Anonymous letter sent to local media alleges wrongdoing by members of School District 51’s senior administration

Letter about D-51 senior Administrators, Pg. 1

Anonymous letter about D-51 administrators, Pg. 2


This letter was sent to local media outlets recently by an anonymous author who seems very familiar with, and frustrated by District 51’s senior administrative leadership. There was no return address on the envelope. The writer is deeply concerned, among other things, that inappropriate expenditures by members of senior administration have contributed to the financial necessity of closing traditional public schools. Interestingly, while the writer expresses concern about the three Board of Education members who have been at the heart of so much turmoil in the District lately, s/he focuses attention on D51’s senior leadership as being even more harmful than the three controversial board members.

While parts of the letter seem petty, the writer also makes serious allegations of unethical behavior by D-51’s senior administrators.

While it’s difficult for someone outside of D-51 to confirm the allegations in the letter, investigation into the claims reveals many of them could at least be plausible, based on information like property ownership records, records of the addresses of some of the people mentioned in the letter, investigation into where people mentioned in the letter were working and playing football and when, verification of what constitutes a “bona fide move” according to the bylaws of the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHASSA) (pdf, at Pg 61-62), verification of the bankruptcy of Marsh Trucking, verification that District 51 in fact does have office space on Compass Drive, and other information. Much of that info tracks with what the writer alleges.

The positions of people mentioned in the letter, and the meaning of some of the abbreviations the writer uses as follows:

  • Melanie Trujillo – District 51 Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
  • Tammy Eret – District 51 Legal Counsel
  • Nikki Jost – D-51 Executive Director of Human Resources
  • Patty Virdin – D-51 Executive Director of Student Services and Support
  • Jacki Anderson – D-51 Curriculum Director
  • Jennifer Marsh – D-51 Executive Director of Curriculum and Learning Design
  • Shawn Marsh – Jennifer Marsh’s husband, who coached football at Central High School and then took a job as head coach of the Eagle Crest High School football team in Aurora, CO (2019-2021)
  • Cheri Taylor – Director of College and Career Readiness (as of 12/8/22)
  • Dan Bunnell — current Director of Site Leadership, Emerson Building
  • Cathy Ebel – former Director of Social and Emotional Learning (video), who spent 35 years with District 51
  • Melanie Trujillo’s husband, Donald Trujillo, — all that was publicly known at the time was that he was put on leave as Principal of R-5 for a “personnel matter” in January, 2022
  • BOE – Board of Education
  • BFF – Best Friends Forever
  • CAO- Chief Academic Officer
  • CMU – Colorado Mesa University
  • Resource: District 51’s list of Senior Leadership

Other media outlets are unlikely to release the letter, but since District 51 is a taxpayer-funded institution and it is difficult for taxpayers to see its inner workings, the letter could indicate areas in District administration that need attention.

  11 comments for “Anonymous letter sent to local media alleges wrongdoing by members of School District 51’s senior administration

  1. I feel the need to respond to this letter. I do not know who wrote this, nor do I know why my name was included in this narrative. I retired this December after 35 years with District 51. It was a difficult decision, as I have loved my various roles with D51. Ultimately, it was based on my desire to focus on my family and some new opportunities. No one forced or coerced that decision. I left the district with what I hope will be considered to be respectful, professional relationships with most of my colleagues.
    Cathy Ebel

  2. As much as I dislike the Marshes and think Sean Marsh taking his mediocre QB son to the Cherry Creek school district was underhanded, especially to their starting QB, he was not fired from Eaglecrest as the letter states. He stepped down after three seasons. His son should have had to follow CHSAAs rules about moving for athletics reasons though.

  3. The first amendment gives Anne the “right” to release this information. I didn’t see her make any allegations. So, all you sheep need a border collie.

  4. I hope you’ve discussed with your attorney the possible ramifications of publishing this. There are reasons why newspapers don’t publish anonymous information more than once in a blue moon, and then only when the identity of the source is known to someone at the paper.

    • Just watch: go back to China. Over here, I’m AMERICA, we scrutinize our leadership. Whether we like them or not.

      • Ever hear of libel law?

        Scrutiny of our public domain is crucial, but anonymous allegations can lead to problems for the publisher.

        • It’s horrible that the letter writer decided to malign the academic capabilities of the Marsh’s daughter in this rant. Makes it difficult for me to take the writer’s moral/ethical position seriously.

          • Erica Kitzman, think about what you’ve just said. That’s what ALL nepo babies want to hear. Think about all the people that missed out because of the Marshes nepotism.

      • Anne, please tell TJ about your nonexistent roots in China. TJ might better urge the Twitter Time Bomb to return to his native country before he bumbles up yet another institution, media form, and self-misguided vehicle market. I support the anonymous writer, especially in light of D-51’s opacity in decision making.

  5. Thank the stars for people like the letter writer. We need more of them. We all need to act on this. Grand junction is on its way becoming like Colorado Springs.

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