Welcome to APS Connect, a monthly newsletter for parents, staff and community members to stay updated on district news and happenings. Please encourage others interested in Aurora Public Schools to sign up for this newsletter.
Welcome New APS Board Members

Congratulations to our new Board of Education members Dr. Kyla Armstrong-Romero, Kevin Cox, Debra Gerkin and Marques Ivey.* They will join Board members Monica Colbert, Dr. Dan Jorgensen and Cathy Wildman.

Dr. Kyla Armstrong-Romero
Kevin Cox
Debra Gerkin
Marques Ivey

We thank outgoing Board members Amber Drevon , Eric Nelson , Dr.  JulieMarie Shepherd Macklin and Barbara Yamrick for their hard work and dedication to our students, staff and community.

*Based on election day results. Please note that military and overseas ballots were still being accepted through Nov. 15. Adams and Arapahoe counties are expected to certify final election counts by Nov. 24.

Please join us for a dessert reception to welcome newly-elected Aurora Public Schools Board of Education members and honor outgoing members:

APS Board of Education Reception
Tuesday, Nov. 28
5:30 p.m.
APS Professional Learning and Conference Center
15771 E. 1st Ave., Aurora, CO 80011

We encourage you to stay for the 6 p.m. Board of Education meeting to witness new Board members take the oath of office.
Vista PEAK Exploratory is Home to the Colorado School Nurse of the Year
The Colorado Association of School Nurses recently named Julie Thigpen of Vista PEAK Exploratory Colorado School Nurse of the Year ! The award honors Thigpen's demonstration of excellence in leadership, teamwork, vision, community partnership and innovation.

Prior to pursuing a career in school nursing, Thigpen nurtured infants in Neonatal Intensive Care units. It wasn't until she visited a few clinics in Aurora Public Schools that she realized her passion to serve students. Thigpen has now been a vital nurse in APS for almost 20 years, having served at South Middle School and Murphy Creek P-8 before calling Vista PEAK Exploratory home.

"People often say school nursing is 'easy and all you do is apply Band-Aids,' but I work harder most days in the school clinic than I did in the intensive care unit! I never know what to expect each day at work and I love working with students and their families. My goal each day is to help students feel safe and healthy at school so they are able to focus in the classroom and achieve their goals."

In APS, we believe student achievement and growth are driven by a highly-effective and respected staff working as a team. We are proud to have a team member who leads like Thigpen on our team.
APS Psychologist Named Best in Colorado
School Psychology Awareness Week is celebrated nationally from
Nov. 13 -17. APS would like to recognize all our hard-working school psychologists and especially celebrate one of our award-winning school psychologists!

Cameran Simpson was recently named the Colorado Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Provider of the Year for her notable work. Simpson joined APS as a bilingual school psychologist in 2010 and has completed over 1,200 evaluations for CLD students. She is a former board member of the Bilingual School Mental Health Network.

"Now that I have received this award, I understand how wonderful it feels to be recognized. I would like to help the Network recognize our many other providers who do great work on behalf of the CLD population," Simpson said.

Thank you to all of our dedicated school psychologists who help our students thrive!
New Website Showcases Resilience of APS Students
Solange Bizoza is one of many refugee students in Aurora Public Schools. APS students speak more than 160 languages, and one in five Aurora residents identify as an immigrant or refugee. These students share many of the same struggles, but each also has a unique story to tell.

A new project between  APS Aurora AWARE
and Stories Without Borders is giving students an online platform to showcase their resilience. APS launched its new student storytelling website, called A Story, in early November. The site features stories from Solange and other refugee students at Aurora Central High School, but will eventually feature student stories from around the district.

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