(MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo.) — Community members voiced their appreciation for Manitou Springs School District 14 at the Board of Education meeting on Thursday evening.

At the last Board of Education meeting on Oct. 17, a group of parents involved in Stand Up for Manitou questioned the district’s turnover rates.

In the Oct 17. meeting, Stand Up for Manitou presented the results from an exit survey they conducted on why staff were leaving the district.

The Board of Education listened to more opinions on Nov. 3, but this time in support of the Manitou Springs school district and the school culture.

“There have been anonymous comments about our district and so I want to make a public statement,” said Shaunda Mcqueeney, Manitou Springs Middle School Teacher. “How much I love Manitou Springs School District, the gift that it’s been to my family, both as a staff member, as a parent, and as a grandparent.”

Manitou Springs Middle School teacher, Elizabeth Duthoy, shared similar praise as Mcqueeney.

“Manitou School District is the…greatest place I’ve ever had the privilege to work, and I am beyond grateful, beyond measure to work for such a nurturing, compassionate, and visionary leadership team,” said Duthoy.

Other community members commented on the school district’s leadership and the support provided to teachers.

“Our leadership has a vision, and that vision is something that really excites me,” said Cory Urban, Manitou Springs Middle School Teacher. “This is why I choose to stay in Manitou. And yes, it is a choice to stay in this district. And this is one that I make happily every day because I believe in our leadership and the vision that they have for our schools.”

Stand Up for Manitou members were not in attendance at the meeting on Nov. 3. A member of Stand Up for Manitou, Brenda Holmes-Stanciu sent a statement in regard to the meeting.

“While the Superintendent continues to state the Stand Up for Manitou will not meet with her or her administration, we feel strongly now is not the time. It is not a volunteer parent group’s responsibility to discipline or address performance issues with the Superintendent, that is the role of the Board of Education.”

Statement from Stand Up for Manitou member Brenda Holmes-Stanciu

When looking to the future, McQueeney said “I just want the conversation to move forward. In a positive way that brings us together rather than being divisive so we can keep focusing on what’s best for students.”