Cliff Pohlman, new school board president.
The Silverton school board elected new officers to start an upbeat meeting Tuesday, Nov. 10, a week after voters approved a $1.2 million bond issue to support an overhaul of the school and gym.
Cliff Pohlman was elected board president, replacing George Foster, who could not seek re-election due to term limits.
Keri Metzler was elected vice president, Paul Zimmerman, treasurer, and Dan Salazar, secretary. Pohlman, Zimmerman and Salazar were re-elected Nov. 5. Also elected to the school board that day was Mark Garvin. All were unopposed.
While school officials basked in the voters’ approval of the bond measure, Superintendent Kim White warned that although the school is lined up to get millions of dollars in grants for school building rehabilitation, state spending for school operations is dwindling fast.
She said school districts in Colorado are bracing for cuts of 5 to 15 percent a year over the next three years, depending on what the Legislature does.
“It’s going to be pretty intense,” White warned.
But White said the district has a lot to celebrate, particularly the bond election which clears the way for the $11.8 million school project.
“It’s a really big step for this district,” White said. “I think it’s going to have a huge impact here. When I think of where we’ll be a year from now, it’s kind of exciting.
White also reported to the school board that Silverton students did great on recent state-mandated tests. Enrollment is holding at 60 to 65 students, White said. Compared to a few years ago when the student population dipped into the 40s.
“It’s good to see that kind of stabilize a bit,” White said. “It’s been a wonderful start to school.”
Marvin Blackmore addressed the school board over concerns about the fate of the vast cache of trophies, uniforms, photos and other memorabilia from the school’s past. Some of the materials have been moved recently as the school has gone through asbestos removal, temporary heating system renovations and other projects.
“What’s going on with our trophies?” Blackmore asked. And he noted the scoreboard in the gym has also mysteriously disappeared. He said there were rumors that “everything achieved since the 1930s was going to be thrown away.”
He expressed concern school officials were “getting rid of the history of the sports teams, band and drama” programs.
“We have a plan,” White assured Blackmore. “The trophies are in Jerry’s workshop.” She was referring to custodian Jerry Bryant.
And White said the school is working on long-range plans to save the relics.
“We hope to come up with a space or room dedicated to Silverton School history. There have been pretty spectacular accomplishments over the years,” she said.
And she said the school has not gotten rid of the “tons of uniforms” from “several different eras.”
White said the school has probably 10 boxes stuffed with trophies and many others that are too large to fit in boxes. White said school officials aren’t planning to throw anything away and will put much of it back on display and work with an informal alumni group and the San Juan County Historical Society to determine the fate of the vast archives.
School board members also assured Blackmore that the school’s rich past won’t be discarded.
“We don’t have a right to throw away trophies, uniforms and pictures,” Pohlman said.
“We want to preserve that history,” Metzler added. “That’s why we’re not tearing down the building.”