October is a good time to appreciate your local principal | PostIndependent.com

October is a good time to appreciate your local principal

Theresa Hamilton
Re-2 News

October is National Principals Month.

Principals set the tone for their buildings. They are educational leaders of leaders and fill many different roles from assessment coordinators to disciplinarian, from budget analysts to community builders. They never know what the day will bring, but the most important job they have is encouraging, nurturing and challenging every young person and staff member that is in their charge every day.

"Education administrators rarely work a 40-hour work-week," said Garfield Re-2 Superintendent Dr. Susan Birdsey. "They are committed to their students and their staff and spend extra time in meetings to discuss district, state and federal initiatives, supervising after school activities on nights and weekends, and developing staff development plans. We are fortunate to have exceptional principals, assistant principals and deans leading our schools in Rifle, Silt and New Castle."

If you get a moment say thanks to a principal today to celebrate National Principal's Month — Todd Ellis at Rifle High School, Rick Elertson at Coal Ridge High School, Kevin Marlatt at Rifle Middle School, Lacey Moser at Riverside Middle School, David Lindenberg at Kathryn Senor Elementary, Kenny Newby at Elk Creek Elementary, Lisa Whitmore at Cactus Valley, Rich Hills at Highland Elementary, Heather Grumley at Graham Mesa Elementary and Kathi Senor at Wamsley Elementary.

And thank the assistant principals and deans that support the principals every day — Damon Wells and Alice Steindler at Rifle High School, Jeremy Voytko and Mike Aragon at Coal Ridge High School, Jenny Nipper, Shelley Gardineer and Kelly d'Avella at Rifle Middle School and Jeff Bradley and Karen Gose at Riverside Middle.

Thank you for all you do for our students and staff every day!

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Celestial sleuthing

Eighth grade students at Riverside Middle School did some celestial sleuthing last week.

Students are tracking the path of the sun across the sky and will continue the project throughout the year. The students in Scott Sandblom's science class are using solar tracking equipment that was purchased as part of a week-long Colorado Mountain College/Chevron summer institute Sandblom attended last summer.

"Using the solar trackers gives the students a visual to see that the sun doesn't follow the same path throughout the year," said Sandblom. "The amount of daylight also changes through out the year, and we will discuss what the consequences are of that."

The angle of the sun impacts many different areas of science including energy, growing seasons and food production, climate and transportation. Sandblom's students will get deep into the topic in the second quarter during the "Our Place in Space" lessons, but he wanted students to trace the solar path prior to the fall equinox and begin making predictions.

"It's great because we teach and then re-teach these topics throughout the year to make sure that the students learn and retain the information. Our tests always have at least one item from previous work that they have to recall," he explained. He believes that the constant re-teaching contributed to the increase in Riverside's science scores last year.

Sandblom and all of the Re-2, District 16 and DeBeque instructors who participated in the CMC/Chevron summer science institute received $250 to purchase science equipment for their classrooms. He is grateful for the contribution to the science program.

"Colorado Mountain College and Chevron have been very supportive. It is great to have people supporting science. Science is incredibly important, and if we can instill an interest in science in our kids at an early age, it will mean great things in the future," said Sandblom.


Jean's Printing was presented with the Business of the Month, Kurt Larson was presented with the Volunteer of the Month for September and GME kindergarten teacher Sarah Brusig was presented with the Staff Member of the Month for September. Graham Mesa Principal Heather Grumley presented the awards at the Sept. 24 school board meeting. Misty Allen also received an award for volunteering at GME, but was unable to attend the meeting.

Taste of RMS

Come and enjoy a Taste of RMS. On Oct. 17, Rifle Middle School students, staff, families and Rifle community members are invited to drop by the school and see what culinary creations the talented families of RMS have to offer. The second annual Taste of RMS is expected to be bigger and better than last year's. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. Rifle Middle School families will bring in their favorite dishes, and community members can purchase tickets and sample from the hundreds of offerings. Bring your appetite! There will be carnival games, fire truck rides and a dunk tank. The Taste of RMS is a fundraiser for a future shade structure at the school and for field trips. For more information contact Rifle Middle School at 970-665-7950.

If you have questions or comments about the Garfield Re-2 School District, please contact Theresa Hamilton, director of districtwide services, at 970-665-7621.

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