In “Off the Beaten Trail,” Senior Fellow in Education Policy Ross Izard ventures out to the western side of Colorado to visit two rural private schools for his next profile. His first stop is at a small Catholic school called Pope John Paul II Academy on the outskirts of Montrose. Ross has the opportunity to meet a handful of teachers and administrators at the school – including their 27-year-old principal, Mr. Gordon – who not only leads the school but also teaches 6th grade math.
After getting a feel for Pope John Paul II Academy, Ross heads off to Trinidad near the Colorado-New Mexico border to visit Holy Trinity Academy. Ross discovers that although Holy Trinity Academy has only been around since 2004, it comes from a rich legacy running many decades back in Trinidad history. Despite the typical hardships facing many rural schools, Holy Trinity Academy’s students find great success. Ross mingles with faculty, staff, and students at Holy Trinity to find out what makes the tiny school tick.