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2020 New Board Members

The Colorado League of Charter Schools is one of the strongest charter support organizations in the nation.The League's purpose is to serve, protect, champion and grow the Colorado charter sector. The League has a 26-year history of accomplishments, a remarkable leadership network, and an opportunity to transform public education in Colorado. 

Elections for new board members concluded in mid-March. Each member school was allowed one vote from a representative.Thank you to all the nominees this year.

 

This year, we have three new board members who will begin their terms in August. The winners are:

  • Chad Miller, The Pinnacle Charter School – 3 year term
  • Nicole Caldwell, Global Village Academy Northglenn – 3 year term
  • Casey McComsey, Atlas Prep – 1 year term

•••

Nicole Caldwell
Principal, Global Village Academy Northglenn

What personal and/or professional strengths would the nominee bring to the League's board?
As the leader of a diverse, high performing charter school that prepares students to be global leaders, I think I bring an international perspective. Our students are learning core content in a foreign language (sometimes their third language) and this is becoming something all children need. 

How will the nominee help address the challenges charter schools are facing?
My help will come in the form of perseverance and dedication to  the charter world. I thrive in finding the "third way;" solving seemingly impossible problems in creative ways.

How would your nominee help drive the League’s role in addressing charter school quality?
This is my passion. Charter schools are already under the microscope, so it is imperative that we continue to hold ourselves to the highest standards. We have to continue to show that we can do what district schools do, but better and with choice. Doing this requires working hand in hand with charter schools and providing them the support they need that would perhaps typically come from a district. By pooling resources (much like the league is already doing), we can continue to serve the schools that need and want to improve.

Are there other characteristics you would like to share about the nominee?
My heart is in the charter world. I am so incredibly passionate about the work that is done in our schools that it drives me to dig deeper every day. I am ready to expand beyond my school. After leading for 5 years, I feel I have experience to share and extra energy to expend!

 

•••


Casey McComsey
Chief of Staff, Atlas Preparatory School 


What personal and/or professional strengths would the nominee bring to the League's board?

I have experience as a charter school parent, teacher, principal, and network leader. School choice is at the core of my educational philosophy. I believe that students and families in every community should have high quality school options.

17 years ago I began supporting students as an AVID tutor at a local middle school. I continued this work as basketball coach and youth volunteer mentor and staff member with Young Life in the St. Louis area. We worked to build community partnerships to support all students, whether they lived in the county or the city.

Many of the kids and families I worked with were either stretching their budgets to live in areas with “good schools” or participating in the desegregation program which meant getting on a bus very early in the morning to travel to those “good schools” and returning very late at night.

This should not be the options that families face. My own family faced the same choices when my father ended is 20+ year military career. My brother and I had the privilege to attend high performing schools, with very talented teachers, in very diverse communities during our time with military school in the U.S. and abroad. When we returned to the states the choices were clear…the “good schools” exist in these neighborhoods with homes that have “those prices.” My family choose a suburban Denver community, put great financial stress on our home, with my dad working a second job to make it all work. We eventually could no longer afford live in that community and relocated out of state.

This story is all too common, and we were the lucky ones. We had options…they may not have been easy, but we had them. Too many of our families and kids do not have these options. There is one neighborhood school that may or may not be able to serve their child well.

My commitment to education as math teacher, as a principal, and as a network leader is to fight every day to build capacity and options and choice for kids and families in our community. That is what I will bring to this board. That is why I am asking for your vote.

How will the nominee help address the challenges charter schools are facing?

My experience as a charter school parent, teacher, principal, and network leader provides me with multiple perspectives on the challenges facing charter schools. These experiences include student growth/achievement, people recruitment and retention, district authorizer/school board relations, school finance and local school budgets, external relations, and student enrichment.

Under my leadership and with an awesome team, Atlas has been able to come up with innovative solutions to challenges. Atlas has hired and retained talented staff year over year. We have increased student enrichment opportunities, expanded family services, extended our academic calendar, and addressed frequent budgetary issues.

How would your nominee help drive the League’s role in addressing charter school quality?
Under my administrative leadership, Atlas’ school leaders have partnered with teachers, students, and families to propel academic growth and achievement. This has resulted in academic quality in our schools being awarded a Center of Excellence Award by the CDE (second year for Atlas High School and first year for Atlas Middle School). I have a focus on academic quality and also bringing in student enrichment, post-secondary advising, and summer programs at Atlas. 

Are there other characteristics you would like to share about the nominee?
Casey is passionate about his work in education and would be an excellent addition to the CLCS board. He is ethical and an excellent colleague.

•••


Chad Miller
Chief Executive Officer, Pinnacle Charter School 


What personal and/or professional strengths would the nominee bring to the League's board?
Chad Miller would bring a broad professional background to the League of Charter School’s Board of Directors. Chad has earned an MBA as well as a PMP certification and has experience in both private corporate finance as well as public finance. Chad spent a large portion of his career in higher education with Salt Lake Community College serving in roles as Director of Communication Channels, Director of Non-Credit Operations overseeing the School of Applied Technology and the School of Professional and Economic Development, and later serving as the Executive Director of Development and the Executive Director of the Salt Lake Community College Foundation. Chad also has broad experience in PreK-12 education serving in roles as the Chief Business Officer and Chief Financial Officer at High Point Academy as well as The Pinnacle Charter School respectively. Chad currently holds the title of Chief Executive Officer with The Pinnacle Charter School overseeing all of the operations of a large Colorado charter school serving a student population of more than 2,000 underserved students.

How will the nominee help address the challenges charter schools are facing?
Most Colorado charter schools are forced to operate in an environment where challenges are faced on a daily basis. Leaders of these charter schools have a broad academic background, but many times lack the financial and leadership skills needed to address these challenges head on. Chad has a broad depth of experience on all fronts and can not only lead transformational change throughout an organization but also help mentor and lead school leaders throughout the charter community. As a charter community, we all face many of the same challenges and there are methods to lead in a positive and successful way. Chad believes in instilling transformational leadership, distributed leadership, and instructional leadership throughout our organizations to help drive school improvement. Many charter school leaders live in a bubble and have few respected colleagues they can reach out to. There is no manual or how-to guide that helps us become better leaders and navigate the issues we face on a daily basis. It ultimately comes down to the relationships we have with each other to help us all synergistically become better. Recognizing the importance of these relationships, Chad makes himself available to anyone seeking direction and advice as his goal is to see our charter community thrive in what is not always a positive environment. 

How would your nominee help drive the League’s role in addressing charter school quality?
There are many variables that charter schools face when it comes to providing a quality education for their students. Many of these variables include socio-economic and demographic components. Understanding and utilizing data to drive school improvement is a key focus to moving schools in a positive direction. Layering these components on top of a positive school climate and culture begins to create the environment needed to drive schools toward excellence. The students we are teaching come to us with a blank slate and an excitement to learn. It’s our role to provide them with the best instruction, a safe and positive learning environment, and to create relationships with them to help them discover a love of life-long learning. Chad understands the complexity of these individual components necessary for charter school quality and the myriad of ways in which they intersect. He is poised to provide his first-hand experience and insight to the League in a leadership capacity that will help to effectively address and support charter school quality on all fronts. Chad currently leads a school in the North Denver Metro area that consists of a highly underserved population. The Pinnacle Charter School has a free and reduced lunch rate of over 80% and an English Language learner rate of over 60%. Students seek out The Pinnacle Charter School because it is one of their best options in the region. Chad understands and embraces the responsibility of serving this population on a high level and giving his students an opportunity they won’t find elsewhere. His experience serving diverse populations makes him an effective representative and provides a unique lense and voice when addressing charter school quality across the state. 

Are there other characteristics you would like to share about the nominee?
Chad Miller is one of the most positive school leaders you will find in the State of Colorado. He cares about his students and every decision he makes is based on what is best for the kids. He is a leader who puts people first and recognizes that investing in people - the students, the staff, and the community, are paramount in achieving excellence as an individual school and larger community of charter schools. Mr. Miller brings with him a high level of integrity and morality and these characteristics drive all of his decisions. Chad realizes that he still has a lot to learn when it comes to leading high-performing schools and embraces the challenges he faces on a daily basis and finds a way to enjoy what can be an overwhelming job. He is also always willing to lend a hand to anyone who might need advice, or just someone to listen. Chad believes that if we stand together as a charter community and provide support to each other, that we have a platform to see all charter schools in Colorado become the leaders and excel to the levels we expect of our charter community.