Education Fund Board appoints new members |

Education Fund Board appoints new members

Steamboat Springs Middle School students work on computers during a class in 2013. The Education Fund Board

— The Steamboat Springs Education Fund Board has appointed three new members to begin serving with the group, which sets budget guidelines for spending Steamboat’s half-cent sales tax for education.

New members Alissa Merage, Jeanne Mackowski and Kandise Gilbertson were interviewed by board members earlier this month, then appointed to their new positions.

The board also is planning to conduct interviews for new Education Fund Grant Commission members this fall to fill open seats for that group, which vets grant requests from teachers, community groups and district leaders and awards money.

Together, the board and commission are tasked each year with spending about $3 million in sales tax revenues generated by the city.

Merage said she was interested in serving on the board to ensure the children of the Steamboat community continue to have the tools they need to become leaders in today’s economy.

“The strength of Steamboat’s education system played a significant role in our decision to move our family here last August,” Merage said. “I think it’s the role of everyone in the community to keep that standard high.”

Merage recently served on the board of a private pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade school in Southern California before moving to Steamboat with her husband and three children.

“Alissa brings a lot of private school knowledge and board experience to the table,” said Sam Jones, Education Fund Board president.

Mackowski, who also serves on the Community Committee for Education, said she’ll draw upon her background in communications while serving on the board.

“As a board member, perhaps I can share some of my professional experience the past 20 years in marketing and communication or my knowledge in the last three years working with the Roaring Fork School District,” said Mackowski, who also moved with her family to Steamboat last August. “I have been looking for ways to feel more connected to the Steamboat community, as well as to give back in a meaningful way. EFB provided an opportunity to do both.”

Jones said Mackowski said they would head up a board initiative next year to improve communication with the community.

Gilbertson said she is passionate about both small class sizes and technology, two areas on which much of the tax revenue is typically spent.

“I want to see my son, a current seventh-grader, continue to have the benefits of the half-cent sales tax,” Gilbertson wrote in her application.

Gilbertson has served on numerous school district committees in the past and has experience as a teacher, according to her application.

“Kandise brings many years of working knowledge with our public schools, both inside, as a teacher, and outside, via various committees and leadership groups,” Jones said.

This fall, the board is expected to interview Katie Armstrong and Jeff Merage for open seats on the Education Fund’s Grant Commission. Gilbertson is also expected to take on a dual role, serving on both the board and commission.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

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