Skylark students honor Veterans Day with poppies |

Skylark students honor Veterans Day with poppies

Skylark School students Brielle Cowan, left, and Jackson Wood make poppies to hand out for Veterans Day this week. Poppies can be found at participating local businesses.
Provided |

Students, teachers and parents at the Skylark School in Glenwood Springs have been making handcrafted poppies to honor veterans for Veterans Day, which will be Friday, Nov. 11.

Starting today and throughout the week, poppies will be available for free at several Glenwood Springs businesses for people to wear as a tribute to military veterans and those who did not come home or were hurt in the line of duty.

Inspired by the World War I poem “In Flanders Fields,” poppies have become a way to thank and give back to veterans and their families.

“In addition to making poppies, students read texts, listened to and sang songs, and memorized poems and pieces of literature that inspire and bring to life the many sacrifices of men and women throughout history and today,” according to a news release from the school.

The public is also invited to join students and staff of Skylark School to hear guest speaker, retired Capt. Jeff Cheney, speak at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Mountain View Church. A coffee and pastry reception will follow.

CMC student among 2016 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise

Kourtnie Miller, a student at Colorado Mountain College-Spring Valley, has been selected to receive a $1,000 scholarship from Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society as a 2016 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholar. Miller is majoring in psychology and plans to transfer upon completion of her associate degree in 2017 to complete her bachelor’s degree.

Selected as 2016 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholars, 207 Phi Theta Kappa members have been awarded a total of $207,000 in scholarships. Chosen from more than 1,100 applications worldwide, the scholars receive scholarships of $1,000 each to further their associate degree studies. Independent judges evaluate the applications based on scholastic achievement, community service and leadership potential.

The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation provides $200,000 in funding for the scholarships, with $25,000 set aside for members who are veterans or active members of the U.S. military. The remaining amount is supported by donations to the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation and provides Leaders of Promise Global Scholarships, earmarked for international students.

Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of community college students and helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. The society is made up of more than 3 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in nine nations.

Basalt band director advances to semifinals for national GRAMMY in the Schools Music Educator Award

Basalt Middle and High school band director Nick Lenio is one step closer to receiving a GRAMMY Award. Lenio was notified that he has advanced to the semifinal round for a Music Educator Award presented by The GRAMMY Foundation and The Recording Academy.

“The call came in the middle of my sixth grade band class,” Lenio said. “It was tough to resist the temptation to answer the call. This honor really isn’t about me, though. It’s about the entire Basalt band program. From fifth through twelfth grades, we’re one big family. Without the joy and enthusiasm and hard work of my students, I’d be teaching to an empty room.”

Lenio, who had to keep the news to himself until official notification went out from the GRAMMY Foundation, is now in rarefied company. Only 25 music educators nationwide made the cut from 290 in the quarterfinal round. He is the only music educator in the state of Colorado still in the running.

To reach the semifinal round, Lenio had to prepare several videos that addressed the work he does for students in music education. Lenio is a much-beloved figure in this rural mountain community, and his influence on students extends well beyond the walls of these two schools. In the past year, over 70 of Basalt’s band students auditioned and ultimately qualified for Colorado honor bands, and several students took coveted first chair spots for their instruments. Lenio’s new Basalt High School group, the Basalt StreetHorns, plays at events all over the valley and was asked to perform this August at the renowned Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Festival. In addition to orchestrating this band program that ranges across two Basalt schools, eight grades, and over 20 performances a year, Lenio also runs a classical music lead guitar program in conjunction with the Aspen Music Festival and School. The program serves an additional 300 students in nine schools.

In this last round for the Music Educator Award, 10 finalists will be selected in December. One music educator will receive the ultimate prize — a genuine GRAMMY Award and the chance to attend the 2017 GRAMMY Awards in Los Angeles in February. The winner will receive a $10,000 grant plus a matching grant for the school. All finalists will receive a $1,000 grant and a matching grant for the school as well. The Music Educator Award is presented by The GRAMMY Foundation and The Recording Academy. In total, more than 3,300 initial nominations were submitted for this fourth year of the award from all 50 states. The award recognizes educators who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to maintaining music education in the schools.

News of Lenio’s advancement to the semifinals round was announced first to students by Basalt Middle School Principal Jennifer Ellsperman.

“They’re so excited for Nick,” said Ellsperman. “He absolutely deserves a GRAMMY for the diverse work he does both at our school and across the valley to support music education. For such a small, rural community, our students are making incredible music, and we are blessed to have Nick at the helm. He makes a huge impact on their lives every single day.”

For the GRAMMY in the Schools announcement, visit:

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