The Longmont Leader accepts contributions, photos, and op-eds for publication from community members, business leaders and public officials on local topics. Publication will be at the discretion of the editor and published opinions do not represent the views of the Longmont Leader or its staff. To submit a contribution, email [email protected].
“We are all here working together for the same purpose. There is a place for everyone in St. Vrain,” shares Head Custodian Chris Ulmer as he waves and chats to students as they pass by him in the hallways at Alpine Elementary School.
St. Vrain Valley Schools has over 5,000 staff members who serve in diverse ways and are united in that they consist of a positive group of passionate and caring professionals who are all working to support student success. The sum of each staff member’s unique contributions is what makes advancing students’ well-being and academic achievement across the district possible. Chris has worked in other industries previously and enjoys serving in a school environment where he sees himself as the caretaker of the building and has built strong relationships with colleagues and students.
“The people I work with are amazing,” remarks Chris. “My school community is a family. When it’s my birthday, I hear ‘happy birthday’ from everyone in the school – twice.”
St. Vrain team members are an integral part of their school and building community and act as role models for students. Employees have a significant impact on the lives of families in the community. Their contributions create secure and clean school buildings, safe routes for students on their way to-and-from school, healthy meals to fuel student learning, and a nurturing and fun environment for children who arrive early and stay after the last bell rings each day.
“I love my job. I have a whole lot of friends here,” says Melodie Erdmann as she sits and laughs with elementary-aged children observing clouds outside at Eagle Crest Elementary. Melodie has worked with Community Schools before- and after-school childcare programming for over 10 years and also serves as a paraprofessional in the district.
Along with the positive culture, she enjoys the flexibility of working in St. Vrain Valley Schools. When her own children were younger, she was able to work in the mornings while they were at school and have free time during the day to take care of other responsibilities. “St. Vrain works with you for a schedule that fits your needs,” continues Melodie.
Many of St. Vrain’s essential positions offer employees flexibility in their schedules, allowing them to have time during the day or a shift that works for their personal schedule. Schedule options vary by position and can offer mornings, afternoons, and/or summers off. Work schedules follow the school calendar, and offer consistent schedules where employees enjoy weekends and holidays off so they can spend more time with their families.
Johannes van Ek was a retired physicist when he decided to join the team at Main Street School as a Special Education Paraprofessional. He enjoys being a part of a community. “I came out of retirement because I wanted to make an impact. My job is fulfilling and St. Vrain offers great benefits packages,” shares Johannes.
When community members join St. Vrain Valley Schools, they are joining a mission-driven family with a shared goal to serve students, family, and staff. Employees receive all training from St. Vrain, so new staff feel prepared on day one of their new role.
“St. Vrain Valley Schools teaches you everything you need to know before you start your first route,” says Annette who serves as Bus Driver for Transportation Services. “I love the interaction with the kids and my bus assistant. I love that we work as a team. It’s a great environment.”