POWER Zone Overview
The POWER Zone is comprised of six unique and excellent schools across the northwest portion of District 49: Vista Ridge High School, Skyview Middle School, Inspiration View Elementary School, Ridgeview Elementary School, ALLIES, and Odyssey Elementary School. Although each POWER Zone school is unique, we are guided by a shared vision, mission, and values.
POWER Zone values apply to students, staff, and families and they include prioritizing: family, service, trust, relationships, purposeful innovation, and continuous growth.
POWER Zone leaders, teachers, and support staff function to ensure a safe and collaborative culture, effective teaching in every classroom, and a guaranteed and viable curriculum. Research-based resources are utilized in our work. The Capturing Kids' Heart process provides an inspiring relational framework that is used across our six campuses. Marzano's High Reliability Schools framework and the New Art & Science of Teaching instructional framework provide processes, elements, and strategies that promise a strong focus on teaching and learning and an excellent educational experience for every student.
The demonstration of Knowledge and skills integrated across multiple content areas and driven through personalized learning pathways.
Personalized learning is a student centered learning model where students gain more ownership over their learning and more voice with their teacher about how they learn best. This process allows students to have more choice over how they demonstrate their learning. Through developing strong problem solving and critical thinking skills students can create a clear path to competency based learning and skill development.
School Safety & Climate
When we mention school climate, we're referring to a school's quality and character, along with the values expressed during social interactions. With a Capturing Kids Hearts philosophy reinforced annually, and permeating across the zone, every educator is equipped with specific strategies to help increase our effectiveness with the young people we serve.
Our parents must know their children are safe. Our students must feel safe to learn. The importance of ensuring a safe and secure learning environment is universally seen as one the most important indicators to our community.
POWER Zone Superintendent
Degrees and Certifications:
Mrs. Theresa Ritz
Theresa Ritz is honored to be your POWER Zone Superintendent. She is a servant leader known for her love of people and successful collaboration with District 49 stakeholders. Her 25 years of experience in D49 as Executive Principal, Principal, Assistant Principal, Dean of Students, and classroom teacher provides unique perspective and expertise on the ecosystem of the POWER Zone. By combining the innovation of the PZ with the D49 vision, mission, and Cultural Compass, she is able to promote creativity, teamwork, and effective communication to help strengthen connections for all educators, administrators, families, and students. Building a team that supports one another for the benefit of all children is what drives her.
Theresa accomplished her bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from Regis University, and her teaching license, master’s degree in cross-cultural education, and principal’s license from the University of Denver. She enjoys guiding our Zone in unified processes in the best interests of students: Capturing Kids’ Hearts (CKH), The New Art & Science of Teaching (NASOT) instructional framework, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and 7 Steps to a Language Rich Interactive Classroom to name a few. She appreciates working alongside dedicated principals, building leaders, and educators to ensure an excellent educational experience for every student and family.
Theresa and her 30-year educator husband, David, enjoy their three adult children (Connor, Alex, and Grace) and one fluffy grandcat (Sprout). Theresa loves music events and attending concerts. Her favorite musician is her guitarist son, Connor, who can be seen around the Denver area performing with various groups. Alex works as an EMT and Grace serves as an elementary school teacher, both in the Colorado Springs area. Theresa is devoted to her family and friends, and a great night for her includes laughter by an outdoor fire pit taking in the beautiful Colorado views. She also delights in unique coffee shops and a good cup of coffee.
Please feel free to reach out to Theresa with questions or feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
POWER Zone Schools
Vista Ridge High School6888 Black Forest RoadColorado Springs, Colorado 80923
Skyview Middle School6350 Windom Peak BoulevardColorado Springs, Colorado 80923
Inspiration View Elementary School9233 Vista del Pico BoulevardColorado Springs, CO 80927
Odyssey Elementary School6275 Bridlespur AvenueColorado Springs, Colorado 80922
Ridgeview Elementary School6573 Shimmering Creek DriveColorado Springs, Colorado 80923
Academy for Literacy, Learning & Innovation Excellence6275 Bridlespur AvenueColorado Springs, CO 80922
POWER Zone Updates
Dear POWER Zone Families,
Summer break is wonderful, but so is the start of a new school year! It’s my hope that summer for each of our POWER Zone families was exactly what you wished for, and that you’re feeling energized for the school year ahead. On behalf of all PZ teachers and staff, we welcome you to the 2022-2023 school year!
My name is Theresa Ritz, and I’m honored to serve as your POWER Zone Superintendent. This year is my 25th in District 49, where I’ve served as a teacher, dean, assistant principal, principal, PZ Executive Principal, and now as the PZ Superintendent. Our current students bring me joy every day, and it also brings me great joy to run into former students and families out in our community and to learn about the paths they have taken in life. I’m deeply committed to the people in the POWER Zone, and that’s why I’ve chosen to remain in D49 across the years. I believe that our district truly is the best place to work, learn, and lead!
Many people have been diligently planning and preparing for the school year ahead. From getting the buildings and grounds ready to training on curricula, there’s always a great deal happening in the summer to ensure excellent learning environments for our students. POWER Zone new teachers started on July 20th, and they attended a two-day Capturing Kids’ Hearts training, then from there they spent two days in New Teacher Orientation and preparing their classrooms. All teachers returned on July 26th and have engaged in a variety of professional development opportunities. POWER Zone teachers and staff are ready and eager to get the year started, and their positive energy is impressive! Our schools are busy with Family Orientations, Back to School Nights, and first days– it’s all very exciting!
One thing that you should expect on every POWER Zone campus is an intentional focus on relationships and positive culture. In the PZ, we believe that respectful relationships are the foundation for everything else. Student growth and achievement happen best in a positive environment where people genuinely care about one another. I want to thank you, in advance, for partnering with us in prioritizing respectful relationships between all stakeholders in our zone. It means so much for our students to observe the important adults in their lives interacting with kindness and compassion, even when solving problems. When you experience outstanding examples of respectful relationships at PZ schools, I’d love to hear about it! You can email me any time at email@example.com.
One way you can help your school is to spread the word that there are still positions available for employment in the POWER Zone. We are looking for reliable, caring staff who want to make a difference. If you are interested, please take a look at jobs posted on the district website, and you can also reach out to the front office at your campus and ask if they have open positions. Serving as a guest teacher or staff substitute is also an excellent option for many.
I plan to reach out quarterly with an update for PZ parents and caregivers to share celebrations and areas for focus. We will also reach out periodically with quick surveys to hear feedback and gain insight into a variety of topics. In the meantime, if there’s anything you need as we get this year started, please ask. Staff across the POWER Zone are focused on service, and we are glad to help.
POWER Zone Superintendent
2016-2017 News in District 49
VRHS Graduates Encouraged to "Take Calculated Risk to Build and Dream"
More than 360 Vista Ridge High School graduates received diplomas May 27 during a commencement ceremony at Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs.
SES Students Set For Summer Reading Success
Hundreds of students, parents, teachers and community members supported literacy efforts at Stetson Elementary School May 19. The end of year event focused on celebrating student achievement and providing parents with resources for continued literacy efforts during summer break.
Vista Ridge Boys' Track and Field Sprints to Second State Championship
The Vista Ridge High School Boys' Track and Field Team earns the school’s second state track and field championship May 21 at Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood. The state finals meet was postponed and shortened to two days for the first time in history. The Wolves, led by strong efforts from their sprinters, ran away with the state title, scoring 93.5 points. Air Academy High School in District 20 was second with 58 points.
BOE Honors Senior Set to Earn Associate's Degree and High School Diploma
“Meleah is the first student in District 49 to complete her Associates of Arts and Business while completing her high school degree at the same time,” said Elisabeth Fisk, Vista Ridge High School concurrent enrollment dean during her introduction. Meleah earned college credit in high school through concurrent enrollment, a program for students to earn free college credits on high school and college campuses while completing high school graduation requirements.
District 49 Special Needs Students Learn Fishing Skills
Retiring adaptive physical education teacher Bonnie Mendenhall shows Sand Creek High School tenth grader Brendan Ellis,15, how to cast, May 11 at the 10th annual District 49 Fishing Day event for special needs students at Prospect Lake in Colorado Springs.
2015-2016 News in District 49
Class of 2016: VRHS Marks Milestones, Considers Future
More than 300 Vista Ridge High School graduates received diplomas May 28 during a commencement ceremony at The Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs.
Exploring Colorado: Camp Helps Students Develop Language, Friendships
Emmanuel Lozano Padilla, 13, wraps duct tape around PVC pipes for a shelter concept June 3 outside the Creekside Success Center in District 49. Originally from El Salvador, he previously attended schools in Mexico.
Student Council Members Bring Buddy Bench to RVES
Fifth-grader Jake Amaya, 11, sits on a “Buddy Bench” May 24 at Ridgeview Elementary School.
District 49 Earns RMPEx Foothills Award
“By benchmarking our processes against high-performing enterprises in education and other industries, we can see more clearly where we are already excellent and where we have the most need to improve,” District 49 Peter Hilts, chief education officer, said.
Student Achievement Honored During “Fantastic 49”
Students from Sand Creek High School, Skyview Middle School and Falcon High School were honored during “Fantastic 49” achievements ahead of a monthly board meeting May 12 in District 49.
2014-2015 News in District 49
VRHS Student Athletes Sign Letters of Intent
Twelfth-graders Louis Quinones, 18, and Elway Tubbs, 18, sign letters of intent May 6 at Vista Ridge High School.
Challenging Mission: To The Moon
The POWER Zone schools in District 49 focus on the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) ecosystem. Fifth grade students from the gifted program at the zone's three elementary schools visited Challenger Learning Center May 20. The students participated in a mission to a lunar base on the moon.
Student Athletes Accept Awards at Vista Ridge High School
Twelfth-grader Kellie Mrofcza,17, accepts the alpha award May 12 during the 2015 Athletic Awards Ceremony at Vista Ridge High School.
Students Sign Letters of Intent at VRHS
Twelfth-graders Malik Hollier,18, and Tyler Hunt,17, prepare to sign letters of intent April 21 at Vista Ridge High School.
Organization Puts "Fun" in Fundraiser, Focusing on Fitness and Character Building
Fourth-grader Natalya Gibbons, 10, completes laps during a fundraiser April 15 at Ridgeview Elementary School.
Boardrooms to Classrooms: Businesswoman Inspired By Students
Fourth-grade teacher Becki Sims explains research skills during a writing class April 14 at Ridgeview Elementary School in District 49. It was nearly 10 years ago, when Sims started volunteering in a kindergarten classroom. The experience would change her life, and many others.
RVES Family Opens Little Free Library
Logan Clemens, 5, checks out reading material at a Little Free Library gathering place April 10 near Ridgeview Elementary School in District 49.
Sims Honored for Earning Teacher Appreciation Scholarship
Becki Sims, Ridgeview Elementary School fourth grade teacher, describes the moment she found out she had earned a University of Phoenix teacher appreciation scholarship during “Fantastic 49” recognition April 9, ahead of a monthly Board of Education meeting in District 49.
District Battle of the Books Arms Students for Regional
Evans International Elementary School fifth-grader Alexis Gonzalez, 11, discusses a question about a story April 9 during a districtwide Battle of the Books competition at Evans International Elementary School in District 49.
Families Gather to Explore Science, Inspire Children
Eleventh-grader Natalie Roman, 17, teaches Nathaniel Jones-Brown, 7, about anatomy during a family science night March 20 at Vista Ridge High School in District 49.