What I've Learned in Five Years at the League By Teresa Tate
When I first joined the League five years ago, after spending the prior decade working with charters in Arizona, I was immediately struck by the community nature of the Colorado
charters. In Arizona, I felt every charter was only focused on themselves and there was no collective effort to support the sector. Here in Colorado, schools were consistently having conversations and were focused on helping the collective. This immediately made me feel great about where I had landed.
As I learned about the League's role in the space back in 2017, it seemed the League could be better connected to its members. So, the School Services team went to work to re-engage with and listen to our members' needs. This period was all about building a foundation.
Then COVID hit. While that time was beyond challenging for everyone, one positive from it was that it truly allowed the League to get back to SERVING our members; getting back to our roots of why we exist as a support organization. Through our unique ability to convene groups together from across the state, I felt we all dove in and solved the constant challenges of COVID together, as one community. Now, post COVID, I'm proud to see that connectivity continue.
I have also been able to witness first-hand how tirelessly the League team is working for our schools.
Dan and our advocacy team are fighting every single day to defend us from attacks on all sides. And when those attacks pause, we're able to advance our cause with local advocacy and state-wide legislative wins on things like PPR, capital construction, and CSI equalization.
With my team, I hear school leaders sharing their challenges during school visits and calls. We are constantly brainstorming together on how we can take the challenges we hear and turn them into solutions and opportunities so that we can serve our member schools and you, the leaders, to help you through this work and stay focused on doing what is best for the Colorado students. The League team's passion for this work can be felt every day in the office.
I also feel our connection each time we host a training, convene a learning community, or sit together at one of our events that the League team puts on (stellar events I might add – thank you events crew!). The ability for us all to get together at a training, a cohort meeting, over lunch, or at the Leadership Summit or the Annual Conference proves that the League is on the right foot for mixing what we do best with what helps us advance the sector and push for high quality schools.
As I transition out of this role, I have two things that I hope for. One, I hope to see the Colorado charter sector continue its path toward strong collective community effort. By staying together as one family, the Colorado charter sector will only continue to strengthen. Two, we’ve been ranked second in the country for years in terms of our charter school law, but I know that we are best in class across the whole country for the strength of the leadership in schools and the performance of the League in supporting you all. Now is the time for the rest of the country to see and appreciate that as I do.
Best to you all on this quality, public-school journey — stay in touch,
Teresa Tate, VP School Services
Colorado League of Charter Schools