Monica Peloso remembers her first Colorado Association of School Boards conference. It was six years ago, right after she was elected to the board of Cheyenne Mountain School District 12.
“It was so powerful and enlightening,” she said. “There was so much information.”
The training she received on the role of school boards in setting policies and procedures that guide districts solidified her decision to seek a seat on the board where her children attended.
“People think, ‘School board. Well, somebody has to do it.’ But there’s so much to know about finances, pedagogy, policy,” she said. “You jump in feet first, and you’re making decisions right away.”
Peloso has enjoyed learning the ins and outs of the role so much she will be sworn in Sunday as president of the 22-member board of the Colorado Association of School Boards, which supports the state’s 178 public school districts.
“It’s an organization I’m honored and proud to serve,” she said during this week’s annual winter conference at The Broadmoor hotel in Colorado Springs, which 1,100 school board members from around the state attended.
Tracey Johnson, who has been on the boards of Academy School District 20 and also the Colorado Association of School Boards, describes Peloso, who has been president-elect since January, as a “thoughtful leader” and a “forward thinker.”
In leading the search committee that this year selected a new director for the Colorado Association of School Boards, “She has shown herself to be a very astute and wise leader,” Johnson said.
Peloso, who is completing her dissertation for a doctoral degree in educational leadership from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, said she values the association.
In addition to training, the Denver-based organization offers assistance with superintendent searches and provides help to school boards in governing districts.
Jan Tanner, former member of the Colorado Springs School District 11 board, was the last school board member from the Pikes Peak region to serve as the organization’s board president, in 2014.
As board president, Peloso will work on communication, advocacy and setting goals and objectives for the year.
She also plans to focus on increasing and enhancing parental and community involvement in public education.
“I’m really interested in partnerships between parents, schools and the community,” Peloso said. “I feel like we have so much wealth of knowledge and experience that we haven’t been maximizing.
“Parents are busy; schools have a lot of requirements, and they don’t have time to build those relationships. But they can be powerful.”