Superintendent search process offers an opportunity to model equity and inclusivity
Roaring Fork Valley School District Superintendent Rob Stein announced this month that he would be retiring at the end of this school year, which presents challenges and opportunities to the district as they work to hire his replacement.
Rob Stein has done a great job with our schools over the last nine years. Not only has he been an inclusive and collaborative leader, he was also the first bilingual superintendent in the district’s history.
Given that 57 percent of the students, based on the most recent pupil count, are Latinos and that a majority have Spanish-speaking families, Voces Unidas would suggest that finding a qualified Latina or Latino educational leader to lead our schools should be a top priority. At a minimum, it is critical that our next superintendent is fluent in Spanish — and anything less than that should be viewed as a step backward in the Roaring Fork Valley.
Additionally, the hiring process must be done right rather than rushed. It should be inclusive of input and participation from the parents of today’s students. That includes soliciting input and feedback in forums using culturally-competent best practices, including offering Spanish-language options and engaging people who might work day or night shifts and can’t take time off to participate in person at certain times.
Rob Stein blazed a trail and set a positive example in his work leading a culturally diverse school district. Moving forward, whether it’s helping guide the district to deliver more culturally-responsive education models, especially for English-language learners, or implementing equity best practices, Voces Unidas knows there are continued strides to be made for Latino and Latina students — and we will continue pushing for them to be taken.
Voces Unidas will continue to monitor the process and hold our elected officials accountable for meeting the needs of today's students — and tomorrow's leaders.