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TSD Names Valerie Lara-Black as Principal of New PK-8 School

Valerie Lara-Black

January 28, 2022
- Thompson School District announced today that it has named Valerie Lara-Black as principal of its new PK-8 school, which will open in the fall of 2023. The school will launch with a planned capacity of approximately 900 students and will become the third district K-8 campus, joining High Plains School in Loveland and Riverview PK-8 School in Johnstown.

Last year, the Thompson School District Board of Education voted to consolidate the school communities of Mary Blair Elementary, Monroe Elementary and Conrad Ball Middle School, and expand the middle school facility to create a new PK-8 site.

Ms. Lara-Black is currently serving as the principal of Mary Blair Elementary, a position she has held since 2012.  Her previous career experience includes assistant principal positions at Centennial Elementary and Chappelow K-8 Arts Magnet School in Weld County School District 6, as well as English Language Development, Spanish Language and Cultures teaching roles at Lucile Erwin and Walt Clark middle schools in Loveland. 

“It is such an honor to have been selected to become the principal of Thompson School District's newest PK-8 school,” she said. “I am incredibly excited to begin the work of building a strong team. I know from working with individuals across all three of the schools that there is no shortage of dedicated and talented individuals who are just as excited about this new opportunity. I look forward to building a strong educational experience for our earliest learners and our middle school students and developing an even stronger Mountain View High School feeder system. I believe that this structure will provide the continuity of education that will allow our students to thrive in high school and beyond.”

Ms. Lara-Black earned a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish-Secondary Education and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Northern Colorado. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Leadership for Educational Equity at the University of Colorado-Denver.

Planning and design for the expanded school campus are currently underway and construction work is scheduled to begin later this year.  All three schools will remain open through the expansion process. The new PK-8 campus will be given an official name as the process moves forward.

For more information, please contact Michael Hausmann, Thompson School District Public Information Officer, at 970-613-5011 or via email at