Cripple Creek-Victor School Board Votes 3-2 Not To Renew Superintendent Contract

School Board

School Board

The renewal of Sue Holmes’ contract as the Cripple Creek-Victor School Superintendent was on the agenda for Monday, February 24th, and community members and staff came out in force to voice their support for Ms. Holmes.

The following community members expressed their support, gratitude and faith in Sue’s ability and skills: Angela Dettenreider – Secondary teacher, Gail Smalberger -Secondary Teacher, Mark Dettenreider – Teller County commissioner, Ann Hagney – Wellness Coordinator, Christine Esperanza – Teller County Wraparound Coordinator, Jill McCracken – Special Education Teacher, Scott Davies-Secondary Teacher, Martha Hubbard – Teller County Public Health Nurse, Patty Waddle – ECE Director, Connie Dodrill – Cripple Creek Park and Recreation Director, Rachel Gray – Elementary Counselor, Dave Sauer-District Technology Coordinator, Karen Casey-Svetich – Former School Board President, Alan and Linda Applebaum – Retired from education and a personal friend of Mrs. Holmes, Lisa Noble – Build a Generation Director, Marcy Palmer – Ute Pass BOCES Director, Wanda Eppes – former school psychologist, Debbie Morill – Director of 21st Century Learning Centers.

Community at Board mtg

Community at Board mtg

Also, although Brent Kennedy-former Board President, Jennifer Johnston-former Secondary Counselor, and Alisha Strupp were unable to attend the Board meeting, they submitted letters of support, which were read on their behalf.

In all, the Public Participation portion of the meeting resulted in over an hour of accolades for Superintendent Holmes.

Despite the overwhelming community support, when the vote was taken after the Executive Session, the Board rejected a contract renewal for Sue Holmes, who has been in charge of the District for eight years.

Board Treasurer Dennis Jones made the motion to not extend the superintendent’s contract. Seconded by Board Vice-President Don Daniel.

Tim Braun, Board President explained to the Board members that a yes vote would indicate approval to not extend the contract for Sue Holmes as superintendent.

The Board members voted as follows: Tim Braun-No; Don Daniel-Yes; Dennis Jones, Yes; Lourdes Monger, No; Tana Rice, Yes.

The school board will now begin a search for a new superintendent. They will also be seeking a new Secondary school Principal, as Trudy Vader tendered her resignation on Tuesday morning. Both Mrs. Holmes and Ms. Vader intend to fulfill their obligations through the end of the school year.

(As always, comments can be submitted in the form below this post. )


10 comments on “Cripple Creek-Victor School Board Votes 3-2 Not To Renew Superintendent Contract

  1. When so many people in good community standing appear in person or by writing to support her, it appears that some of the board members may have a chip on their shoulders about Sue Holmes. Did no one complain about her performance? On the surface, it appears that everyone likes Sue except three board members.
    What was the problem and is it a secret? I think those who voted Holmes out should explain themselves. Otherwise, it just doesn’t sound right.

    • I understand to Boards decision and why. The parents all had issues with The Superintendent , the Principle,, and the school. When you keep losing students and have the lowest graduation among them that did stay, when it used to be a whole lot better, the students needed remedial college classes to even help them in college to succeed. Some of the kids where told you will never succeed in college so don’t bother going or trying to go.That is what a Superintendent is in charge of changing that.
      The superintendent did a great job on getting grants for just about everything, but when you are losing kids at this pace there will not be any of them around to help. I have had kids going here since the 90’s, Some were A students and some were C students, but the youngest is doing ok but I’m not sure he has the skills for college considering the skills he lacks that are not taught so far. Hopefully better next year. Parents don’t come to the meetings any more because they are not listened too, so they remove their kids from the school and have them go else where. When a school goes from having 300 plus kids to 100 plus students in 4 years there is a problem. The community will have to wait and see what happens next and hopefully become more involved.

  2. Bummer that Holmes is out. BUMMER.
    Praise the Lord that Vader has finally made a Wise decision, maybe a better job for her would be a prison guard.
    My Twin Boys are succeeding, on their very own, through home school, in which they would have NEVER succeeded under a Vaders’ SUPERvision.
    They have went from bad grades to great, from very unhappy, to happy, from not believing in themselves (at school), to TOTALLY believing in themselves. From being treated like a criminal, to getting the DAILY RESPECT, that they have ALWAYS DESERVED.
    Blow that Bull Horn, for them boys, Vader. It will be thanks to them, not you.
    see ya,
    Tricia Smith-Huffman

  3. Thanks for some of the clarification. I don’t think I’ve recieved satisfactory information here. I simply wanted to know how a school superintedant could be fired, when everyone supported her. The story I read was that no one complained about her. On the surface of this problem, it appears that the board has a reason for firing Sue Holmes, but they can’t say why. Why was Sue Holmes dismissed?
    Was it because of disgruntled parents, or for some hidden crime, or what? Are the board members on a crusade to change the nature of a transient community? Cripple Creek is a tourist attraction. It has wealth and poverty associated with the gambling industry. It has Donkey Days, ice festivals and motorcycle rallies. Even so, it offers opportunities, to children in particular, that other communities don’t offer. You can only help people if they agree to be helped.
    Children are children and often times they do not know what to do. They sometimes take the easiest route. They learn what they want and when they want it. Sometimes they don’t learn. If a child, as a student, can’t learn or refuses to be taught, there is no teacher in the world who can successfully do their job. So, blame the teacher when a student doesn’t care. Blame the administrator when a student breaks rules. Blame anyone who is trying to teach a student who is disruptive and who has no regard for authority. Calling school a prison, and the teachers prison guards is nothing new. Sometimes you learn the lesson by being forced to learn. If you don’t learn you get an F and you have an opportunity to return and try again. If a student gets an F, it’s the teachers fault for expecting a child to be willing to learn. You cannot pour information into a skull. It has to be received and analyzed. Sometimes, good teachers can’t spark a bad student’s imagination. Blame the school for that. Sometimes a child can’t or refuses to obey a dress code. Blame the school. Sometimes the student can’t or refuses to do homework. Blame the teacher. Sometimes a child will thrive in homeschool, and sometimes they really appreciate the opportunity to learn nothing at all. But, what ever it is, it is never never never the responsibility of the parent to instill in a child the importance of an education. So, say whatever you want to about your children not thriving in school and pull them out and teach them at home. That is good. But don’t blame the school, the administration and the teachers for the bad attitude that put them in that position to begin with. Blame yourself for teaching your children to not have respect. Blame yourself for telling your children they don’t have to follow rules or do their homework. Don’t help your children when they have questions about learning. Don’t make them go to bed at a reasonable hour on a school night. And don’t have a relationship with those who are in charge of their learning experience. Just let your children do anything they want. And then, blame someone else for their failure.
    Education is a competition. If there is only one job available at the end of a school year, who do you think the employer wants to hire? Is it the one who hasn’t done any of the work, or is it the one who has shown by example, that they have the capacity to do the work. That goes for the job at the fast food chain or the job of medical doctor. The education of a child comes when the child actually wants to learn, or when they realize education comes one step at a time. And sometimes it is the parent who is the prison guard. Stop blaming everyone in sight for the problems you, as a parent, are the cause of. Try to have a little respect for those who are trying to help you . . . even if Cripple Creek is not the “Harvard” of middle school or high school. Stop giving your child authority over you and your education specialists. Make your child realize how important a good education is. It doesn’t even matter how good the teachers are. They have already proven that they know how to learn. Their business is to show your students how to learn . . . not to pour information into their skulls.
    The teachers and administrators in Cripple Creek are doing the best they can with what they have to work with. Help them help you. Or, fire them and hire good teachers and administrators. And that would only be, if you can find them and that they would be willing to come to Cripple Creek. Cripple Creek is not a plum prize.
    College isn’t for everyone. Some children will do really well by not going. But, please, if you haven’t learned what is expected of you in K-12, what makes you think college will be different? I can tell you that college is not a prison, it is a business. The teachers are called professors and they really really really don’t care if you learn or not. If you fail, you fail and it is your fault. The same with succeeding. Either way, you pay for it. If you have not learned how to read before you get to college, don’t go. They expect you to know certain things, but they will be glad to take your money. Learn to read first, then go if you want to learn in an environment of higher education. But don’t blame them for not putting up with disrespectful behavior. And don’t blame them for your shortcomings.
    So, what was the problem with Sue Holmes and why did Trudy Vader feel compelled to resign? The quality of education is in the balance. Be very careful about how you approach this issue because good educators and administrators don’t have to come here. They have earned their choice. . . . and there has been no pay raise in years.

    • Charlie….. (I just lost a response the length of yours, somehow, so heres the short version)
      As a daughter of a Marine, Vietnam Veteran;
      I dont believe in disrespecting people.
      I Always correct disrespect, when I see it out of my kids.
      Ive been doing that since their very first disrespectful thing.
      My kids are not failures, and I never have blamed anyone else for there disrespect.
      My kids do not have authority over me.
      I have defended the school, way more than I ever defended my kids. Ive ignored serious things, thinking my kids just wanted to blame the school.
      Please dont assume you understand what we have dealt with this whole time.
      There is obviously something wrong, huh?
      I agree with all of your points.
      What I dont agree with is Assumption, Disrespect, and Judgment is the way to get through to young people.
      All these kids should be respectful, and do there job.
      Oh, and so should the Principle,,and a teacher or two.
      Or should I let that go, again, and just blame my kids?
      Apparently, something isnt all that right.

      • oh, by the way.
        Sue Holmes, she was great.
        The first one in many many years, that took the time out, and asked questions. She said she had all the time in the world for me.
        Now, THAT, I consider a Professional attitude.
        And, my call was not made to make a complaint, just to get the transcripts. I should have called in the very first place, a long time ago. That was my repeated mistake.

        • I glad you had a good relationship with Sue, but as another parent who has children at CCV this last few months is the first time I have had to interact with her. My children have gone to CCV since 1992 and the youngest will graduate soon. Not once I have recieved any notice on who my children are or that I was their parent, except by the longer tenured teachers. The administration needs better communication skills with the parents and the community. Parents have complained but no one listens, so they went to city console to get things solved. Does not matter we are in a transit city, the kids that left , their families are still living here. We have lost too many kids to even justify not a change in the administration for the kids sake.

  4. Thank you, Mrs. Huffman and Mom, for trying to help me understand why Sue Holmes was dismissed. (Looks like it’s just the three of us.) I don’t know Mrs. Holmes. I read that she had a lot of support and that no one spoke against her. Then she was dismissed by the school board. It just doesn’t sound right. Sounds like politics and that the board has a hidden agenda. That’s the way it appears, anyway. and that is why I am interested. Doesn’t the board read this conversation?
    Mrs. Huffman, you are right. I didn’t mean to sound like teachers, administrators and employees of a school district are never wrong. Not only has my own child suffered at the hands of teachers and administrators, but so have I. I know what it is like. Maybe a new superintendant will make things right. It didn’t before, but maybe it will, now.
    Mom, Mrs. Holmes wasn’t the superintendant in 1992. It wasn’t her fault at that time. I believe I read that she has been there for eight years. The school board can’t go back and dismiss the superintendants of years past. Being familier with your school and its employees is a two way street, of which you bear some responsibility. I too believe that it would be nice if the superintendant of schools would call, now and again, to let me know how great my student is. All in all, I’m good with “No news is good news”. But for you, if you ask someone about your student, and they ignore you, you are a rightious parent and are justified in calling for change. At least you are involved.
    I still think the problems of Cripple Creek are far deeper than the problems with administrators. And, it appears the BOE has problems, too. They haven’t called or written, so I really don’t know.

  5. I will miss the Superintendent. She was the only one in the school district who did genuinely care about the children. She always had time to talk even outside of school hours. If anyone should have been let go it should have been the principal of the elementary school. We always had a wonderful relationship with the school when Ms. DeJesus was Principal. Our relationship with the current principal has left us with no choice but to bus our child to another district. With the loss of the Superintendent I can now see that was the right choice.

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