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Email sent with school ‘top 10’ list

By Chase Olivarius-Mcallister Herald staff writer

Documents obtained by The Durango Herald through a public records request with the Colorado Department of Education indicate Ignacio School District 11-JT Superintendent Rocco Fuschetto distributed a David Letterman-style Top Ten List about potential names for Ignacio’s new elementary school to several education department officials following the discovery of human remains on school grounds.

On March 27, Fuschetto sent an email entitled, “MYRA Mains School!!!” to the Colorado Department of Education’s Kristin Lortie and the Building Excellent Schools Today grant program’s Ted Hughes, among others.

Fuschetto also copied the Ignacio School Board on the email, including Board President Edwin McCaw and members Toby Roderick, Agnes Sanchez, Robert Jefferson Sr. and Troy Webb.

In the text of the email, Fuschetto tells recipients he’s attached “a rough log of activities we are conducting. There have been many more phone calls and information searched that the log shows.” [sic]

The attached Microsoft Word document, called, “Remains found on the Elementary School site log,” starts with an inventory of the actions taken by central figures in the initial excavation of the human remains:

“3-22-13 At 7:00 I received phone call from Sargent Crume to inform me that he issued a work stoppage order for the day. I informed Board president, Ed McCaw and Doug Abernathy at RTA,” it says.

Appended to the end of the log is a list.

It reads, “Thought I’d start a Top Ten List of names for our new school. You know you’ve all contributed....”

It starts with “10. Great Excavations Elementary” and ends with “And the #1 name for our new school – Myra Mains.”

Presumably, “Myra Mains” is a pun on “my remains.”

Neither Fuschetto nor Ignacio school board President McCaw returned calls requesting comment on the email.

The email was given to the Herald by the Colorado Department of Education following a public records request.

A parallel records request was filed with the Ignacio School District requesting all correspondence relating to the human remains found on Ignacio school grounds.

In two phone interviews immediately after receiving the records request last month, Superintendent Fuschetto, who sits on the Colorado Commission for Indian Affairs, variously objected to the Herald’s obtaining the documents it sought because they were “private,” because they did not exist, and, finally, because the only such extant correspondence was a letter from the Colorado Department of Education stating it would pay for the exhumation.

Fuschetto later told Herald editors that the Herald did not understand how sensitive “the situation I’m dealing with” was, saying, “You guys are really pressing this.”

When the Ignacio School District, through its lawyer Darryl Farrington, eventually gave the Herald a compilation of emails relating to the human remains 12 days ago – with the approval of Ignacio Police Chief Kirk Phillips, who it said had jurisdiction over the exhumation – neither Fuschetto’s March 27 email nor its attachment was included.

Last week on Monday, Farrington sent the Herald’s lawyer an email with Fuschetto’s March 27 email, and its attachment, writing, “I am assured this is everything.”


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