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Superintendent Macaluso stands between Taylor Voss and Dennis Maes

For Taylor Voss and Judge Dennis Maes, four productive and eventful years on the Pueblo District 60 Board of Education took one step closer to coming to an end Tuesday.

With neither electing to seek a second term, the Board of Education’s final meeting before the Thanksgiving holiday break served as a farewell celebration for President Voss and Board member Judge Dennis Maes.

President Taylor Voss at his last school board meetingThe dedication and commitment of the two public servants, both elected in 2017, were lauded by Superintendent Charlotte Macaluso and celebrated during a reception held in their honor.

“I’m very grateful that each of you have accepted the call to serve, and it has been an absolute pleasure to work alongside you and serve the community of Pueblo and the organization of D60,” Superintendent Macaluso said. “We have much to be proud of, as we have achieved many outstanding accomplishments. We have also faced incredible challenges during the last four years.”

The accomplishments of the tenure of President Voss and Board member Judge Dennis Maes, led by the successful passage of a historic $218 million bond -- and the construction of five new schools -- and the ongoing navigation through the global pandemic, are worthy of acclamation.

“I’m extremely proud of what we have accomplished and I think that we met our challenges head on,” Superintendent Macaluso said. “We have resolved those through resilience and professionalism. So I share in your pride of the accomplishments of the last four years of your tenure.”

In addition to the bond’s passage, adoption of a curriculum and a district-wide assessment system, provision to a technology device to every District student, navigation through a teachers’ strike, and rebranding of the District with a new logo and website were touted by Superintendent Macaluso as highlights of the past four years.

“Serving on a school board is no easy task: especially in today’s troubling political climate,” Superintendent Macaluso continued. “It has been determined to be one of the most challenging voluntary roles. Our Board members receive no financial compensation. But the reward of serving is the privilege to help shape the future of our nature by strengthening our most promising lever, which is public education. It’s our best help in providing equitable access to ensure all students have the skills and dispositions to lead a life of purpose and impact.”

As a visible token of the District’s appreciation, unique art pieces crafted by Allie Williams were presented to President Voss and Board member Judge Maes by Superintendent Macaluso.

President Voss, a D60 product who holds the honor of being the youngest person to serve on the Board, expressed his gratitude to those served alongside him, including past and current Board members.

“I’m very proud to call each of these fellow Board members a friend and mentor, and I hope those are relationships that we can have for the rest of our lives,” President Voss said.

President Voss then praised Superintendent Macaluso “for her fearless leadership and tremendous dedication through what seemed to be never-ending adversity. I’ve said it many times, but this District is night and day from when I got on the Board to what it is now, and where we’re heading. And I give that credit to Charlotte and the work she and her staff have done.”

As for the Pueblo community that put him in office, President Voss expressed similar gratitude.

“I want to thank you for your confidence in electing me to this position, and for engaging with the District and contributing to the success we’ve had. I always said progress wouldn’t come from a few Board members: progress would come from getting the entire community involved, and it was incredible to see that come to fruition.” Judge Dennis Maes holds up a sheet of paper during his last board meeting.

Noting how “challenging and taxing it is to be a member of the Board,” President Voss said the continued efforts of the District are paying rich dividends.

“I truly believe we’re in a new era of D60,” he said. “Extraordinary things are happening here. As I’ve said before, I hope we’ll all look back years from now and say that it was the work that changed the tide and gave Pueblo that spark to take a massive leap forward.

“It’s been the honor of my life to have been a part of that work. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you.”

In his farewell address, Judge Maes said parting from the Board is “bittersweet.”

“It’s been a highlight of my career to work with such a fine, talented and dedicated staff that includes everyone who works for D60,” he said. “The camaraderie and commitment I have experienced while on the Board exceeds anything I have experienced in my professional life. Not a day passed where I did not marvel at the love and care provided to our students and I express particular gratitude to the educators who were resilient and willing to confront the many obstacles presented by the pandemic.

“The vision and leadership provided by Superintendent Macaluso and her administrative staff are unparalleled. I can say without reservation that D60 students and their families are being served by the most caring and compassionate staff they could ever imagine.

“I will continue to follow the tremendous growth of the District and will be its most loyal and ardent supporter. Thank you for the joy, love and happiness you have given me over the last four years.”