ABOUT

Our Story

The Colorado Rural Schools Alliance was formed in 2003 by rural superintendents and school board members committed to strengthening the rural voice at the Capitol. At the outset, the Alliance relied on CASB for operational and organizational support. In 2013, the Alliance Board established a separate non-profit organization and began its work towards developing a robust, multi-dimensional association to scale rural innovation and support rural schools, while also strengthening partnerships and doubling down on our advocacy for Colorado’s rural students and schools.

From the start, our goal was to be THE VOICE for rural schools in Colorado. By speaking as one and presenting a clear, unified voice on behalf of rural schools and their communities we have been able to articulate our unique strengths and challenges. Issues that are important to small schools and communities have been and continue to be voiced loudly and clearly to the governor, legislators, the state board of education, CDE and others who make decisions of importance ​for our children.

Policy makers now turn to the Rural Schools Alliance when they have questions regarding the impact of legislation or policies on rural school districts. Our members are sought out to serve on state boards and committees. Our input has led to the creation of bills and policies that directly benefit rural schools and led to the defeat of others that would have put us at a disadvantage.

We continue to explore new ways to strengthen our Rural voice, scale rural innovation and increase awareness as to the strengths and challenges in our rural schools.

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MEET OUR TEAM

Michelle Murphy

Michelle Murphy

Executive Director

Michelle Murphy stepped into the role of Executive Director of the Rural Alliance in September 2015. Michelle is an attorney and is a leading legal voice for k-12 at the Capitol. Michelle also provides general counsel legal services to rural schools and BOCES through the CRSA Legal Services Program. Before joining the Alliance, Michelle served as CASB’s Advocacy Counsel from 2010-2015.

EMAIL MICHELLE

Frank Reeves

Frank Reeves

Director of Operations and Strategic Partnerships

Frank Reeves joined the Alliance in 2022 as our Director of Operations and Strategic Partnerships. Frank is a long time rural educator and advocate and has served as a teacher, principal and superintendent in several rural and small rural districts throughout the State. Frank’s experience and expertise allows him to speak directly to the impact of state level policies on smaller rural systems. Frank has built strong partnerships with our K-12 partners, for the benefit our Rural Alliance members, and his in-depth understanding of our school finance system strengthens our work at the Capitol and beyond.

EMAIL FRANK

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

PRESIDENT: Chris Selle Region 9
Superintendent
Meeker School District
970-878-9040
chris.selle@meeker.k12.co.us

Tom Turrell Region 2
Superintendent
Beyers School District
303-822-5292
turrell.tom@beyers.k12.co.us

Reece Blincoe  Region 6​​
Superintendent
Dolores School District
​970-982-7255
​rblincoe@dolores.k12.co.us

Brenda Krage Region 3
Superintendent
Fremont School District
719-784-6312
bkrage@re-2.org

Bill Wilson Region 1
Superintendent
Brush School District
970-854-3634
b.wilson@brushschools.org

Toby Melster Region 4
Superintendent
Centennial School District
719-672-3322
toby.melster@centennial.k12.co.us

Chad Krug Region 5
Superintendent
Lamar School District
719-336-3251
chad.krug@lamarschools.org

Leslie Nichols Region 7
Superintendent
Gunnison School District
970-641-7770
lnichols@gunnisonschools.net

Lisa Yates  Region 8
Superintendent
Buena Vista School District
719-395-7000
lyates@bvschools.org

Denille Le Platt BOCES Liaison
​Executive Director
South Central BOCES
719-647-0023
leplatt-d@sc-boces.org

Kirk Henwood At-Large
​Superintendent
South Routt School District
970-370-8799
​khenwood@southrouttk12.org

Larry Lyder At-Large
​Superintendent
Swink School District
719-384-8103
larry.lyder@swink.k12.co.us

  • Northern Akron
  • Ault-Highland
  • Briggsdale
  • Brush
  • Buffalo (Merino)
  • Clear Creek
  • Eaton Park (Estes Park)
  • Ft. Morgan
  • Ft. Lupton
  • Frenchman
  • Gilpin
  • Haxtun
  • Holyoke
  • Julesburg
  • Lone Star
  • Otis
  • Pawnee Plateau
  • Platte Valley Re-3
  • Platte Valley Re-7
  • Prairie Valley Re-1 (Sterling)
  • Weld Re-1 (Gilcrest)
  • Weld Re-3 (Keenesburg)
  • Weld Re-5J (Johnstown-Milliken)
  • Weldon Valley
  • Wiggins
  • Windsor
  • Wray
  • Yuma
  • Agate
  • Arickaree
  • Arriba-Flagler
  • Bennett
  • Bethune
  • Burlington
  • Byers
  • Cheyenne County (Cheyenne Wells)
  • Deer Trail
  • Elizabeth
  • Genoa-Hugo
  • Hi Plains
  • Idalia
  • Karval
  • Kiowa C2
  • Kit Carson
  • Liberty
  • Limon
  • Strasburg
  • Stratton
  • Woodlin
  • Big Sandy
  • Calhan
  • Canon City
  • Cripple Creek-Victor
  • Elbert
  • Ellicott
  • Florence
  • Hanover
  • Miami-Yoder
  • Peyton
  • Platte Canyon
  • Widefield
  • Woodlin Park
  • Alamosa
  • Centennial Center
  • Consolidated
  • Creede
  • Del Norte
  • Moffat
  • Monte Vista
  • Mountain Valley
  • North Conejos
  • Sanford
  • Sangre de Cristo
  • Sargent
  • Sierra Grande
  • South Conejos
  • Aguilar
  • Branson
  • Campo
  • Cheraw
  • Cotopaxi
  • Crowley County
  • Custer County
  • Eads
  • East Otero (La Junta)
  • Fowler
  • Granada
  • Hoehne
  • Holly
  • Huerfano
  • Kim
  • La Veta
  • Lamar Las Animas
  • Manzanola
  • McClave
  • Plainview
  • Primero
  • Pritchett
  • Rocky Ford
  • Springfield
  • Swink
  • Trinidad
  • Vilas
  • Walsh
  • Wiley
  • Archuleta
  • Bayfield
  • Dolores
  • Dolores County
  • Durango
  • Ignacio
  • Mancos
  • Montezuma-Cortez
  • Silverton
  • De Beque
  • Delta
  • Gunnison
  • Hinsdale
  • Montrose
  • Norwood
  • Ouray
  • Plateau Valley
  • Ridgway
  • Telluride
  • West End
  • Aspen
  • Buena Vista
  • Eagle County
  • Garfield 16
  • Garfield Re-2
  • Lake County
  • Park County
  • Roaring Fork
  • Salida
  • Summit
  • East Grand
  • Hayden
  • Meeker
  • Moffat County
  • North Park
  • Rangely
  • SOROCO
  • Steamboat Springs
  • West Grand