Pueblo educators celebrate with community

Pueblo and Pueblo County Education Associations hosted a community event, bringing out nearly 400 supporters of public education to Pueblo Union Depot, Oct. 20. The second annual ‘We Are Education’ celebration featured live music, prizes and lots of famous Pueblo green chili – all free for the community from the members of the PEA and PCEA.

Pueblo8“I am proud of you – all of you who are a part of the community of education,” PCEA President Roxy Pignanelli told the crowd. “It is very important that we remember to remind people of what we do in this community, the economic force we represent, and our many success stories.”

“We are education, and we need to honor the work we do together and the many students we support in Pueblo,” added PEA President Suzanne Ethredge.

Pueblo5As many children decorated pumpkins and stood in line for face painting, the force of Pueblo’s educational leadership addressed the audience. Dr. Lesley DiMare, president of Colorado State University – Pueblo, said her former job as a junior high school teacher taught her the importance of supporting education at all levels.

“We don’t separate K-12 from the university – it’s K-20. We collaborate together and we concur enrollment, senior to sophomore,” said DiMare. “The University and Pueblo Community College work beautifully together. Our primary concern is that we work with all of the schools within Pueblo and see our children move on to become educated and give back to the wonderful community that has supported them for so many years.”

PCC President Patty Erjavec said nearly 150 kindergarteners recently visited her campus to start thinking about career choices, an example of the strong continuum of education in Pueblo.

Pueblo7“As you go through your educational career, we want you to know that there are many opportunities and many avenues of success,” said Erjavec. “We absolutely appreciate fact that every one of our learners is different and needs different resources and different opportunities. That’s why the continuum is so important.”

Dr. Maggie Lopez, superintendent of Pueblo City Schools (D60), called her schools “a district on the move” that celebrates educators.

“When children come to school, there are a variety of people who support them – from school secretaries to custodial staff to teachers to principals to the volunteers who come day in and day out – they love our kids. What we do is very, very important. In Pueblo City Schools, we have a lot to celebrate.”

Pueblo4“This event provides a great opportunity for us to celebrate ourselves, not as separate educational institutions, but rather one very strong family of education in a city that is building on the strength of our future – our kids,” Pueblo District 70 Superintendent Ed Smith said during his remarks.

“We appreciated the fact that you are standing with us, great collaborators and great leaders,” Pignanelli commented after the event speakers. “We can’t do this unless we do it together.”Pueblo12

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