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Background Information

Employment History


Las Animas High School


Las Animas RE-1 School District


Bent County Development Foundation



Web References (23 Total References)

Las Animas School Superintendent ... [cached]

Las Animas School Superintendent Scott Cuckow expressed shock and grief on behalf of the Las Animas School District, faculty and students at the "untimely passing" of Josh Gardner.

Cuckow said Gardner was  "a student of whom we all thought highly, a boy to whom we pointed with pride as a student and athlete of our district."`
Cuckow went on to say that "Josh will be missed by all and we would like to convey our sense of loss and deepest sympathy to Josh's family.

Student Surge Surprises Las Animas - Las Animas, CO - Bent County Democrat [cached]

  Las Animas Superintendent Scott Cuckow has been pleasantly surprised by the surge of new students into the district.     "We gained 50 kids from the first of the year (January 2008) until now. We hope to see that trend continue," Cuckow said.     "We are happy about that and want to celebrate it."     He noted the school's excess capacity easily absorbed the student influx, which was spread out among the grade levels.     "I think it reflects on our staff and teachers. Our teachers are working very smart and harder than ever before to take care of each student's needs."     Cuckow said most of the population gain was in the lower grades, which gives hope that an ongoing increase in students will garner the district more state funding from the annual student count.     "We can use the extra money to pay teachers better and keep positions here... I do not think the answer is to have property owners pay a higher burden.     "I think the community is seeing the advantages of what we have to offer," Cuckow noted.

    Interviewed in early December, Cuckow reflected on how quickly the first semester was coming to a close.     "I can't believe Christmas break is almost here.     "I see a lot of happy students, happy teachers. Morale is good.," he observed.     Still, he noted that a small district has to struggle to pay the bills.     'It is so unfair that a big city school district can raise $1 million with a 2  mil tax increase. For Rocky Ford to raise $600,000, they have to increase taxes by 21 mils."     Cuckow said the district needs to improve its cafeteria, gym, FFA building and the hallways.     But even so, a school district has to invest in more than its campus facility.     Cuckow noted that staff development has been important in the past year as teachers focus on improved strategies for engaging students in education.     And the district - which won a Colorado Department of Education award two years ago for its improved reading scores - continues to emphasize reading in the early grades.     Cuckow said the district has also "shored up" its teaching of math in the middle school.     All of these steps to improve teaching are more important than ever, Cuckow said.     He noted the state accreditation model gives the school "a sense of urgency - we have to show some growth in each and every student."     Meanwhile, Cuckow reports far fewer referrals for disruptive behavior this year.     To promote better behavior, the school launched a community wide program which rewards students for good behavior when they interact with the broader community.     "Everyone is jumping aboard on that," he noted.

Bent County, Colorado [cached]

Scott Cuckow, Superintendent 719-456-0161

Bent County Democrat Education RSS [cached]

"It was a very healthy discussion," said Superintendent Scott Cuckow.

Superintendent Scott Cuckow was pleased to report the Las Animas High School FFA members did a great job at state competition.
Cuckow mentioned how great it was to have 11 members of the LAHS Track Team compete at state with several placing. Cuckow also reported the elementary school received an 83 percent proficient or advanced proficient score on their CSAP scores. This is higher than the state average of 78. Cuckow said the teachers worked extremely hard, and the kids want to please them. Cuckow is working on a $109,000 proposal to the Bent County Department of Social Services to possibly access some of its Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) funds. Cuckow would like to use the funds to purchase supplies and equipment. He mentioned the elementary school is looking at purchasing all the school supplies students would need in bulk, so that it is at a cost savings, and then charging a supply fee to the families, not to exceed $30/student.
Ratzlaff asked if this shouldn't have been covered under the $300 monthly stipend that Cuckow receives for travel expenses.
Cuckow said when he was hired he was told that if he were to go somewhere far, then the district would pay for the gas. In this instance, he had gone to Denver.
    Superintendent Scott Cuckow thanked everyone for the time they spent on this project.

Districts and unions settling earlier, for less | EdNewsColorado [cached]

Superintendent Scott Cuckow said his small district suffered the double blow of the state funding cut and the loss of $800,000 in state and federal grants, which ran out after 2009-10.

"What hurt was letting the people know they no longer have a job because the money is no longer there."
Scott Cuckow, superintendent, Las Animas School District
The district cut 9 teachers and the equivalent of 8.5 clerical and classroom aide jobs for 2010-11. That leaves 35 teachers.
"I'm not regretting having those grants because they helped us a lot," Cuckow said. "What hurt was letting the people know they no longer have a job because the money is no longer there."
He said the district's elementary school, a 2007 recipient of the state's "Distinguished School" award for its progress with low-income children, is suffering the most from the job losses.
"We believe that if a child can read by third grade, they're set up to succeed in life so we really target reading skills K-3," he said. "There will be a lot less effective strategic interventions for those young kids, that's what we lost."
For next year, Cuckow said his board is considering eliminating one of the district's three administrators - the elementary principal, the high school principal or the superintendent.

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