Govenor Polis visits Center Schools

Center Schools Superintendent Carrie Zimmerman and Haskin Elementary Principal Jared Morgan greet Colorado Gov. Jared Polis who visited Center Schools Tuesday, Aug. 25, during a Valley tour. Photo by Teresa L. Benns

CENTER - Winging his way through Saguache County, Gov. Jared Polis stopped by Haskin Elementary School Tuesday to read a story to second-graders and speak with teachers, staff and Center residents about how the school is progressing with COVID-19 precautions in place.


Following a brief tour of the school, Center Schools Superintendent Carrie Zimmerman opened a roundtable discussion on the school lawn, beginning by thanking Polis for support of the school from the state. “You made this year possible for us,” Zimmerman said.


Polis replied that if there is a second round of funds the school would receive that as well.


Zimmerman emphasized to Polis that school staff work as a team to support students and that the school has used funds raised locally to provide internet service for 100 Center students. Polis asked if all students had access to computers and Zimmerman explained students have had their own iPads and computers at the school for many years, the first school in the Valley to offer students this service.


Polis commended the school for providing the computers and said he looks forward to the upcoming year.


Center town manager Brian Lujan praised Skoglund Elementary School Principal Luis Murillo for his outreach to Spanish-speaking residents and farmworkers in Center during the recent COVID-19 outbreak, also mentioning Center teacher Susan Banning and other teachers who helped Murillo with the program.


Polis reminded those attending that the town and other entities can receive up to $25,000 in grant money from the COVID-19 relief fund. He indicated that he believes the school is “set up well” and will be able to cope with future COVID-19 outbreaks because the staff has presented a “thoughtful approach” to address containment.


As he left, Polis congratulated the school for their overall success and the group thanked him for taking the time to visit. 

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