Charter schools appoint new directors

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Two Cortez public charter schools appointed new directors at the end of the 2016 school year.

Children’s Kiva Montessori School announced at their May 17 end-of-year barbeque held at Parque de Vida that Susan Likes, current interim head of school and former finance director, will be accepting the position of head of school.

“I would like our school to become the school of choice for Montezuma County,” said Likes.

CKMS opened its doors in 2014 with only 74 students, but expanded to serve 110 in August 2015, after relocating to a larger building on Beech Street in Cortez. “Being a start-up school, we have had some facility constraints,” said Likes, “and typical growing pains for a school that has just opened its doors.”

However, she sees many positive changes in the students so far. “As a result of our amazing teachers and the Montessori method, some of our students have quickly gained years in their reading,” she said.

Likes describes her students as having gained “lifelong skills” such as confidence in public speaking, self-motivation, and self-direction.

Also under new leadership is the Southwest Open School, introducing new director Charlotte Wolf on May 26 at their end-of-year cookout.

Wolf is relocating from a high school in Littleton, Colo., where she taught German and served as the international baccalaureate coordinator.

Born and raised in Regensburg, Germany, Wolf said she believes early language and literacy are crucial to develop in society. “I think literacy is the ticket to a successful future, individually and collectively,” she said.

“Research tells us that early language and literacy (reading and writing) development begins in the first three years of life and is closely linked with a child’s earliest experiences with stories,” she said.

“The interactions that young children have with such literacy through storytelling, singing, books, paper, and crayons, and the adults in their lives are the building blocks for language, reading, and writing development.”

Some of her goals for SWOS are to support the SWOS community so it can “continue to be a viable and exciting option for students in the area”; oversee that the needs of all students are met, “integrating their skills, passions, background, and heritage”; and also to “expand post-secondary options for SWOS students, both with regard to academic and workforce choices.”

Wolf enjoys hiking, biking, archeology, spiritual traditions, and history. More information can be found at www.kivacharter.org for Children’s Kiva Montessori School and www.southwestopenschool.org for SWOS.

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From July 2016.