CMC – Leadville President Moves On
College To Initiate Replacement Search
“We are grateful for her hard work, and confident that she’s leaving our local campus in good hands,” said Bob Hartzell regarding the announcement that Colorado Mountain College (CMC) vice president and dean of the Leadville campus Rachel Pokrandt is leaving her position mid-June. Hartzell represents Leadville and Lake County on the CMC Board of Trustees.
Pokrandt arrived in Leadville in August 2016 as interim president of the local community college, including the Salida campus established in 2019.
“This is a bittersweet moment for me because I absolutely love the Leadville and Salida communities and our amazing, dedicated faculty, staff and students,” Pokrandt said. “We have the most innovative and dedicated people at both campuses and I look forward to following their successes in the years to come.”
According to the press release distributed by the school, during her tenure in Leadville, she created teams that stabilized campus finances, created partnerships in the community and raised enrollment and graduation rates. Prior to her time in Leadville, Pokrandt served CMC as the campus dean in Rifle and as an assistant dean of instruction in Edwards, tallying nearly ten years at the academic institution.
“Colorado Mountain College is the only local higher education choice for people in our mountain communities, and the college’s presence in Leadville and Salida is healthy and growing thanks to Rachel’s leadership,” concluded Hartzell.
Pokrandt has accepted the role of President at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Pokrandt’s last day with CMC will be June 18th. Before launching the search for Pokrandt’s replacement, CMC President & CEO Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser will meet with faculty and staff as well as key community stakeholders in Leadville and Salida to hear their thoughts and priorities.
“I’m tremendously optimistic about the future of the Leadville and Salida campuses thanks to the stable foundation that Rachel has helped build at both locations,” Hauser offered. “Given her many successes at CMC, it should be no surprise that she’s been recruited to lead another college. We’re happy for Rachel and we wish her the best in this new adventure.”
What’s Happening at West Park Elementary?
By Kathleen Fitzsimmons, WPE Principal
On Thursday, April 8, the West Park Elementary Crews joined together virtually on their teachers’ Google Classroom to celebrate the wonderful learning adventures we have shared this year!
Each class presented their work from our EL Curriculum with their families – kindergarteners made shelters and wrote research-based stories as part of their study of the weather, first grade created different watercolor paintings and wrote research-based stories in their unit on the Sun, Moon and Stars, and second grade created clay dinosaurs and presented their research-based stories on fossils and paleontology. Afterward, families were encouraged to continue the conversation about everything the students had learned with guided questions from the teachers! We are so proud of our students and staff for doing such great work during a very unique year!
CMC Presents Virtual “The Nina Variations”
By Kristin Carlson, Colorado Mountain College
Sopris Theatre Company at Colorado Mountain College announces the final show of their season, “The Nina Variations.” Written by Colorado native Steven Dietz, the play pays homage to Chekhov’s classic, “The Seagull,” while taking aim at modern misunderstandings of romantic love. In 43 variations of the final scene, Chekhov’s star-crossed lovers, Nina and Treplev, rehash what went wrong in their relationship and explore how they might have prevented it.
Brad Moore, director of the show and theatre operations manager at CMC Spring Valley, said one of the greatest challenges this past year has been finding plays that lend themselves to the socially distanced staging required during a pandemic. “The Nina Variations” appealed to Moore not only because of its clever script, but because it’s written by a playwright who welcomes unconventional casting.
Typically, a two-character play requires only two performers, but Dietz invites directors to consider nontraditional and multi-casting to represent an array of intimate relationships, each with their own unique variations. This flexibility allowed Sopris Theatre to produce a show with eight cast members while maintaining safe performance practices, because only two actors take the stage at a time.
“This is an interesting work to explore,” said Moore. “It opened up the possibility to cast multiple couples who could be near one another for rehearsals without concern for their safety.”
Moore explained that two of the pairs are couples in real life. The third pair are members of the same COVID-19 friend pod.
“The fourth pair will perform their scenes in a Zoom call and are physically distanced when in the same room,” he said. “There is a heightened sense of separation in those scenes which is really poignant.”
The cast represents the various aspects of Nina (an aspiring actress) and Treplev (an aspiring writer). The four couples include: Chris and Jamie Walsh, Ciara Morrison and James Steindler, Joshua Adamson and Bostyn Elswick, and Brendan T. Cochran and Christina Cappelli. All except Cappelli have studied theater at CMC.