A Warm Welcome to George Welsh!
January 22, 2021
CEI is looking forward to the arrival of George Welsh in 2021. A 24-year veteran superintendent, George will bring his extensive experience in rural settings to our team, and will provide insight and vision that is aligned to CEI’s Design Commitments. George will be working closely with CEI’s Vice President of Implementation, Alex Carter, to design and conduct the 2021 Rural Superintendent Academy.
George is currently the superintendent of schools at Cañon City School District, and has been in this role since 2015. Prior to his tenure at Cañon City, George served as the superintendent of schools at Center Consolidated School District for 18 years. He holds a master’s degree in education leadership and administration from Northern Arizona University, and bachelor’s degree in secondary education from the University of Arizona.
Q & A with George Welsh
How have you collaborated with CEI during your tenure at Cañon City School District?
My collaboration with CEI actually goes all the way back to my time as superintendent of schools in Center, when CEI was the Colorado Legacy Foundation. While there, my staff and I participated in a number of healthy schools initiatives. While in Cañon City, we have worked with CEI on the Accreditation Pilot Program, the Assessment for Learning Project (ALP), the Homegrown Talent Initiative (as an exemplary school), and the Youth Connections Grant.
How have family and community partnerships contributed to student success in your community?
Healthy kids, both physically and in the social-emotional realm, learn better. It is impossible to achieve a high level of student health, and engagement in learning, without partnering with parents. On the community partnership end, Cañon City High School has developed one of the premier intern and apprentice programs in Colorado. Though we are a rural community, we’ve established formal partnerships with more than 100 local businesses that welcome our students into their workplace so they can learn more about careers in specific fields. This offers a great opportunity for our kids to learn from them. Most important, it also helps our local business leaders understand just how amazing and capable our kids are.
Tell us a little bit about the work you will be doing at CEI. Why is this work important to you?
I will be facilitating the newly established Rural Superintendent Academy, a prestigious opportunity for current and future rural superintendents to learn systematic ways to drive their communities forward, both economically and academically. This is important to me because when I first became a rural superintendent back in 1997, I was ill-equipped to do the job well. It took me more than 10 years to really grow to understand the role and drive my community forward. Too often, examples like this are still the case in rural Colorado.
Will you be continuing your work with Cañon City School District?
I am committed to working in Cañon City as superintendent of schools through the end of June 2022. Fortunately, my Board of Education has trusted me with a reduced commitment to the district, so I will have plenty of time to engage in this and other work with CEI.
What are your aspirations for the coming year?
To attract an amazing first group of Rural Superintendent Academy fellows and to support this entire first cohort in a way in which each walks away armed with all the skills and resources they need to positively transform the schools and communities whom they serve.