Communities participate in a cohort-based model to collaborate and resource share as they develop new plans for student engagement and economic prosperity in their region.

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.


Prowers County is ready to start the conversation about their economy. With a renewed vigor around economic development since 2016, the Prowers Design Team is driven by Prowers Economic Prosperity which strives to build up their community through public and private partnerships. Located in Prowers County are the Lamar RE-2 and Granada RE-1 school districts, both primed and ready to create more career-connected learning opportunities with school leadership engaged in the process. Deeply involved in this work is Lamar Community College, the local business community, and Lamar School District’s most important asset, its studentsProwers Economic Prosperity is motivated to instill a sense of personal pride, offer real-world career exploration activities, and create linkages to community groups designed to help students succeed and gain meaningful employment in the region. They are strongly motivated to boost employment, community engagement, and youth retention in the area.