The Fountain-Fort Carson School District Eight School Board recently announced
that the District’s newest educational facility would be named “Conrad Early
Learning Center” to honor and recognize the lifetime commitment of Yevonne
Conrad to District Eight’s early childhood education--spanning 35 years and
Yevonne Conrad came to District Eight in 1980 and retired from full-time teaching
in 2008. During that time she taught at Freedom’s Trail Elementary on post for the
first 10 years and at Jordahl Elementary in Fountain for the remaining 18 years.
Following her retirement she has worked for the District in various roles including
training, mentoring and consulting. Yevonne opened up the District’s first preschool program at Freedom’s Trail in 1989 with teaching colleague Pat Davis. Just
one year later, she helped transition that pre-school concept to Jordahl where she
implemented the existing pre-school program for in-town students and families. In
today’s ever-changing educational landscape, the pre-schools of 20 years ago are
now known as Early Childhood Learning Programs and could be classified as a
completely different culture. Much of Yevonne’s story is about how she guided the
District through these cultural shifts in ideology, training, delivery and ultimately in
the finished product--catching students at an earlier age to develop critical
educational skills that will enable them to be successful in school and become lifelong learners.
Yevonne grew up in an idealistic era of education, where educators were brokers in
hope. Born and raised in a small Arkansas town by two parents that valued
education and modeled lifelong learning by going back to school as adults set the
stage for the teacher that Yevonne would become. Yevonne knew she wanted to
teach when she was in fifth grade. She had two influential teachers that year (due to
a maternity leave by one of them) that she still keeps in touch with to this day. Little
did they know the seed they would plant in the mind of a ten year old would grow
and flourish to become an accomplished student (high school valedictorian, and
Magna Cum Laude honors in college) and future educator. Yevonne understood the
value of work ethic and pursued her dream to teach the old fashioned way by
working, saving and earning scholarship opportunities. Her parents certainly
supported her the best they could but she knew the burden of a college education
for a small town Arkansas girl would be on her.
At one point Yevonne’s father, knowing how bright she was, tried to encourage her
to pursue a career in medicine or as an attorney. However, she was steadfast in her
vision for herself and knows her father was extremely proud of her career choice. It
was certainly educations gain that Yevonne kept her eye on the prize she valued and
made her life’s work teaching.
In addition to service work across the globe, Yevonne routinely gives school
supplies and books to be distributes to young people in the areas she visits.
Yevonne was instrumental in bringing the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Project
which provides books to children in the larger Colorado Springs community. Once a
teacher, always a teacher and advocate for learning. To learn more about the Dolly
Parton Imagination Project check out the website at
About the Conrad Early Learning Center
Scheduled to open fall 2015, Conrad Early Learning Center will have 12 classrooms,
and is projected to have 8 in use when it opens--allowing for some projected growth
in the community. Pre-school students in the Fountain community will utilize this
facility and program. The program will be similar to the Early Childhood Program
that is housed in Weikel Elementary on Fort Carson.
Details about the dedication celebration and ribbon cutting will be forthcoming midsummer as the building nears completion.