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Building a Foundation of Success with Character

Durango works hard to ensure its students are prepared with critical character and life skills to support their academic strengths. Our Board of Education has outlined key areas in its second Results Policy that requires our district to keep these important factors front and center in our work. Respect, responsibility, and perseverance are critical to anyone’s success in our society today. Whether it’s through modeling by our staff, reinforcing positive character in school programs, or recognizing students through a variety of means, success is clearly more than academic achievement.

Our kids come to school today with many pressures that are quite different than anything many of us dealt with growing up. Whether it’s pressure from social media, financial challenges, or models that play out in our society that define “normal,” our kids receive many different messages and feel lots of pressure on who they need to be, how they need to look, or how they need to act. If we rely on role models in the media, we are definitely in trouble! I believe Durango 9-R, and all the educational entities in Durango, employ the real role models who will shape our future!

At the beginning of the year, I challenged all 9-R staff to find the HERO inside and inspire our students. As the saying goes, “kids don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” All of us can think of a teacher or someone who worked in our school who had a positive impact on our lives. Our educators have an opportunity each and every day to be a source of inspiration, while modeling civility, respect, and responsibility – a role that is taken very seriously!

As I’ve attended sporting events over the past two months, I witnessed our athletes displaying high levels of respect and perseverance. Whether it’s our football team marching on the field with our VFW honoring our country, our soccer team holding their heads high when faced with adversity, our student government volunteering to rake leaves in the community, or our band congratulating other schools who placed ahead of them, our kids continue to show high levels of character and model what can be positive about our society today.

I’m proud to live here in Durango, and appreciate the hard work of the Durango 9-R team, as well as in schools across our community. Our future is bright as we together raise a generation that understands that the content of their character is equally as important as the knowledge and skill they possess.


Dan Snowberger


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