process facilitated by CAESP, which is a department of both CASE and the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP).
Chambers and McKay both represent the type of exceptional leadership that fosters empowerment, spirit and positivity within school buildings. With unique approaches but identically strong commitments to education, they both have improved school achievement, team culture and student engagement.
“It speaks to the level of quality we have in our education leadership here in Colorado that we have not one, but two outstanding assistant elementary school principals this year,” said CASE Executive Director Bret Miles. “Becky and Michelle have both nurtured strong school communities, and their students and staff are lucky to have them. They are both more than deserving of this title.”
In her three years at Alicia Sanchez Elementary — and through her over 28 years in education — McKay has led by sticking true to her values, ensuring equitable representation and community empowerment shine. She considers her role to be an advocate for all families at her school, and because of that, she has worked to increase Latinx representation on the Alicia Sanchez School Accountability Committee. As a bilingual Guatemala/U.S. binational, McKay worked to build strong connections with Spanish-speaking students and families. And although more than 62% of Alicia Sanchez students are Latinx, Spanish-speaking families were historically underrepresented on the School Accountability Committee. McKay’s work ensured that the school’s parent-leadership teams are reflective of the students and families they serve.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, McKay led the charge to design and launch the Alicia Sanchez Family Support Team. The Family Support Team distributed more than 350 laptops to Sanchez students, ensured all families had access to Wi-Fi, and created bilingual support resources for families facing challenges with remote learning. Through the Family Support Team, her work to increase representation, and her work implementing a data-driven instruction system to improve school achievement, McKay is leaving a lasting impact on the students at Alicia Sanchez Elementary.
Like McKay, Chambers also leads with purpose and by example. In her two years as an assistant principal, Chambers has learned that building “authentic and meaningful” connections with the entire school community is the key to developing an inclusive and empowering environment. During the 2019-2020 school year, she led the Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) Committee, an effort to revitalize spirit within the school community as a united group of parents and educators. The committee, thanks in large part to Chambers’ hard work, introduced a new school mascot, invigorated school pride, and brought together the Mission Viejo Elementary community.
In July 2020, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chambers was tasked with building a new online elementary program from scratch, including hiring 500 staff members, collaborating to build the infrastructure, organizing the curriculum training, and coordinating efforts around the overall development of a new K-5 online learning program. In line with her efforts to empower and encourage, Chambers worked with the English Language Support, Gifted and Talented, and other special needs teams to ensure the new online learning program supported students and families who joined the online community.
“We must listen to the needs of our community and respond through service by showing that during times of darkness, we can and will be a light for our students, their families, and each other,” she said.
Both McKay and Chambers say winning this award is a great honor not just for themselves, but for their school communities. It “celebrates the students, families, and staff that I have had the privilege of serving, including those who find the courage to believe that overcoming adversity can lead to opportunities of service,” said Chambers.
“This award is, above all, a testament to the great work the entire team is doing at Alicia Sanchez,” McKay said. “We have made great strides in increasing student achievement and building a positive culture at the school.”
McKay and Chambers will be honored this spring at the CASE Awards Reception, and they will both represent Colorado at the NAESP National Conference this summer.
The Colorado Association of School Executives (www.co-case.org ) is the preeminent professional association for public school administrators in Colorado. The organization’s mission is to empower Colorado education leaders through advocacy, professional learning and networking to deliver on the promise of public education.
BVSD Returns to In-Person Learning in January
On January 5th, Preschool students will return in Phase 3 – Hybrid Learning, with two days of in-person learning a week. On February 2nd they will move to Phase 4 - In-Person Learning with four days of in-person learning a week
On January 5th, Elementary students (K-5) will return in Phase 4 – In-Person Learning with four days of in-person learning a week.
If you chose to stay online, we will continue providing remote learning instruction.
Visit bvsd.org for more information.
Fear can be a powerful force. BVSD school administrators say it has driven some to forget that we are all part of the same community, trying to get through this international pandemic together
During the pandemic, every BVSD school has had to offer online classes. However, Boulder Universal, BVSD’s online school, has been offering virtual classes for 10 years. But through COVID-19, BU Principal Eric Moroye discovered the need for another version of online schooling.
“One of the biggest benefits of Boulder TEC is that it gives students the opportunity to get in depth in the programs that we offer before going out into the workplace or going on to college,” said Boulder TEC Principal Arlie Huffman.
Many people who learn about Boulder TEC say it is “BVSD’s Best Kept Secret.” While it has been around since 1967 (once serving more than 1,000 students on two campuses), today many high students do not realize that it is not only available to them, but an excellent opportunity to kick start a career. The program, which now serves more than 400 students on the Arapahoe Campus, hopes to change that