The Custer County School District serves 389 students from preschool through grade 12.  The 62 staff members include: 29 teachers, 11 para-professionals, 4 administrators and 18 classified employees. Included in the staff members are a VOICE Coordinator, IT & GT Coordinator, Counselor and Librarian.  The district boasts highly qualified teachers in every core subject. Three teachers are certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.


Information about the district’s test scores can be found at


Points of Pride

  • The Custer County School District offers many academic opportunities, including Advanced Placement courses, online courses, partnerships with colleges for credit, and numerous electives.

  • The School boasts multiple Boettcher, Daniels and Hurliman scholarship winners.

  • GOT-IT Program - Graduation On Time through Internet Technology. This is an educator supervised online program.

  • State recognition for students in Choir, FFA, athletics and other extra-curricular activities.

Bobcat Statue



Welcome to Custer County Schools!


My name is Joe Vergilio and it is truly an honor to be your PK-12 Principal for 2021-2022 School Year.


A little bit about me.  I am a Colorado native, born and raised in Pueblo, Colorado.  I received my BA from Regis University and my MAED from the University of Phoenix.  I began my teaching career in 1994 and am proud to say that I have taught at both the elementary and secondary levels.  This is my sixth year in educational administration and my third year at Custer County Schools.  I can truly say that I am blessed to have been chosen to remain at Custer County Schools.  Westcliffe has truly been a home to me for many years and those that are familiar with family and I know how special Westcliffe is to us.  


The previous two years have been extremely challenging for all of us and I’d like to thank all of the families, students and community for their unwavering support during these unprecedented times.  As we move beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic, Custer County Schools is doing our best to return to in person instruction and prioritizing a return to as much normalcy as possible.  As always, we are subject to mandates handed down by the State of Colorado, CDPHE, CDE, and the federal government.    


I can honestly say that you will not find a better staff nor will you find better students than those of Custer County Schools.  The staff prides themselves on ensuring that they prioritize students and always do what is best for our students.  Our students are kind, compassionate, hardworking, and among the best students in the world.


I am very blessed to have the opportunity to work with you and your students and I look forward to all of the positive things we will accomplish together this year.



Joe Vergilio

PK-12 Principal

Secondary Teachers
Secondary School
Elementary Teachers
Elementary School



Welcome Bobcats! 


We are so excited to get the 2021-2022 school year going! As we all know, the past year has been challenging, but we are looking forward to getting things as back to normal as possible. 


First, I’d just like to share a little bit about myself. My name is Sydney Benesch and I am honored to be the TOSA/Assistant Principal this year. I have been an elementary teacher for the past seven years. I graduated from UNC with a bachelor's degree in elementary education, and then a few years ago I obtained my master’s degree in literacy from Grand Canyon University. I grew up in Westcliffe, and attended Custer County Schools from preschool through twelfth grade. Much of my family still lives here, and the valley will forever hold a special place in my heart. 


As we begin the 2021-2022 school year, we are excited to welcome our returning students back, as well as many new students and their families. Custer County Schools is blessed with absolutely wonderful, caring teachers and staff who continually put our students first. Student growth, both academically and socially, continues to be at the forefront of our goals. Our entire staff has been working hard to prepare their classrooms and our school, and we can’t wait to see what our students will accomplish this year! 


Sydney Benesch

TOSA/Assistant Principal