Rick Klimek is all about making Windsor a better place to live.
Whether serving as a sergeant for the Windsor Police Department for more than two decades or volunteering his time and talents as a school board member for the Windsor-Severance Re-4 School District for nearly 10 years, Klimek is always there for the Windsor community.
The 53-year-old Klimek received the prestigious McGuffey Award for his work on the school board by the Colorado Association of School Boards at the Embassy Suites in Loveland during the association’s fall regional meeting on Sept. 6.
“It’s very flattening to be recognized by your colleagues, but I do feel it’s a team effort,” said Klimek. “It’s very rewarding to know that you’re held in high regards from your colleagues. It’s kind of humbling in the fact that there are so many probably more deserving on that board than I am.”
Klimek has served nine years on the school board.
According to Sherry Hoffman, executive assistant to the superintendent/board of education, Klimek was appointed to the school board in 2003 to finish out a vacancy and then ran for election to finish out that person’s term in 2005. Klimek ran for and was elected to his first four-year term in 2007 and then again ran and was elected for his second four-year term in 2011.
“Every person I’ve served with I’ve learned so much about compassion and acceptance,” Klimek said. “It’s been a great experience.”
Hoffman said Klimek’s term expires in 2015 and he will then be term limited.
Windsor-Severance Re-4 superintendent Karen Trusler said Klimek is so deserving of the recognition.
“The McGuffey Award is awarded to a school board member who exemplifies outstanding leadership and service to the school district,” Trusler said “It is acknowledged and presented through the Colorado Association of School Boards. Rick was nominated by the other school board members and me.”
According to the CASB website, the CASB McGuffey Award is designed to honor that unique board member who brings to his or her board both the head and the heart of committed and passionate service. Each school district is invited to honor one member for the McGuffey Award. Honorees are recognized at CASB regional meetings in September and October.
“Rick definitely has made a positive impact to our overall community as a result of his service and dedication to others,” Trusler said. “He has held all officer position while on the board; consequently, he serves as a mentor to new board members. Through his sound understanding of our community, he continues to make a positive impact on education. We are so very fortunate to have his leadership on the school board.”
Klimek, who will be starting his 28th year as a Windsor police officer in December, has been married to his wife, Diane, for 30 years. Diane’s a third-grade teacher at Skyview Elementary School in Windsor, and the Klimeks’ two daughters have followed in their mother’s footsteps.
Sarah, 29, is a consumer and family science teacher at a middle school in Ogden, Utah, and Megan, 22, earned her bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Northern Colorado and is studying for her master’s degree in early childhood development this fall.
Klimek has been on the school board during a time of growth, the building of new schools and a struggling economy that has school districts all over the state pinching their pennies.
“It’s special to see the growth, but it’s also been scary knowing that because of the way the school finance is divvied out, if it wasn’t for our growth we’d be a very much struggling district,” Klimek said. “We have such a great community here that the growth of the school district has allowed us to continue to strive for a better educational product not only for the students but for the entire district itself.”
Over the next three years he’s on the board, Klimek would like to see a Windsor High School student win a Boettcher Scholarship.
“Our kids are highly capable of it. We’ve had kids in the last few years that have been every bit as deserving as those winners that are out there,” Klimek said.
Klimek said he’d also like to get a firm grasp on where the school district is going in regard to building a second high school in the district.
“It may or not take place before I leave the board, but I’d like to at least see us have a strong grasp of the direction we’re going to when we have to add a new high school,” Klimek said.
Klimek said upgrading technology is also a huge part of the district’s future.
“Without our taking a handle on technology and finding a way to finance it, we’re going to be way, way behind the curve,” Klimek said. “Today’s tools have changed so much. Just looking at the technology on the horizon. It’s going to probably change even more potentially than we even have a concept at where it’s going to be at. We’ve got to get a grasp on that.”
We have such a great community here that the growth of the school district has allowed us to continue to strive for a better educational product not only for the students but for the entire district itself.
School board member