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Wow!That was the reaction to the third annual WOW Showcase held at Highland Elementary on May 5.WOW is an acronym that stands for Working on the Work. It is one of the guiding philosophies of the Garfield School District Re-2 and the Schlechty Center for Leadership in School Reform. In essence, it says that students are volunteers when it comes to learning. If teachers provide engaging, high quality lessons with meaningful content, students will be more likely to learn the material – hence the teachers and students are focused on Working on the Work.Dr. Phil Schlechty summed up Working On the Work in his book, “Shaking Up the Schoolhouse”:”The business of schools is providing students with work they find engaging and from which they learn those things considered by parents and other adults to be important. That is, schools provide students with knowledge work.”The WOW Showcase is an event to show off the best work of our students and teachers from across the district. With this year’s event held on the annual Cinco de Mayo celebration, the school had a high energy, fiesta theme. High-quality lesson designs, exemplary work and dynamic performances were all highlighted at the event that overflowed from the Highland gymnasium, cafeteria, media center, music room and hallways.”The WOW Showcase gives us a chance to show off the high quality work that is going on in our classrooms every day,” said Wamsley Elementary Principal Eva Pasiewicz. “It gives parents and community members a glimpse into what goes into creating engaging lesson design, and it allows us to show examples of the high level that our students are reaching academically.”•••It was not only student work that Garfield Re-2 recently celebrated.Eleven staff members will be retiring after the 2005-06 school year, and they were honored at the annual retirement dinner on April 28.Wamsley Elementary teachers Diana Humphrey, Dee Stiers and Launa Buchanan, Highland Elementary teachers Amy Spradlin and Penny Sykes, Rifle Middle School academic coach Georgiana Hertzke, Riverside teachers Barb McElroy and Mike Stickler, speech therapist M.K. Chesley, Director of Curriculum Sam Humphrey and Assistant Superintendent Ava Lanes will conclude their service to the students of Garfield Re-2 this year.This outstanding class of retirees was honored with an evening of fun, friends and food at the Two Rivers Convention Center in Grand Junction. The event was paid for through private donations.There will be a public reception for Ava Lanes, assistant superintendent and Sam Humphrey, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment from 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, May 24, at the Brickyard Square in Rifle. The public is invited to join us in recognizing these outstanding educators and community members for their many years of outstanding service to our school district and our community. Theresa Hamilton is director of districtwide services for Garfield School District Re-2. She can be reached at 625-7621.


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