COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The bicyclist killed in Saturday's crash has been identified as Dr. Julia Roark, a District 49 staff member.
A spokesperson for District 49 sent out the following statement:
"The District 49 community is saddened by the loss of a distinguished colleague, Dr. Julia Roark. Roark was riding her bicycle with her husband and passed away from injuries sustained as a result of a tragic accident involving a vehicle.
Roark joined District 49 in March 2015 as Falcon Zone leader, guiding education programs and service offerings for Falcon High School, Falcon Middle School, Falcon Elementary School of Technology, Meridian Ranch Elementary School and Woodmen Hills Elementary School.
Roark believed in leadership through mentorship and maintained many close relationships in her zone, the district and the Falcon community.
“Julia dedicated her life to seeing the potential for greatness in others and helping them to reach it,” said Marie LaVere-Wright, Board of Education president.
Roark understood that schools are an extension of the community. She had formed a Falcon Zone coalition composed of parents, community members and business leaders to increase community engagement and support for area schools. The coalition was working to cultivate partnerships across the community to benefit students and residents.
“In the two years Julia served in District 49 she had truly become a part of the fabric of the Falcon community and her legacy will live on here through those she mentored and led, and the children whose lives they touch,” said LaVere-Wright. “We are grateful for the time we were able to call Julia a part of the district family as a leader, mentor, neighbor, and friend, and we are devastated by her loss.”
Drawing on expertise from her doctoral work, Roark was developing a master teacher program for elementary school student literacy with the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. The program will provide coordinated literacy courses through UCCS for Falcon Zone instructors, supporting District 49’s initiative that every student will read at grade level by the end of third grade.
“Julia was exactly the kind of person you want as a friend and a leader for your child’s schools. We treasured her personal warmth and professional expertise—they made us better people and a better district,” said Peter Hilts, chief education officer. “We offer our prayers and deepest sympathies to Greg and their children.”
As we celebrate the life of Dr. Julia Roark, District 49 staff and students join the family in mourning the loss of a loved and respected colleague."
Roark was killed Saturday afternoon when a car hit the bicycle she was riding along east Woodmen Road and north Marksheffel Road.
A man who was driving a white Buick hit Roark. It's unclear what led to the crash but police say speed, and drugs or alcohol were not factors.
Roark was riding next to her husband. They were both wearing helmets.