"Humble ISD is an excellent school district - a great match for me personally and professionally," she wrote in an email sent to district staff after the Humble school board confirmed her as the finalist. "And I am very grateful for the opportunity they have offered me."
Fagen, hired by the Douglas County School Board in 2010, said in her email she expects to leave by mid-July. Texas law requires a 21-day waiting period between naming of the lone finalist and the school board's final approval. That vote would come on June 14.
DCSD Board of Education President Meghann Silverthorn praised Fagen's accomplishments.
"Dr. Fagen has led many changes and improvements in the past six years ...," Silverthorn said in a news release sent Tuesday evening by the school district. "We're grateful for her tireless service and commitment to education. We wish her and her family all the best in her future endeavors."
But many teachers and parents have blamed Fagen and the school board majority for policies that caused widespread low morale and led to an exodus of teachers and administrators over the past several years. During her tenure, the school board severed ties with the teachers' union.
"In 2009, the Douglas County Board of Education undertook the re-invention of American education and subsequently hired Superintendent Fagen to further their goal," said BOE member Wendy Vogel. "I think that her resignation is a clear indication that their reform agenda is not working."
Board member David Ray said he had mixed emotions about Superintendent Fagen's resignation.
"I believe she was placed in an extremely difficult position of carrying out the edicts of the previous Board. Unfortunately, her past six years have been marred by turmoil due to the ill-advised nature of the board's actions," Ray said. "Fortunately, the superintendent's resignation will continue the process of restoring trust in our District. My hope is that senior board members will follow the superintendent's example of doing whatever is necessary to continue building trust - even when it means sacrificing the self for the sake of our learners."
Controversial initiatives included a new teacher-evaluation system and market-based pay salary structure. The district is amid legal challenges surrounding its attempt to create a voucher system. And the hashtag #firefagen has been used widely on social media for more than a year.
Fagen's strategic plan, as described on the school district website, highlights safety, school choice, world-class education, 21st century skills and system performance as its priorities.
"We are hopeful the resignation of Dr. Fagen will be a positive step toward the healing of our school district and community," Douglas County Parents spokesperson Jason Virdin said in a statement. "The results of the school board election last November were quite clear, showing the community does not support "reform." We are anxious to start the healing process in Douglas County and hope the board majority will back up their recent assertions with action--gathering and considering significant, substantial community and staff input while searching for a new Superintendent."
In a news release, the district credits Fagen for improving student and staff safety in schools, building a strong network with home schools and charter schools and "empowering teachers to create inspiring...curriculum units."
Before coming to Douglas County, Fagen was superintendent of the Tucson Unified School District in Arizona.
Fagen, whose salary is $273,715, is moving to a district a little more than half the size of Douglas County, which has more than 67,000 students and about 80 schools.
She will replace outgoing Superintendent Guy Sconzo, who is retiring. According to its website, the district has 43 campuses, 5,000 employees and is among the 25 fastest-growing school districts in Texas. It is the 31st largest district in the state.
"We are excited about getting the best education mind in the country," said Robert Sitton, Humble school board president. "It's powerful what she is going to be able to do. When people talk about education, we want them to say, 'You really need to go see what Humble ISD is doing.' She is, in our opinion, the leader to take us there. She is innovative, visionary and not afraid to take risks if it enhances education."
Team scores: 1. Fort Collins, 81; 2. Arapahoe, 69; 7. Horizon, 30; 8. Mountain Range, 28; 10. Cherry Creek, 27.
100-meter hurdles: 1. Emily Sloan, Rock Canyon, 13:46; 2. Zoe Gilbertson, Mountain Range, 13.90; 5. Rhyan Pettaway, Rock Canyon, 14.68.
100-meter dash: 1. Arria Minor, Denver East, 11.83; 7. Mia Coats, Mountain Range, 12.55; 9. Morgan Shelton, Mountain Range, 18.57.
1,600 meters: Bri Oakley, Grandview, 4:58.47; 2. Madison Mooney, Horizon, 5:04.23; 8. Savanna Dalton, Castle View, 5:13.20; 10. Lillian Markusch, Cherry Creek, 5:14.84.
200-meter dash: 1. Arria Minor, Denver East, 23.42; 2. Julie Hall, Arapahoe, 24.19; 5. Mia Coats, Mountain Range, 24.37.
300-meter hurdles: 1. Emily Sloan, Rock Canyon, 41:24; 2. Zoe Gilbertson, Mountain Range, 43.50; 4. Anna Hall, Arapahoe, 43.77; 5. Delaney Smith, Cherry Creek, 44.23; 6. Hannah Carlson, Arapahoe, 45.03.
400-meter dash: 1. Arria Minor, Denver East, 52.50; 2. Julia Hall, Arapahoe, 53.35; 4. Mia Coats, Mountain Range, 54.29.
4x200 relay: 1. Cherokee Trail, 1:39.71; 2. Arapahoe, 1:41.80; 6. ThunderRidge, 1:43.27.
4x400 relay: 1. Arapahoe (A. Hall, Slack, J. Hall, Marizza), 3:46.70; 6. ThunderRidge, 3:56.36; 9. Cherry Creek, 3:58,59.
3,200 meters: 1. Brie Oakley, Grandview, 10:33.16; 2. Megan Mooney, Horizon, 11:09.34; 6. Savanna Dalton, Castle View, 11:15.96.
4x800 relay: 1. Cherry Creek (Swartz, McCurdy, Johnson, Peterson), 9:23.64; 4. ThunderRidge 9:29.80; 6. Horizon 9:34.04; 8. Mountain Vista 9:42.72; 9. Arapahoe 9:45.44.
Discus: 1. Gina Coleman, Fountain Fort Carson, 145-09; 4. Sierra Suazo, Castle View, 132-02; 5. Hannah McClure, Pomona, 124-00; 7. Meredith Minton, Douglas County, 126-06; 10. Jessica Kenney, Arvada West, 115-10.
Long jump: 1. Audra Koopman, Fort Collins, 19-05; 7. Julie Mackin, Castle View, 16-11.75;
Pole vault: 1. Chloe Woest, Fossil Ridge, 12-02; 2. Avery Paxton, Cherry Creek, 11-04; 8. Spencer Elder, ThunderRidge, 10-04; 10. Brooke Walker, Castle View, 10-04.
4x200 relay: 1. Cherokee Trail, 1:39.71; 2. Arapahoe, 1:41.80; 6. ThunderRidge, 1:43.27.
800 meters: 1. Becca Schulte, Fort Collins, 2:11.62; 3. Madison Mooney, Horizon, 2:12.43; 5. Megan Koch, Highlands Ranch, 2:14.78; 7. Megan Mooney, Horizon, 2:15.19; 8. Liz Swartz, Cherry Creek, 2:15.59; 9. Kamryn Hart, ThunderRidge, 2:15.64.
High jump: 1. Anna Hall, Arapahoe, 5-05.50; 5. Jessica Kenney, Arvada West, 5-0l.50; 9. Emma Smith, Mountain Vista, 5-01.50.
800 medley relay: 1. Arapahoe, 1:44.28; 3. Lakewood, 1:48.66; 9. Cherry Creek, 1:50.93.
Shot put: 1. Gabriella McDonald, Rocky Mountain, 40-08.50; 2. Leilah Vigil, Highlands Ranch, 40-06.50; 7. Hannah McClure, Pomona, 38-06.00; 8. Meredith Minton, Douglas County, 36-07.00.
Team scores: 1. Pomona, 94.50; 2. Fountain-Fort Carson, 79; 6. Cherry Creek, 35; 10. Mountain Vista, 28.
100-meter dash: 1. Christian Lyon, Fountain-Fort Carson, 10.80 (state meet and Colorado record); 2. Max Borghi, Pomona, 11.00; 4. Devin Cadena, Rock Canyon, 11.13; 7. Jeremy Gonzalez, Pomona, 11.23.
200-meter dash: 1. Christian Lyon, Fountain-Fort Carson, 21.67; 3. Max Borghi, Pomona, 22.07; 7. Jeremy Gonzales, Pomona, 22.07.
400 meters: 1. Darrien Wells, Aurora Hinkley, 48.05; 7. Kendal Smith, Douglas County, 49.59; 9. David Merkel, Arapahoe, 50.10.
3,200: 1. Henry Raymond, Poudre, 9:25.21; 3. Paxton Smith, Mountain Vista, 9:30.50; 4. Steven Goldy, Arapahoe, 9:32.94; 5. Parker Mackay, Mountain Vista, 9:36.75; 7. Kyle Moran, Cherry Creek, 9:41.26; 8. Mason Brevig, Arapahoe, 9:48.04.
4x800 relay: 1. Monarch, 7:51.57; 3. Mountain Vista, 7:57.50; 4. Cherry Creek 8:02.36; 5. ThunderRidge, 8:03.87; 7. Rock Canyon, 8:04.03; 10. Arvada West, 8:09.23.
Discus: 1. Jacob Condill, Chaparral, 157-03; 3. Andy Ritter, Ralston Valley, 148-09; 4. Brandon Micale, Pomona, 148-07; 8. Ryan Holt, ThunderRidge, 142-11.
High jump: 1. Austin Campbell, Regis, 6-09; 5. Danny Williams, Pomona, 6-02; 6. Koby Dudley, Castle View, 6-02.
Long jump: 1. David Cunningham, Highlands Ranch, 22-09.75; 2. Danny Williams, Pomona, 22-09.50; 5. Braden Smith, Lakewood, 22-11.
Pole vault: 1. Connor Roberts, Cherry Creek, 15-10; 3. Davis Butte, Chaparral, 15-04; 6. Riley Case, Castle View, 14-07; 9. Bryce Nault, ThunderRidge, 13-07; 10. Mack Yang-Aaron, Arapahoe, 13-01.
4X200 relay: 1. Fountain Fort Carson, 1:25.96; 2. Pomona, 1:27.55; 5. Arvada West, 1:28.39; 8. Legend, 1:29.59.
800 meters: 1. Henry Raymond, Poudre, 1:51.97; 5. David Merkel, Arapahoe, 1:57.14; 6. David Moore, ThunderRidge, 1:57.49; 7. Caden Foster, Mountain Vista, 1:57.55; 8. Kaden Lathrop, Highlands Ranch, 1:57.76; 9. Daniel Hamson, Cherry Creek, 1:57.93.
1,600 meters: Henry Raymond, Poudre, 4:18.67; 4. Paxton Smith, Mountain Vista, 4:22.29; 5. Mason Brevig, Arapahoe, 4:24.42; 6. Kyle Moran, Cherry Creek, 4:24.69; 7. Vincent Workman, Pomona, 4:25.01; 8. Steven Goldy, Arapahoe, 4:25.86; 10. Ryan Currie, Mountain Vista, 4:26.82.
110-meter hurdles: 1. Thomas Robillard, Fort Collins, 14.48; 3. Tyler Shannon, Ralston Valley, 14.80; 4. Ray Haas, Arapahoe, 14.80.
300-meter hurdles: 1. Angel Heredia, Aurora Hinkley, 37.88; 3. Ryan Marquez, Pomona, 39.34; 8. Tyler Shannon, Ralston Valley, 41.78.
4X100 relay: 1. Pomona (Gonzales, Matulik, Eckhardt, Borghi), 42.43; 3. Legend 42.57; 6. Cherry Creek, 43.44; 7. Highlands Ranch, 43.45; 9. Arvada West, 43.77.
4x200 relay: 1. Fountain-Fort Carson, 1:25.96; 2. Pomona, 1:27.25; 5. Arvada West, 1:28.39; 8. Legend, 1:29.59.
4x400 relay: 1. Fountain-Fort Carson, 3:17.91; 3. Cherry Creek, 3.21.16; 9. Heritage, 3:24.18.
Triple jump: 1. Danny Williams, Pomona, 47-03.00; 9. Ohibunna Ogu, Legend, 41-11.OO
Shot put: 1. Jake Moretti, Pomona, 54-10.00; 4. James Duckworth, ThunderRidge, 51-02.75; 6. Isaac Lopez, Pomona, 49-04.00; 7. Clae Walters, Pomona, 49-01.25; 9. Colton Homuth, Castle View, 48-07.50.
Team scores: 1. Classical Academy 84.50; Air Academy, 64.50; 3. Niwot, 58; 4. Valor Christian 54; 6. Green Mountain, 38; 10. D'Evelyn 29.
4x800 relay: 1. Air Academy 9:14.28; 6. Valor Christian 9:39.82; 8. Stanley Lake 9:42.64.
High jump: Rylee Anderson, Silver Creek, 5-07; 5. Sarah Cerrone, D'Evelyn, 5-04.
Shot put: 1. Lily Lockhard, Delta, 41-04.25; 4. Brittany Line, Littleton, 37-01.00
Triple jump: 1. Alex Hellenberg, Skyline, 36-08.00; 8. Kaysha Kacanda, Littleton, 34-11.25; 9. Sarah Smith, D'Evelyn, 34-10.50.
3,200 meters: 1. Katie Rainsberger, Air Academy, 10:23.24; 2. Lexi Reed, D'Evelyn, 10:55.50; 7. Reagan Hausmann, Valor Christian, 11:21.13; 10. Addi Iken, Littleton, 11:38.22.
800 meters: 1. Katie Rainsberger, Air Academy, 2:09.97; 3. Lexi Reed, D'Evelyn, 2:16.16; 8. Emily Gallegos-Francksen, Wheat Ridge, 2:18.56; 9. Keely Jones, Valor Christian, 2:18.84.
1,600 meters: 1. Katie Rainsberger, Air Academy, 4:45.27; 2. Lexi Reed, D'Evelyn, 5:00.83; 4. Reagan Hausmann, Valor Christian, 5:12.23.
100-meter dash: 1. Lauren Gale, Discovery Canyon, 12:21; 4. Tess Boade, Valor Christian, 12:39; 7. Tegan Alexander, Elizabeth, 12.80.
Long jump: 1. Maya Evans, Vista Peak, 19-05.25; 5. Nikki Strickler, Wheat Ridge, 17-05.75; 8. Chloe Peterson, Elizabeth, 16-11.25; 10. Kallaway Wood, Elizabeth, 16-08.50.
200-meter dash: 1. Lauren Gale, Discovery Canyon, 24.19; 6. Gianna Tesone, Valor Christian, 25.64.
300-meter hurdles: 1. Bailey Sharon, Green Mountain, 44.49; 7. Destiny Grimes, Valor Christian, 46.90.
400-meter dash: 1. Lauren Gale, Discovery Canyon, 53.72; 8. Saylor Sargent, Green Mountain, 58.48,
4x100 relay: 1. Valor Christian (Tesone, Maccagnan, Grimes, Boade), 48.39; 9. Elizabeth, 50.05.
4x200 relay: 1. Valor Christian, 1:40.42; 6. Elizabeth, 1:43.88.
4x400 relay: 1. Classical Academy, 3:52.10; 3. Valor Christian, 3:55.19; 5. Green Mountain, 3:58.54; 7. Elizabeth, 4:02.90.
4x800 relay: 1. Air Academy, 9:14.28; 6. Valor Christian, 9:39.82; 8. Standley Lake, 9:42,64.
Discus: 1. Raquel Valdez, Mountain View, 148-06.00; 5. Alexis LaLibere, Green Mountain, 126-11.00.
Pole vault: 1. Andrea Willis, Classical Academy, 13-04.00; 10. Marina Cannon, Littleton, 10-02.00.
800 sprint relay: 1. Discovery Canon, 1:44.54; 5. Green Mountain, 1:49.10.
Team scores: 1. Mountain View, 89; 2. Palmer Ridge, 79; 8. Valor Christian, 37.
100-meter dash: 1. Will Domier, Holy Family, 10:98; 3. Christian Barber, Valor Christian, 11:07; 8. Wesley Tedstrom, D'Evelyn, 11:16.
110-meter hurdles: 1. Jay Shuman, Palisade, 14.63; 5. Jacob Morse, Elizabeth, 15.13; 8. Chase McLean, Valor Christian, 15.45.
1,600 meters: 1. Ian Meek, Montrose, 4:20.38; 9. Colin Cannon, Littleton, 4:26.62; 10. Alec Hornecker, Golden, 4:26.68.
200-meter dash: 1. Caleb Ojennes, Palmer Ridge, 21.55; 2. Christian Barber, Valor Christian, 21.62; 6. Wesley Tedstrom, D'Evelyn, 22.49.
300-meter hurdles: 1. Aaron McCoy, Canon City, 37.94; 3. Chase McLean, Valor Christian, 38.35; 7. Hunter Dagnon, Valor Christian, 40.67; 9. Jacob Morse, Elizabeth, 41.36.
4x800 relay: 1. Durango, 7:53.60; 9. Green Mountain, 8:12.40.
Shot put: 1. Conor Bertles, Classical Academy, 53-02.75; 3. Dillon Reinkensmeyer, Valor Christian, 50-11.50; 7. David Bieber, Littleton, 47-50.00.
Triple jump: 1. Anthony Peters, Vista Ridge, 46-11.05; 9. Josh Hernandez, Elizabeth, 42-07.75.
800 Sprint relay: 1. Discovery Canyon, 1:44.54; 5. Green Mountain, 1:49.10.
3,200 meters: 1. Ian Meek, Montrose, 9:32.90; 5. Alec Hornecker, Golden, 9:38.35.
4x200 relay: 1. Longmont, 1:27.04; 8. Valor Christian, 1:40.56.
800 meters: 1. David Moenning, Durango, 1:52.26; 3. Colin Cannon, Littleton, 1:54.51.
High jump: 1. Jacob Bejarano, Roosevelt, 6-06.50; 2. Garrett Martin, Standley Lake, 6-06.50; 10. Ayden Flynn, D'Evelyn, 6-01.50.
400-meter dash: 1. Caleb Ojennes, Palmer Ridge, 46.71; 5. Tyler Williams, Standley Lake, 48.81.
Discus: 1. George Silvanic, Palmer Ridge, 158-07.00; 8. Dillon Reinkensmeyer, Valor Christian, 152-00.00; 10. James Doyle, D'Evelyn, 146-00.00.
Pole vault: 1. Ramon Salgado, Mountain View, 14-08.00; 7. Jake McMullen, Ponderosa, 13-02.00; 8. Ryan Stuchlik, Elizabeth, 13-02.00; 10. Phillip Zilhaver, Ponderosa, 13-02.00.
Team scores: 1. Eaton 107.50; 2. Moffat County, 88; 3. Peak to Peak 70; 8. Faith Christian 42; 9. Lutheran 34.
3,200 meters: 1. Lily Tomasula-Martin, Estes Park, 11:16.78; 7. Cassie Unruh, SkyView Academy, 12:06.90
High jump: 1. Morgan Barone, Lutheran, 5-05.
Triple jump: 1. Kylie Chavez, Sterling, 36-11.00; 8. Jessica Blahnik, Faith Christian, 34-07.50; 9. Sophia Baldwin, Faith Christian, 34-03.25.
100-meter hurdles: 1. Sarah Yocum, Faith Christian, 14:57; 7. Payton Walter, Faith Christian, 16:34.
100-meter dash: 1. Kayla Pinnt, Moffat County, 12.22; 4. Riley Darnell, Lutheran, 13.20.
200-meter dash: 1. Kayla Pinnt, Moffat County, 24.77; 2. Sarah Yocum, Faith Christian, 25.44; 7. Riley Darnell, Lutheran, 26.75.
300-meter hurdles: 1. Sarah Yocum, Faith Christian, 42.45;
400-meter dash: 1. Kayla Pinnt, Moffat County, 55:01; 2. Sarah Yocum, 56.55; 8. Mary Dyson, Lutheran, 1:01.43.
4x100 relay: 1. Moffat County, 50.03; 4. Lutheran, 51.01.
4x400 relay: 1. Colorado Springs Christian, 4:05.98; 3. Lutheran, 4:06.96.
Long jump: 1. Tymbree Florian, Bayfield, 16-06.50; 5. Sophia Baldwin, Faith Christian, 16-00.00.
Team scores: 1. Lutheran, 137; 2. Platte Canyon, 605.
3,200 meters: 1. Ben Butler, SkyView Academy, 9:22.27.
4x800 relay: 1. Alamosa, 8:11.81; 3. Lutheran, 8:18.35; 8. SkyView Academy, 8:27.51.
Discus: 1. Adam Dawson, Lutheran, 173-01.00; 10. Mitch Black, Faith Christian, 133-01.00.
Triple jump: 1. Kharon Hall, Lutheran, 48-01.75.
4x200 relay: 1. Lutheran (Harris, Tomko, Arkell, Hall), 1:29.09.
Shot put: 1. Jacob Dack, Lutheran, 51-04.00; 6. Zac Schulstad, Faith Christian, 46-05.50; 10. Ricardo Young, Lutheran, 41-10.25.
100-meter dash: 1. Kent Harris, Lutheran, 10.76; 4. Harrison Tomko, Lutheran, 11.38; 5. Luke Arkell, Lutheran, 11.43; 9. Trevor Olsen, Faith Christian, 11.67.
110 hurdles: 1. Matt Hanson, Lutheran, 14.68; 6. Kharon Hall, Lutheran, 15.36; 7. Aaron Clausen, Lutheran, 15.94.
1,600 meters: 1. Taylor Slack, Salida, 4:21.43; 2. Ben Butler, SkyView Academy, 4:21.44.
200-meter dash: 1. Kent Harris, Lutheran, 21.89; 6. Luke Arkell, Lutheran, 22.94.
300 hurdles: 1. Gallian Roberts, Salida, 39.08; 2. Matt Hanson, Lutheran, 40.13.
400-meter dash: 1. Sunday Abarca, Aspen, 48:54; 4. AJ Thompson, Lutheran, 50.75.
4x100 relay: 1. Lutheran (Arkell, Tomko, Harris, Hall), 43.27.
4x400 relay: 1. Manitou Springs, 3:21.46; 4. Lutheran, 3:27.81.
4x800 relay: 1. Alamosa, 8:11.81; 3. Lutheran, 8:18.35; 8. SkyView Academy, 8:27.51.
High jump: 1. Jasper Germain, Roaring Fork, 6-05.00; 2. Ryan Goldhammer, Lutheran, 6-05.00.
Cherry Creek and Centennial League rival Cherokee Trail were unbeaten teams playing in their third game May 21 in the double-elimination Class 5A state tournament at All-City Stadium in Denver.
Cherokee Trail held on for a 10-8 victory and will head into May 27 action without a loss. The Cougars are assured of playing in the championship game and will take on once-beaten Mullen in noon contest at All-City Stadium.
Cherry Creek and Rocky Mountain play in a 2:30 p.m. elimination game May 27 at All-City. First game on May 28 is set for 10 a.m. with a second, game, if necessary, scheduled for 12:30 p.m.
"No question, Cherokee Trail has the advantage," said Creek coach Marc Johnson. "You have to understand, they have to play well. If they win Friday (May 27), they are in great shape. If they lose, they are no different than anybody else but they get to wait for that extra game (on May 28).
"I've seen some unbeaten teams get beat but Cherokee Trail could win it all."
Last season, Chatfield entered the final weekend unbeaten but Rock Canyon won the championship. In 2014, Niwot was unbeaten but Green Mountain captured the Class 4A state title.
Valor Christian lost 9-6 to Pueblo West in a Class 4A game between unbeaten teams May 21 at All-Star Park in Lakewood.
The Eagles will go against Erie in a noon elimination game May 27 at All-Star Park with Pueblo West playing Windsor at 2:30 p.m. May 28 games will be at 10 a.m. and 12:30 if necessary.
Pitching staffs will be rested heading in the second weekend of the tournament but a team with one loss could play three games and pitch limits and seldom-used pitchers will come into play, especially late the late innings.
In the Creek-Cherokee Trail game, the Bruins scored three runs in the top of the first inning and had six singles in 1 1/3 innings. However, Cougars starter Keven MacKintosh didn't allow another hit before exiting the game after six innings with a 10-3 lead.
Cherry Creek scored five times in the top of the seventh against three Cougar relievers and had one runner thrown out at the plate. The Bruins had the bases loaded when Johnathon Dorman induced a pop out to end the game.
"They outpitched us, they outhit us and they out defended us," Johnson said. "They had a tough seventh inning where they walked a few people. If I hadn't sent the guy and got him thrown out at home it would have been 10-9 but we still would have got beat."
Valor Christian and Pueblo West were tied 5-5 but the Cyclones used four hits and two walks in the top of the seventh to score four runs to hand the Eagles their first loss of the tournament.
In other 5A playoff games, ThunderRidge lost its first two games. Cherry Creek beat the Grizzlies, 6-3 on May 20. Ralston Valley ousted the 2013 champs with a 5-2 win.
Ralston Valley lost to Grandview, 10-4, before beating ThunderRidge. Rocky Mountain eliminated the Mustangs with a 7-3 win on May 21.
The Golden Eagles led 3-0 at halftime and survived a Columbine flurry early in the second half to notch a 4-1 victory, which sent Vista into the state finals for the first time since winning the championship in 2013.
"It was really importance to get off to a quick start," said junior Katie Joella. "We knew we needed to put the game away at the beginning and assure ourselves that we would move on because Columbine was such a strong team. They have great forwards and they get big time goals so it was great to have that lead."
Sixth-seeded Mountain Vista (15-3-1) was scheduled to play top-seeded Grandview (17-0-1) in the May 25 state title match at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City.
Joella made sure the Golden Eagles forced Columbine to play catch-up with two goals in the first 17 minutes of the game.
"Our team had great momentum going into the first half," Joella said. "It was great when I saw the ball get past that defender. I saw my chance to score and it happened twice."
Maisie Paulson made it 3-0 before the first half ended but Columbine swarmed around the Golden Eagles net early in the second half and cut the deficit to 3-1 with a goal in the 66th minute.
Taeya Schueppert's goal on a rebound eased the pressure eight minutes later to boost Vista into a 4-1 lead.
"That was an important goal," Joella said. "They definitely had a lot of momentum in the second half. That goal turned the tide."
Vista coach Theresa Echtermeyer is pleased by how her team has performed in the playoffs.
"The girls have been on the rise at the right time," she said.
Valor Christian advances
Valor Christian won its eighth straight game, a 2-0 Class 4A semifinal shutout over Windsor in the Class 4A playoffs May 21. The seventh-seeded Eagles faced top-seeded Lewis-Palmer in the May 25 state championship game at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
It's a question worth considering with the absolute avalance of surprise album releases in the past month.
Consider this --; since April we've heard new albums from Beyonc , Radiohead, Drake, James Blake and Chance The Rapper, all released with about a week's notice. Some, like Blake, dropped hours after being announced.
The idea of surprise-releasing an album is a relatively new marketing strategy, and almost entirely a result of the digital market's dominance of the music industry.
Beyonc gets the much-deserved credit for pioneering the approach with her self-titled release in 2013, which arrived completely out of the blue in mid-December. In the 2 1/2 years since, artists from Eric Church to My Bloody Valentine have embraced surprise releases as a way to avoid leaks that could hurt sales or streams. It's also a way for artists to release their work on their terms, when they're ready for audiences to hear the music.
As a listener and music collector, I'm not entirely sold on the idea.
An artist who approached the wait for an album release with panache and artistry was Kanye West, in the lead up to his 2010 album "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy." Every Friday he released a new song from the album's recording sessions, and it was a fantastic way to stoke excitement.
I remember rushing home from work every Friday to download the new song, and engage with other fans online about whether the track would make the album and, if not, why. This led to heated discussions and debate, and by the end I positively couldn't wait for the release.
I also worked at a record store for more than five years, and I remember the excitement when a favorite artist announced a new album. The announcement typically came at least two months before the release (sometimes longer) and allowed plenty of time to savor it. Usually, the announcement was accompanied by a single to give listeners a taste of what was to come, along with the album art. This allowed fans to pour over the images and decipher what the art hinted about the album's sound and theme.
Some of this still happens with surprise releases, but it's difficult to scrutinize the album art while you're simultaneously digesting the music for the first time.
There is some nice democratization that comes with the surprise-release approach, and I understand why it appeals to artists. Instead of having a record label decide their single, they let listeners hear the whole album and select a single based on response.
Releasing music this way also provides some room to breathe for artists, since it removes the looming specter of a deadline and allows them the freedom to breathe and create on their own schedule.
Looking at the aforementioned albums, as well as surprise releases this year from Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West and Rihanna, there certainly seems to be something to the approach: almost all these artists delivered some of the best and most interesting albums of their careers.
Appreciation of the music-release strategy is one of those things that probably changes with age, just like your approach to Christmas and birthdays will.
When we're young, we all want Christmas and birthdays to happen as quickly as possible to get our presents. Yet, as I've aged I have far more appreciation for the lead-up to these events. The joy lessens from just tearing into the gifts. Instead, I take delight in the countdown, the slow unwrapping and appreciation.
I will never complain about new, great music, regardless of the delivery. I just miss the anticipation. It is, after all, half the fun.]]>
I moved to Castle Rock 11 years ago --; when I was 25 years old --; from Washington, D.C., to start my business, Castle Rock Music, and raise a family. I grew up in Newport News, Virginia. My dad is a welder at Newport News Shipbuilding and my mother is a nurse. I also have a younger brother and sister who still live in the area. I studied music education and jazz studies in college, where I met my wife, Katie. After college we moved around the Washington, D.C., area for a bit looking for a place to raise our family. My sister-in-law lived in Castle Rock at the time (and still does) and had been telling us about how much she loved it. She encouraged us to move west.
Starting Castle Rock Music
I had been working in music stores since I was 16 and with a new baby, a store was a better fit for my family than the night life of a musician. Castle Rock music started with a 1,500-square-foot music store and has grown to over 3,000 square feet, with over 30 instructors instructing over 450 music lessons per week. It continues to be one of the most challenging and fulfilling jobs I've ever had. Katie and I have been married 13 years and have two fun-loving sons in elementary school. She is a Spanish teacher at Mesa Middle School in Castle Rock. We joke that between the store and the school we probably know 75 percent of the youth in town.
Spending time outdoors
At this point in my life I am very lucky to think of music not just as a hobby, but really as my job. Outside of work I spend a lot of time enjoying the Colorado outdoors. Katie and I love to garden and really just take advantage of beautiful Colorado. In the winter we ski and snowboard and the rest of the seasons we camp, hike and fish. Our favorite things to do in the summer are go to the events in downtown Castle Rock or take the paddle boards and kayaks to Chatfield. I also like to go to the shooting range and mountain bike on all the great trails around town.
My passion is family
My number one passion is my family. Raising happy and healthy sons with my wife and maintaining a peaceful home is so important to me. I put a lot of energy into my own mental and physical health as well. I find that I am happier and more productive this way. I am obviously very passionate about small businesses and the character and economic energy they bring to communities. I am very fortunate that my own business allows me to engage in musical pursuits. In that regard I am grateful for the opportunity that the music store gives me to instill that passion in the youth here. The best part of my job is seeing the students from the store play and sing around town and really find their own passions in music.
Coming from poverty
The difference in my life from when I was young may be the most unique thing about me. Newport News is very different from Castle Rock. It's very urban and many people are poor. I actually went to high school with Michael Vick and watched Alan Iverson play basketball in our school district. Sports was one of the few ways people could attain a better life. My own family was pretty poor as well and absolutely dependent on the shipbuilding industry. I was the first person in my family to go to college, and was able to get my education only because I was given a music scholarship. Now, I am able to provide an entirely different situation for my own family, a safe place to live with plenty of healthy opportunities and a great education. In my home town you could barely find vegetables in the grocery stores, but now, I grow my own, including chickens. Coming from where I come from, I have a different perspective than many and I am so grateful for this life.]]>