Founding Cohort

Through diverse stakeholder engagement, the first cohort of HTI districts developed a shared vision for graduates, expanded career-connected learning opportunities for students, and developed stronger relationships with businesses and their local communities.

These districts introduced new systems, class schedules, graduation requirements, and numerous other changes despite the challenges of the pandemic. This new mindset and approach to teaching and learning is leading them toward big ideas for what their success means for regional collaboration as the HTI network reaches across Colorado.

In the 2021-22 school year, HTI students completed:

    • 170 internships 
    • 1038 explored career pathway 
    • 294 certifications or industry credentials 
    • 762 concurrent enrollment credits earned

    Clear Creek

    Karen Quanbeck, Superintendent, Clear Creek School District has assembled a powerful team to rethink high school in Clear Creek. Her enthusiasm and new energy in the district has positioned CCSD to be a unique participant in the Homegrown Talent Initiative with pressing economic shifts due to an impending mine closure/ slow-down in production and proposed real estate developments, and a student population asking for more authentic learning experiences. Learn more about how they are preparing to adapt to community needs through the Homegrown Talent Initiative.


    Durango High School has had much success in recent years with a declining dropout rate and a concurrent enrollment expansion through partnerships with Fort Lewis College and Pueblo Community College. However, district and school leaders are carefully evaluating how they are serving their diverse student population to ensure each student has greater exposure to our students about the variety of career paths that are possible and what it will take for a student to be prepared to enter that career.


    Designated “remote” by the Colorado State Census, Elizabeth is a rural town with a lot of heart and passion for their students. With only 46% of graduates going off to college, David Eddy – Colorado Site Director for Boeing and community team lead has sounded the alarm to improve career-connected learning in Elizabeth. United and excited by the opportunity to make a “bold change” in the Elizabeth School District, parents, teachers, school board members, and local business leaders are banding together to create the district that will stand out for their student outcomes in years to come.

    Fremont RE-2

    Led by Dr. Brenda Krage, Superintendent Fremont RE-2 School District, the Fremont Community Design Team is ready to tackle their workforce challenges through the Homegrown Talent Initiative project. Located in Florence, Colorado, the district serves students from the communities of Florence, Williamsburg, Rockvale, Coal Creek, Penrose, and Wetmore. Fremont is on the cusp of a new economic expansion and strives to equip students with the skills they need to thrive in the future.

    Grand County (West & East)

    Grand County is home to two school districts that are excited to collaborate and better prepare their students for an unpredictable future. Led by Darrin Peppard, West Grand School District Superintendent and Frank Reeves, East Grand School District Superintendent. The Grand County Design team has deeply engaged business partners and are incorporating student voice to land on a graduate profile that serves Grand County youth for decades to come.


    High school may be the last stop on the K-12 journey, but it is where the real learning begins. The Holyoke design team is striving to bring more awareness of postsecondary options to their students and reinvigorate their economy. Holyoke High School has been on the path toward transformation for the past two years, and now with renewed energy and resources from the Homegrown Talent Initiative are ready to bring their efforts full-circle.


    The Montezuma-Cortez School District’s motto is Every Student/Every Day. This motto has been embraced by all key stakeholders and drives the work at the district and school levels. Through The Homegrown Talent Initiative, the school district plans to further realize their commitment to creating an environment of collaboration and accountability that ensures their students: achieve personal goals and academic growth, attain high levels of literacy and 21st century skills, and are engaged in active citizenship.