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Jamie Kruis, Michael Schwager ready to serve college, community

SALIDA – In continuing to expand and serve the Salida and Poncha Springs communities, Colorado Mountain College Salida is welcoming two new employees.

“We’re extremely excited that Jamie Kruis has joined CMC Salida as our assistant dean of instruction,” said Dr. Rachel Pokrandt, college vice president and campus dean for Leadville and Salida. “And Michael Schwager will be teaching mathematics and is the campus’s first full-time faculty member.

“I know Jamie and Michael are as thrilled as I am to be a part of establishing CMC Salida’s success,” Pokrandt said.

Residents in Salida School District R32J voted to join the Colorado Mountain College district in November 2019. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and public health orders, this summer the college is holding classes online. Over the summer CMC waived tuition, fees and the cost of books for in-district students, as well as for in-service-area and in-state students who’d been enrolled in spring 2020.

In the fall semester, which begins Aug. 24, the college is planning to offer classes using three different formats: Flex, In-Person and Online Anytime. For more information, go to Plans for Fall Classes.

A background in education – and more
Jamie Kruis

Jamie Kruis has joined the staff of Colorado Mountain College Salida. As assistant dean of instruction, she works with part-time faculty as well as coordinates programming and course scheduling.

In moving to Salida, Kruis is transitioning from her role as assistant to CMC’s chief operating officer and chief of staff and the CMC general counsel to a new challenge.

At the Salida campus, she will hire, support, supervise and evaluate part-time faculty members. Together with her colleagues at the campus, she will be working on strategic programming and course scheduling to maximize enrollment and meet degree timelines.

After completing her Bachelor of Arts in anthropology at Purdue University, she moved to Tartu, Estonia, to complete her Master of Arts in semiotics at the University of Tartu, where she also taught English and edited academic articles, manuscripts and dissertations for that university’s publications.

Kruis has been working at Colorado Mountain College since 2014, where she started in the college-wide Academic Affairs department. As a former whitewater raft guide and children’s ski instructor, she says she was thrilled to move to Salida in June to begin her new position.

Teaching high school, college math
Michael Schwager

Michael Schwager is CMC Salida’s first full-time faculty member. Starting fall 2020, he’ll be dividing his time teaching math at both Salida High School and Colorado Mountain College.

As a full-time math faculty member, Schwager will be teaching and advising a broad range of students. He’ll also lend his expertise as a mentor to part-time faculty and will support college-wide committees and special projects.

Like Kruis, Schwager comes to Colorado Mountain College Salida from another CMC location.

Since January 2019, he’s worked as an adjunct math instructor at CMC Rifle, while also teaching math at Coal Ridge High School in New Castle. In Salida, he’ll be dividing his time in a similar way, teaching 50% in Salida High School’s concurrent enrollment program and 50% instructing college-only students at Colorado Mountain College.

Schwager completed his bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics at Montana State University in Bozeman in 2011. He also earned a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction at MSU in 2017, and was a 2020 Boettcher Scholar finalist for the Boettcher Foundation’s Teacher Recognition award.

Visit CMC Salida for more information.