Durango schools welcome new board member

Carolyn Smith expresses interest in technology’s value in education

On Tuesday, the board of the Durango School District 9-R unanimously voted to appoint Carolyn Smith to replace Wendy Rice.

Rice announced she was resigning from the school board because of an unmanageable workload six weeks ago.

Smith said now that she was retired, she was in a position to “give back to the community.” She added, “I can’t think of a better way to do it than serve on the school board.”

Smith has lived in the Durango area for 24 years. Her two daughters attended Durango High School, and four of her grandchildren are enrolled in Durango public schools.

In 1998, Smith served on the search committee to hire a new principal at Miller Middle School, where she served as drama coach for three years, and on the Green Committee for the city of Durango.

Smith said technology was important to the district’s future. When asked whether she was familiar with the technology section of the district’s strategic plan, she said she was not.

Though the district advertised the board opening, Smith was the only applicant.

Kristi Rodry said, “I feel like every time we’re looking for a board member, the pickings become fewer and fewer. People just don’t want to get involved.”

Though Smith admitted she is as yet unversed in the district’s plans for expanding students’ access to technology, her technology background is extensive.

From 2005 to 2009, Smith worked as a systems analyst at La Plata County’s 911 Emergency Communication Center, where she was responsible for maintaining the center’s servers as well as those of Durango Fire & Rescue Authority.

From 2001 to 2005, Smith worked for the city of Durango as a technical-support specialist. During that time, she was responsible for the purchase, installation and maintenance of all the city’s computer hardware and software, as well as resolving computer problems.

From 1996 until 2001, Smith worked as a technology aide at Miller Middle School.

In a phone interview before the board meeting, Superintendent Dan Snowberger said Smith “seems like a very conscientious, dedicated individual, interested in the work of the district, not only in how it impacts her grandchildren, but all children.”

Smith will serve until 2013’s November board elections, in which she intends to compete.


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