Welcome to the 2012-13 school year here at James Irwin Charter Middle School! I count it a privilege to be a part of the educational reform demonstrated in James Irwin Schools – where the mission set before us embraces academic rigor and character development. With such a mission, ongoing evaluation is imperative as we are continually striving to do what is best for students.
Since I joined the team at James Irwin in 2008, we have worked hard at initiating changes and improvements to make James Irwin Charter Middle School stand out among its "peers." Over the past two years, our ESL and ELL students have tested 100% proficient or advanced on the required CELA (Colorado English Language Acquisition) test. Our CSAP/TCAP scores from Spring 2012 show achievement and growth in all areas and we are so proud of our 6th graders (now 7th graders) for achieving a score of 90% proficient and advanced in their Reading TCAP.
As we look ahead to what this new school year holds, it is my goal that as we partner with parents to educate our students, growth will be the target—growth in academic achievement, growth in parent/teacher communications, growth in student character development, and growth in fine-tuning what can make this good school a great school where excellence will be the norm.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle
Thank you for choosing James Irwin Charter Middle School for your student. I look forward to a great year of getting to know you both!
Holly Varnum has been in education for 25+ years serving in all aspects of instruction. She received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 1987, followed 10 years later by a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from CCU.
Mrs. Varnum brings extensive experience in teaching, instructional coaching, training, curriculum design, writing, and implementation. She has worked with a high-performing charter school and private schools both as a teacher and administrator. She has been a national consultant with schools in other states for a highly acclaimed Direct Instruction educational firm. She has taught a wide variety of subjects and grade levels throughout elementary, middle, and high school. Much of the diversity in her experience occurred during the five years while her family lived in the Cincinnati, OH, area. It was there that she gained extensive experience with teaching and administrating at the middle school level.
Holly and her husband, Paul, have been married for 23 years and have three daughters – Melissa, 21, a graduate of James Irwin Charter High School; Aleya, 18, a graduate of James Irwin Charter High School; and Joanna, a junior at James Irwin Charter High School. Mrs. Varnum enjoys baking, crafts, reading, writing, music, brain-building puzzles, hiking with her family, running, and attending her daughters' and students' athletic activities and performances.
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