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2018 School Accountability Committee - Q&A Responses

Stargate School Accountability Committee (SAC) candidates were asked to respond to 5 questions summarizing why they're running for the Stargate SAC, their views on key issues facing the school and the expertise they'd bring to a SAC position. The candidates are running for 3 open parent seats on the Stargate School Accountability Committee. Each of these seats will be for a two-year term.

All information was provided by the candidates running for election.

Among its key responsibilities, the Stargate School Accountability Committee is responsible for providing input to the Board of Directors to assist in establishing (and evaluating progress toward meeting) school goals and improvement plans, including the school's Unified Improvement Plan (UIP). As part of a continuous cycle of planning, evaluating, measuring and reporting, Committee members also conduct the school's annual surveys of the stakeholder community and work to analyze data collected, glean insights and develop recommendations for further supporting the school's progress toward fulfilling its mission,vision and strategic plans. For more information about the work this group does, visit the School Accountability Committee page.

Eligible Stargate stakeholders may cast ballots between Sept. 17 (midnight) and Sept 24 (4pm MT). This election will be conducted in an electronic format only (no paper ballots). Ballots will be sent to the email address on file in Infinite Campus that stakeholders provided, as per election policy. If you have any questions about the election process or about the voting instructions provided to eligible voters, contact electioncommittee@stargateschool.org

NOTE - there are 6 candidates running for election. If you cannot view information for all 6 candidates, please open your browser in a desktop environment to view all of the candidate information.

#1 - Why do you want to become a Member of the Stargate School Accountability Committee? 

Becca Borden: Serving on the Stargate Accountability Committee would give me the opportunity to contribute to the Stargate community on a broader level. I’ve watched the transition from a K-8 school to a K-12 school. Now I want to get involved and help Stargate fulfill its Mission & Vision. I have 28 years of professional experience and skills aligned with the responsibilities of this committee in addition to my experiences as a parent.

Jessica Greco: I want to serve in this position so I can be more involved in the charter to ensure the success of all of our kids. I want to give back to the school that has given so much to our family.

Lisa Hosfelt: I have enjoyed my involvement on the committee during the past four years, and I look forward to continuing to improve our processes and to creating a more systematic execution of our scope of responsibility. I believe that appropriate training and understanding of the CDE's guidelines for accountability committees is crucial to the integrity and success of our committee, and I will ensure that we continue to follow those guidelines.

Adrian Miller: As a 12-year Stargate Parent, this would be my first time serving on a Committee, and at a critical time in the history of Stargate as we prepare to graduate our first Senior Class. If elected to the Accountability Committee, I will propose a voluntary “Exit Interview” for Graduating Class Students and/or their Parents, families from whom we have the most to learn as a school community. While I wish that Stargate High School might be the preferred choice for all of our 8th graders, this is still not the case, and we need to listen to the Parents of those students to understand what it would take to provide that edge. As a Mom of a Stargate Elementary student, a Stargate Middle School student and a Stargate K-8 Graduate (who chose a different high school), I bring a broad perspective in understanding needs at different grade levels, students with different learning styles, and how the needs of gifted students are being met in other Adams 12 schools. Over the course of raising 3 kids at Stargate, I have had face-to-face interactions with approximately half of the current Staff roster, and I want the Staff to be comfortable to share candid feedback, with the guarantee of total confidentiality and without threat of retaliation.

Kristin Seger: I would like to be part of assisting the board with processing difficult information. With my skills I can offer time and leadership to the committee, working diligently to gather and evaluate information needed for the board to understand the wants and needs of the stake holders. As part of the Accountability Committee, I will work to help ensure the forward success of Stargate's mission to serve the unique needs of gifted students.

Ellen Valentine:
I think that Stargate is a great school and a great community because we all participate and we all give the best of ourselves. To that end, my skills and experience with curriculum evaluation and big picture thinking would be a good fit for this position.  

#2 - How long have your children been at Stargate and what has been your involvement with the school?

Becca Borden:  My children began attending Stargate in 2009 with a break 2015-2018 while we were living overseas. During that time, I volunteered in the classroom on an as needed basis and to assist with plans for the high school.

Jessica Greco:  Our oldest daughter started kindergarten at Stargate in 2011. We added a second Eagle for kindergarten in 2014 and a third for kindergarten in 2017. My involvement with the school up to this point has been attending as many of the wonderful CRC events offered, donating what I could, and helping teachers with things such as book orders. I am hoping to get more involved by serving on the School Accountability Committee.

Lisa Hosfelt:  This is our fifth year at Stargate. Aside from serving on SAC, I have been involved in helping with class parties and other events. I have attended most of the Board meetings in recent years, and we attend fundraising and CRC activities.

Adrian Miller:
  Since 2007, I have taken an active role in my children’s education at Stargate. At the Elementary level, I volunteered in the Kindergarten and 1/2 classrooms and on field trips (my favorite was 5th grade “Math in the Mall”). At the Middle School level, I chaperoned Band/Orchestra field trips, served as a Science "Roller Coaster project" judge, and assisted in Ms. Root’s Language Arts with Reader's Theater and introduction to Debate. During the Spring of 2016, I served as Parent Liaison for Stargate School Walk to Stop Diabetes, visiting your students in every K-8 classroom to educate about this disease. Our Stargate community responded overwhelmingly, contributing $10,000 to American Diabetes Association kids’ camps in Colorado. It gave me so much pride last summer to see Stargate School Community listed as a Sponsor on the campers’ T-shirts - thank you, Stargate!

Kristin Seger:  We have been a part of the Stargate family for 9 years. In this time, I have volunteered in my children's classrooms, chaperoned many field trips, volunteered for various events, been a guest speaker/professional at the Future Medical Professionals HS club, attended Board meetings, served as the middle school girls basketball coach and founded the high school mountain bike team.

Ellen Valentine:  My daughter started at Stargate last academic year in 6th grade and I have been looking for the right committee to volunteer with. I have attended events and applied for other positions.

#3 - What skills do you bring from previous experience and/or your profession? 

Becca Borden:  Goal development, measurement and monitoring, alignment to organization strategy or improvement plans; Understanding and application of research methods, including survey development and analysis; Organization effectiveness analysis; Presentation of results and recommendations for improvement; Development of both individual and organization improvement plans; Leadership assessment & development

Jessica Greco:  As a failure analyst, I am always looking for root causes in manufacturing processes and identifying corrective actions. Although that experience comes from manufacturing environments, it’s also applicable to school processes where educational goals measure the successes of our most precious people, our children.

Lisa Hosfelt:  I worked as an analyst in the finance industry for several years. My attention to detail, analytical mind, and experience with spreadsheets have been helpful in fulfilling my roles on this committee. I also have several years' experience serving on various other committees in community and religious organizations.

Adrian Miller:  For the past 15 years, I have taught private music classes for preschoolers, including many students who were later identified as gifted and came to attend Stargate School. In my professional work, I served on a national review team to survey parents about music education and to filter and categorize their feedback. As the Accountability Committee is tasked with our Annual Stakeholder Satisfaction Survey, I am prepared to contribute my time in listening to Parent/Staff feedback and classifying those results for the benefit of the community. It is critical to report the feedback accurately, to identify patterns in community feedback vs. single-individual concerns, and to be transparent with the results, even if it’s not what we want or expect to hear. Confidentiality is imperative wherever comments are addressed personally.

Kristin Seger:  I bring a strong sense of leadership, as well as strong communication skills. As a professional in the medical field for 26 years, I have developed an ability to problem solve and communicate difficult information in an informative yet empathetic way when necessary. My ability to work in a group, being able to listen to many different ideas/opinions and constructively process the information, will also serve the committee well.

Ellen Valentine:  I have worked on other non-profit boards working to pass bylaws and handle disputes. I have a masters from Iliff School of Theology and have taken classes in non profit management. I am familiar with curriculum management and the need for evaluation and the discussion about how to apply those findings. I am also highly organized and I am good at setting up and using systems for evaluation and management of curriculum.  

#4 - What do you see as the most pressing issues for the School and the Board in the upcoming 1-2 years? What do you hope to contribute and accomplish while serving on the Stargate School Accountability Committee?

Becca Borden:  I want to look at the data from past surveys, etc. to understand the most pressing issues. From what I know - and expect - there is still work to do in transitioning to a larger school that includes the full high school experience. In this position, I hope to assist in defining measurable goals around the actions needed to address the most pressing issues, support the measurement and monitoring of progress as well as lend my time and expertise in executing those actions, where applicable.

Jessica Greco: 
The most pressing issues for Stargate and the Governance Board in the next 1-2 years are renewing the charter and hiring a competent Executive Director to lead our school so we can continue to be a great school! I will identify goals that are meaningful to our community as a whole and help to determine why or why not those goals are being met. Most importantly if there are goals that are not being met find the root cause for why that is and offer suggestions for a solution.

Lisa Hosfelt:  The past couple of years have brought challenges that have allowed the school to establish a solid foundation for future success. The most pressing issues facing the school are both maintaining community optimism and ensuring that new policies and practices are successfully implemented during this time of transition and growth.
As a member of SAC, I will continue to provide the Board and administration with the information they need to lead the school toward success. The KPIs and survey results provide valuable feedback that guide leadership in making data-driven decisions and goals. The UIP provides detailed goals and strategies for staff members to follow to drive improvement where it is most needed. We will continue to analyze the KPIs, surveys, and UIP strategies to ensure that our work supports the school's success in the most effective manner. We will also continue to work cohesively with the Board and administration in a unified effort to fulfill the school's mission and vision.

Adrian Miller:  2 main priorities: 1. This is the first year of a Senior Graduating Class at Stargate School, and an opportunity for us to hear from our best and our brightest about their experience before they move on. If elected to the Accountability Committee, I will propose a voluntary “Exit Interview” for Graduating Class Students and/or their Parents, so that we can learn from their Stargate experience. Some of these families are “Stargate Lifers” (they’ve attended since Kindergarten), and some of them are graduating permanently out of our school community (i.e. they do not have younger children enrolled in the school), so it is imperative that we do not miss this opportunity to hear their voices. Similarly, we need to provide a more candid feedback forum for 8th Grade families so that we can understand the factors in their high school choice decision-making. 2. Programming for the NEW Performing Arts Center & Adroit Space. Now that this beautiful new space is open, we need to ensure that the programs built within are properly funded and resourced so that the caliber of excellence is reflected inside and out. Our program is both understaffed and under-resourced, and we need to hear from the Staff and Parents as to what is missing.

Kristin Seger:  I feel one of the most pressing issues for the Board is staffing and retention. Our educators must continue to be top notch and their work environment must be strong, supportive and fun for retention to occur. I will help the committee assist the board in creating a school environment in which our educators can thrive. This will allow them to put their time and effort into our students.

Ellen Valentine:  Accreditation is a big concern as well as coping with the challenges that come from being at full capacity. We have a duty to provide the best possible education for these gifted students and making sure that all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed is part of that promise. I hope to be able to give back to Stargate by utilizing my skills in evaluation and recommendation, listening and giving feedback and big picture thinking to make sure that the mission and vision of the school is realized and passed on.

#5 - What is your understanding of the Stargate Mission and Vision? What role do you perceive the Stargate School Accountability Committee plays in serving the Mission and Vision?

Becca Borden:  I think the Stargate Mission & Vision are pretty straightforward. It's about supporting development of the whole person. We want to see our children be successful in life, not just in school, and that requires support for all aspects of their development. As a charter school, Stargate's Board and its Committees have a greater opportunity - and responsibility - to make decisions and take actions that directly contribute to the mission and vision.

Jessica Greco:  I understand the Stargate Mission and Vision is that the School is here to serve all of the gifted students who pass through its doors with all of the challenges and celebrations that go along with teaching gifted children. The Board and its Committees play an important role in serving the Mission and Vision of Stargate by ensuring that the School continues to be an amazing school for gifted learners in the community and holding everyone at the school (staff, students, and parents) accountable for caring and advancing the wonderful school we have.

Lisa Hosfelt:  The Stargate mission is to provide each individual student with a uniquely challenging education in an environment that supports their emotional needs and fosters a love of learning. In my service on the School Accountability Committee, I have been impressed with the Board's and administration's extreme attention to detail and connection with daily happenings at the school. Their comprehensive awareness and concern is facilitated by the work of supporting committees. As all these groups seek to work cohesively, we can ensure that Stargate remains the best home for gifted learners.

Adrian Miller:  The Stargate Mission & Vision is to meet the needs of our identified intellectually-gifted learners. Everything that is done at the Board and Committee levels must uphold and support that mission and vision. In everything we do, we need to ask ourselves as a litmus test, “Does this meet the needs of our gifted learners?”

Kristin Seger:  Our school mission is to offer a unique learning environment for gifted students which can accommodate many different learning styles to help students achieve academic, social and emotional success. This mission allows students the chance to grow academically, at their own pace and to develop life long skills that will assist them in continuing education both in and outside of the classroom. The Stargate mission allows students the time and opportunity to search their passions and understand the best way for each student to pursue that passion.

Ellen Valentine:  The mission of Stargate is to provide a unique educational opportunity for all of it's gifted learners including providing for their emotional, social and developmental needs to create lifelong learners. The board and its committees provide a crucial role in this mission because they are the mechanisms that articulate and create that mission. They manage, evaluate and challenge the community to learn and grow along with the learners and provide the basis from which that mission originates.

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