Silt students, faculty, parents bid adieu to Roy Moore

John GardnerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kara K. Pearson Post Independent

SILT – A school is a cornerstone to any community. The teachers strengthen the minds of the students. And those students represent the future of the community. The building is the home that makes them all one big family.The structure itself – brick and mortar, worn floor tiles from years of little ones’ foot traffic – is just that, a structure. But students, faculty and parents gathered at Roy Moore Elementary School in Silt to say goodbye to the structure that they’ve made into a home. A building that’s housed the childhoods of countless students in its 26 years of existence.

“I will miss it,” said paraprofessional Betty Tucker. “This has been home for a long time, but I’m also looking forward to Cactus Valley.”Students spent their last day at Roy Moore Tuesday before the winter break. When they return to classes in January, they’ll be held at the new Cactus Valley Elementary in Silt.Tucker, who’s worked at Roy Moore for the past eight years, said an emotional goodbye to the facility as she read some of her fondest memories to the students that attended.Past students like Becky Smith, who entered the elementary school in 1982 in the third grade, also attended the assembly on Monday afternoon. Smith is now the parent of a student who attends the same school she did as a child. Smith is also the president of the Roy Moore parent teacher association. She wanted to have one last look at the school before the windows were boarded up and the doors were locked.”So much has changed over the years,” Smith said. “What’s stayed the same, however, is the teachers’ and staff’s love of the children. That’s what I’ll remember about the school, how much everybody loved everyone else.”But leaving the building behind doesn’t mean that passion for teaching will stay behind, too. That passion for teaching and shaping young minds will accompany the staff and students to the new school. Principal Lisa Whitmore said she had mixed emotions about the day.

“It’s sad because of the memories and what the building means to those of us that have worked here for a while,” Whitmore said. “It’s sad, but when it rains I won’t have to worry about if we’ve got all the leaks in the library so the books won’t get ruined or if one of the kids is going to slip in the hallway because of another leak we didn’t catch.”Whitmore added that despite the sadness, it’s really a positive thing to be able to move into a new school and have a fresh start in a new building, midway through the year. She said the kids are the ones that are really excited.”They are the ones that would tell me about what was happening at the new school,” Whitmore said. “Students would come and tell me when the new trees were planted and keep me up to date on the construction of the school. They’re excited for it.”As excited as they may be, some are still sad about leaving the only elementary school they’ve ever known. Like 11-year-old Molly Mello.”I’ve been going to school here for, like, ever,” Molly said.But even Molly understood that the only thing changing was the building and not the high level of education.

“The teachers and students are going to be at the new school,” Molly said. “But the building itself and the memories and the history are what I’m going to miss the most.”Her confident words so eloquently state what so many of the adults felt in their hearts Tuesday.It was the last time the gym’s scuffed red and black floor would ever hear the squeaky sneakers of the children as they exited.Contact John Gardner: 384-9114jgardner@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

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