LAPS NEWS RELEASE
Dr. Steve Boerigter will attend his last meeting as a School Board member on Tuesday evening, after over four years representing District 2 and Chamisa Elementary School. He has been involved in Superintendent searches, school construction projects, budget negotiations and COVID-19.
“My first LAPS Board meeting was on March 14, 2017,” he said.
”With a grateful heart, I say thank you to Dr. Boerigter for all the support, encouragement, and cooperation he has given LAPS during his tenure on the School Board,” said School Board President Melanie Colgan. “His hard work has helped to make our schools places where students truly thrive. I wish you good luck in all your future endeavors.”
Dr. Boerigter brought his experience from other boards and governances to his role on the School Board. “I observed unnecessary conflict within the LAPS Board in some previous years and thought my strategic focus and steady approach could help bring more stability,” he explained. “As the spouse of a long-time high school teacher and an active member of the community, I wanted to use those skills and experiences to help create a strong long-term LAPS and to help develop the LAPS Leadership team.”
“It has been an honor to work with Dr. Boerigter,” said Interim Superintendent Jennifer Guy. “His steady, reasonable leadership has helped guide LAPS through challenging situations. I am grateful to him for his dedication to our schools.”
While on the board, Dr. Boerigter helped to start the conversation regarding use of the North Mesa property, seeing it as a “means to ensure greater budget flexibility for the enduring future for LAPS.” He is also pleased that the board supported the implementation of a new reading-focused curriculum. “I believe that long-term impact will be substantial,” he said. “I’ve always believed in the need to read for everyone. I used to volunteer as a reader in Aspen and Chamisa Elementary Schools.”
Another accomplishment of which he is proud is that he was a voice for the families most challenged by school closings due to COVID.
Some of the challenges the board has faced recently, according to Dr. Boerigter, is “the more highly politicized nature of local school board elections in the past year. This makes me sad. With all of the COVID conflict, we experienced no shortage of parent letters and voices that called our motives and desire to serve children into question.”
“The most important activity for the new board is hiring a new Superintendent,” he said. “Once hired, the new board will need to maintain governance discipline and not dive into operational details. Nothing will sink the new Superintendent’s Los Alamos experience faster than micro-management from the school board.”
“Also, the development of the North Mesa parcel will have a permanent and lasting impact on Los Alamos – for the better.,” he added. “The project can produce quality housing, enduring funding for the schools, and useful tools to assist in teacher recruitment.”
Dr. Boerigter also touched on the construction projects at Chamisa and Piñon Elementary Schools. “White Rock is a wonderful community; a great place to live. The new elementary schools will be different, but better for elementary education. We should embrace and not fear that change,” he said.
With his new found free time, Dr. Boerigter plans to travel more. “We have a new grandbaby in Fort Wayne, Indiana,” he said. He and his wife also have an idea for a long bike ride.
And what sage advice does he give to the School Board? “In order… (1) Listen intentionally, (2) seek to understand, (3) take action.”