D-11 teachers earn board certification 

The District 11 National Board Certification Program announced that Cindy Gordon, Martinez Elementary School; Brenda Miller, Taylor Elementary School; Sara Miller, Penrose Elementary School; and Amber Plucknett, Tesla Educational Opportunity School, have achieved National Board Certification, awarded by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

They join 34 previously board-certified D-11 teachers.

Kirsten Gosch and Shari Griffin, teachers in Harrison District 2 and participants in the District 11 Candidate Support Program Cohort, also received certification in December 2019, along with Kathleen Spence, teacher at Fremont Elementary School in Fremont RE-2.

D-11 ranks fourth in the state in the total number of National Board Certified Teachers and fifth in the state by current candidates pursuing their certification. 

National Board Certification is a self-selected rigorous professional learning process designed for teachers to provide evidence-based data showing the positive impact they have on student learning. National Board Certification is the highest credential in the teaching profession.

Kirkpatrick Fund announces grants

The Kirkpatrick Family Fund distributed $5.3 million in grants to 106 organizations for the first half of its fiscal year in the areas of animal welfare; arts and humanities; children, youth and families; community development; endowment matching grants, and more.

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For the past three decades, the Family Fund has contributed more than $108 million to qualified nonprofit organizations.

The Family Fund has a history of supporting the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs. Grants since 2012 have helped launch Educational Outreach and SenioReach initiatives to offer free youth tickets and organize musician visits to public libraries, schools and assisted living and memory care centers. 

The Family Fund has also been a supporter of the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region. Specific funding from the Family Fund this year went to upgrade kennels to create a less stressful environment for dogs, reduce injury and the spread of disease, and increase capacity to shelter homeless pets. 

Workforce Center lands grants

The Pikes Peak Workforce Center has $111,000 in Employee Development Training Grants to award to companies for current employee training. 

Funded by the federal Workforce Investment Opportunity Act, the grants must be used for training for employees to retain a skilled workforce or avert the need for layoffs. 

Options include a variety of work-based or classroom training intended to increase the competitiveness of both employee and employer. Applications will be reviewed and grantees chosen by Friday, Feb. 7. Visit elpasoco.com/pikes-peak-workforce-center for more information.

Griffis/Blessing purchases Lion Village

Griffis/Blessing Inc. bought Lion Village Student Housing Dec. 27 for $34 million. Lion Village is comprised of 141 units with a total of 508 bedrooms. The townhomes offer a mix of two, three and four bedrooms and average 1,021 square feet. Each apartment home comes fully furnished, including housewares and a washer and dryer, and inclde utilities, internet and cable. Community amenities currently include a heated swimming pool, business center, fitness center and 24-hour maintenance.

CBRE in Denver acted as the broker and arranged financing for the acquisition.

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