Thu May 20th, 2021
The Southern Ute Drum
Tags: 20th Demont Award, Brian Crane, Colorado Administrator, Colorado BOCES, Colorado Representative Jim Wilson, COVID-19, Dedication, Ignacio School District, Ignacio School District Superintendent, Ignacio School district Technology Director, Jayden Brunson, La Titia Taylor, Rocco Fuschetto, Rural School Districts, Southern Ute Indian Tribe's Education Department, State of Colorado
Ignacio School District Superintendent, Dr. Rocco Fuschetto was the recipient of the 20th Demont Award for the State of Colorado. It is an award that was established to recognize educators and administrators who will “leave it better than they found it” in school districts of fewer than 1500 students. Due to COVID-19, the regular presentation of the award was put on hold until 2021 when small group gatherings were allowed, Fuschetto was recognized in a small ceremony that the Colorado BOCES put on Friday, May 7 to honor retiring superintendents in the area. “I was surprised to receive the award, it was completely unexpected,” Fuschetto expressed. “It is such a great honor to be recognized!”
The award was originally created by Colorado Representative Jim Wilson in 2002. He himself is a former teacher, principal and superintendent, the award is intended to help show appreciation and acknowledge those who have positively impacted their own districts.
Each year a panel of three members, including Representative Wilson, get to hand select one Colorado administrator from a rural school district to receive the award. The application process for the award includes securing a letter of nomination and gathering letters of recommendation (from staff, students and a community member). Fuschetto’s letters of recommendation came from Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Department of Education Director, La Titia Taylor, Ignacio School District Technology Director, Brian Crane and Ignacio High School Senior Student, Jayden Brunson.
Fuschetto has worked as the superintendent for the last 11 years, his dedication to the district is not only shown through his relationships in the community, but also through the time he commits to making improvements in the area. By working with the Southern Ute Education Department, Fuschetto has helped make the Ute language a recognized foreign language credit that can be used towards a high school diploma. “We are fortunate and blessed to have Dr. Rocco Fuschetto as the Ignacio School District superintendent,” Taylor stated. “His leadership, drive and compassion for the Ignacio schools, community and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe makes him deserving of this award.”
He was one of the driving forces to help the district secure a bond that paid for three brand new school buildings, new athletic fields and a new administrative building. This not only gave the community a brand-new look but has helped students succeed academically and athletically.
Dr. Fuschetto has held high expectations, not only for himself, but also for all his staff and students. He has rebuilt the curriculum in every subject at each school to align with the state standards and has helped introduce technology as a way for students to learn and master new skills. Not only has he focused on his student’s work, but he has helped his teachers improve their own planning by using early release days for training, extra time for teacher preparations and sometimes team building exercises.
Entering his last year of working for the district has left Fuschetto reminiscing on a decade of work “I am so proud of all my students past and present. I did the best I could for them.” Fuschetto noted. He plans on traveling more and spending more time with family once he enters retirement.
“Thank you for your years of service, your dedication to students and your unwavering quest for excellence,” Jim Wilson stated. “The Demont Award requires high moral character, compassion for children and positive contributions to education, you have excelled in all three areas.”