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State education group recognizes Skye Skinner

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Sopris Sun Staff Report

The Colorado League of Charter Schools has recognized Compass Executive Director Skye Skinner for its 2014 Charter School Leadership award.

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The annual award, which recognizes a leader who “demonstrates significant influence in developing or maintaining a charter school, improving school accountability and performance, or driving other aspects of school excellence,” was presented on Feb. 20 at the league’s annual conference in Denver, according to a press release.

“Skye represents what leadership should be about in our children’s schools,” said Dr. John Maloy, superintendent of the Aspen School District.  “She is extremely passionate in the work she performs and continues to put children first as was evident by her repeated effort to earn a BEST grant so that ACS (Aspen Community School) could realize its hopes and dreams for its students, staff, and school community. It was my pleasure to nominate and support her for the  … award.”

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Most recently, Skinner secured a $4.1 million matching grant from the state of Colorado’s BEST program, and galvanized more than 650 donors to raise $4.9 million to match the BEST grant in only eight months.

The funds will be used to rebuild the Aspen Community School’s aging facilities in Woody Creek.

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Skinner, who lives in Carbondale, was selected from a pool of nine nominees and received an unprecedented 12 separate nominations, in which her diverse leadership skills were alternately characterized as a charter school “champion,” “pit bull,” “optimist,” and “diplomat.”

As executive director of Compass, Skinner the Aspen Community School and Carbondale Community School, her cited accomplishments include: participating in the conversion of ACS from a private learning center to a public charter school, collaborating on the start-up of Carbondale Community School and gaining Pitkin County approval for the ACS master planning process.

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Skinner, who has been at the Compass helm for 10 years, first joined the organization after seeking “educational excellence and a focus on the whole child” for her then four-year-old daughter in 1995. This was about the same time ACS was applying for its original charter contract.

Starting out as an executive assistant, Skinner discovered what she calls “a wealth of opportunity and a community beyond my greatest imagination.”

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The Aspen Community School’s “I Believe” campus campaign is 70 percent complete and continues to actively seek donations for the final $4 million push to the finish line. For more information visit or call 923-4646.

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Skye Skinner (right) receives the 2014 Charter School Leadership award from Colorado League of Charter Schools’ president Nora Flood in Denver on Feb. 20. Skinner is executive director of Compass, and oversees Aspen Community School and Carbondale Community School. Courtesy photo