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Sky Ranch to Provide Experienced Leadership for Watkins Community

As Sky Ranch Academy establishes itself in the Watkins community, strong leadership will play an important role for the first-year school.
Founding Principal Mary Romke has more than 26 years of experience as an educator and has served in numerous positions within the Bennett School District and Vega Collegiate Academy. She has also served as the assistant director of the Center for Transforming Learning and Teaching (CTLT) at the University of Colorado Denver. Her extensive career in education includes time as district assessment coordinator, teacher, instructional coach, librarian, high school athletic coach, and professional developer in various K-12 settings.
Dean of Lower Elementary Laurie Condon is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Psychology, as well as a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a Reading Specialist Certification from the University of Maryland.
“We hope to create a joyful environment where everyone from our teachers to our staff, community, and our scholars feel safe, loved and valued,” Condon said. “We approach learning with the whole child in mind, holding a high bar for academic achievement and growth, while also creating opportunities for students to develop skills around moral, social, and emotional learning. Building a community of creative thinkers and problem solvers is important to Sky Ranch as we work to develop the head and heart skills our learners will need for their future.”
Dean of Upper Elementary Julianne DeChiara holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Fort Lewis College, and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Western Governor’s University.
“My hope is that Sky Ranch will be an anchor in the community,” DeChiara said. “We want our school to be a place that brings joy to all the people who enter. Our school is already filling up with teachers who are excited and passionate about teaching, and we are looking forward to sharing that with students who are excited and passionate about learning.”
Sky Ranch Academy is taking applications for the 2023-24 school year. Apply today!

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About Sky Ranch Academy
Sky Ranch Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in Watkins, Colorado, serving students in kindergarten through seventh grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes more than 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

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