CSDB Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees’ focus areas for the school year are:
Meet our Board Members
Brent Batron grew up in Portland, Maine where he lived until he attended the Colorado Center for the Blind’s Independence Training Program in 2001. In 2004, Brent was hired to teach Cane Travel at the Center. He taught Travel until 2009 when he became Director of Youth Services. Brent currently serves as 2nd Vice President of the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado. Brent also serves as President of the Colorado Association of Education and Rehabilitation. He has led a mentoring program on the CSDB campus for students in the School for the Blind for several years. Brent and his beautiful wife Ena have 5 children; 3 boys and 2 girls, including twin boys.
Nancy I. Brown
Nancy I. Brown has 50+ years of successful experience in administering and managing education programs at local, state, and national levels. Born in Louisiana, her experience has progressed from high school, school district level, college teaching to state department of education supervisor to managing her education consulting firm, Brown & Associates, LLC. to her work with Junior Achievement.
Nancy’s career with Junior Achievement began in 1986 with Junior Achievement of Mississippi as education director then moving to Colorado Springs in 1988 to work with Junior Achievement, Inc. as head of research and development. She left Junior Achievement in 2001 to lead her education consulting firm, Brown & Associates. Nancy returned to Junior Achievement in 2008 to work with Junior Achievement of Southern Colorado as Senior Director, Education and District Operations.
Nancy holds degrees in history, education, school supervision and instructional design and is active in professional and civic associations at the local, state, and national levels.
Michelle A. Butler, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Psychology and a faculty member in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at the U.S. Air Force Academy where she has served since 1999. She is an experimental psychologist with an emphasis in behavioral neuroscience (graduated 1997-Colorado State University) and has been conducting inclusion research since 2008. Her research focuses on resilience, employability, inclusion/respect in individuals who are deaf or blind or who have a brain/spinal cord injury. She previously served as Treasurer and President of the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association (2015-2016).
Andy McElhany is a former commercial Realtor and a former state senator. Andy first came to Colorado from Roswell, New Mexico to enroll as a freshman at the Colorado School of Mines, and after detours at the University of Missouri business school and in the Texas oil fields, Andy made Colorado his permanent home in 1979. Andy raised his
family in Manitou Springs where all three of his children graduated from the public school system. Andy has been active in community affairs by volunteering as a youth league and high school coach for baseball and football. He is a past chairman of the Colorado Springs Park and Recreation Advisory Board.
In 1994, Andy was elected to the Colorado state legislature where he served fourteen years. Outside of his community and civic interests, Andy enjoys the outdoors, skiing, hiking or fly-fishing.
Teresa Raiford is a proud mother of 3 amazing teenagers, to include a son who attends the School for the Blind at CSDB. She serves as a board member for Royal Gorge Artist Association, is a member of the Canon City Noon Lion’s Club, an active volunteer her community, and literacy advocate. Teresa works summer festivals as a face painter and henna artist. She enjoys bicycling with her husband and children.
Walter VonFeldt has been an active member of the Deaf community since he graduated from CSDB in 1968. After graduating from CSDB, Walter wanted to become a draftsman and earned his certification. However, driven by his passion for his community and desire to work with children, Walter changed career paths, earned his Associates Degree in Child Development and began working in the residential department where he was a role model for many children and families. His career at CSDB included supervising the support services departments, which included the residential department, health center and mental health department. Walter also served as Dean of Students before retiring in 2000. Also during his time working at CSDB, as an accomplished wrestler, Walter participated in the World Games for the Deaf and medaled several times. Walter is proud of the 30 years he spent at CSDB in a leadership role.
As a Colorado native, Walter has been actively involved with a number of Deaf organizations. He has served as an officer in the Colorado Association of the Deaf, the Colorado Springs Silent Club, the Colorado School of the Deaf and the Blind Alumni Association, the American Sign Language Teacher Association of Colorado, and as member the National Association of the Deaf. He has served in various roles to include: President, Vice President and Treasurer.
As a Deaf member of the CSDB Board of Trustees, Walter has the opportunity to promote educational excellence and model service and character to the Deaf and the Blind community. Walter takes great pride in being a good husband, father and grandfather. He enjoys being outdoors with his friends and family and traveling with his wife. He is committed to supporting staff and students and developing each child as an individual who will be independent and successful.
Allan Ward grew up in British Columbia, Canada until moving to Idaho in the late 70’s. He has held various positions in different industries until becoming a teacher in the mid 90’s. He taught elementary school in Texas prior to moving his family to Colorado in 1998. Allan and his wife were both school teachers. As a teacher, Allan taught general education and special education. Allan has worked for multiple BOCES and is currently the Executive Director and Special Education Director for Mountain BOCES. Allan has served as President of the local teacher association and has served on the CEA State Board of Directors. He is currently serving on the Executive Committee for the Colorado BOCES Association. When time allows, Allan enjoys fishing, camping and hunting.
If you would like to contact one of our Board members, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Board of Trustees meets in the Argo Conference Room on the CSDB Campus. The meetings start at 9:30 a.m. Meeting dates are subject to change and times noted on agendas are approximate. Click on “2018-2019 Board Agendas” near the bottom of this page for meeting dates.
Please contact Jacky Skinner (719-578-2102) to confirm a meeting date, to obtain the guidelines for addressing the Board (or click here for Guidelines (opens in Word) and corresponding Policy (opens in Word)) and/or to acquire additional information regarding the Board of Trustees. The minutes of the meetings of the Board of Trustees are not official until approved by the Board at the following meeting.