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Ignacio School District welcomes one of their own

The Ignacio School District selected Chris deKay as the new superintendent, he will assume the role in July, replacing Rocco Fuschetto, who retires at the end of the 2020-2021 academic school year.
Photo Credit: Jeremy Wade Shockley | Southern Ute Drum

deKay selected as next superintendent

The Ignacio School District will welcome Chris deKay as the new superintendent in JulyCurrent superintendent Rocco Fuschetto is set to retire at the end of the 2020-2021 school year. “I’m very confident that Chris will do a great job, he has my support and anything he needs help with he knows how to reach me,” Fuschetto expressed.  

 deKay was born and raised in the Ignacio community, he is the youngest born of 11 children and has always had strong ties to the tribal community. His father was the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Superintendent for 18 years. “I grew up in the school system here, I attended the Head Start, participated in the local rec programs and grew up in the lower agency where the current BIA building is,” deKay shared. He graduated from Ignacio High School and continued with his Bachelor’s of Art Degree at Fort Lewis College before starting his career in education. 

  Over the last 25 years deKay has worked within the school district as a teacher, coach, principal and most recently served as the Ignacio School District’s Curriculum Director and Assessment Coordinator. 

As superintendent, deKay has stated that he will continue to work closely with the local Southern Ute Education Department as well as the Johnson O’Mally and the Title VI Indian Education Committee. “I want to develop my own strong working relationship with the Southern Ute Tribe similar to the one Rocco has already created and I recognize that the way to do that is through open, honest and regular communication.”  

By working together, the Ignacio School District and the Education Department assist Native American students and Southern Ute tribal descendants with their educational successes.   

These programs and departments currently serve 247 Johnson-O’Mally students and approximately 140 enrolled Southern Ute students in the Ignacio School District.  

Through an interwork agency agreement, the School District alongside the Education Department are operating under strict COVID-19 guidelines and hope to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by offering virtual tutoring services and distance learning resources.   

“I have worked with Chris for over 10 years now and we have always worked together well,” LaTitia Taylor, Southern Ute Education Director stated. “I think he will have a smooth transition into the Superintendent office and continue to honor the working relationship that the Tribe has with the School District already. 

His first plan of action as the new superintendent is to establish a common vision to get a better understanding of what the school board and stakeholders expect. This common vision will be a set of actions that will be promoted in the community and give the community the chance to be heard as well.  

Addressing some of the issues that his predecessor has worked to overcome, deKay wants to continue to improve the District’s overall attendance rates, increase parent involvement and help the District navigate the restrictions of COVID-19. “I want to improve systems that we already have in place, I want to come in and make things better each year for all students and staff,” deKay explained. “I care deeply for the community and I want to see the success of our students and I look forward to getting started … and excited to make a difference.”  

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