Students and staff members on to new adventures
As the school year draws to a close, students in Garfield Re-2 are not the only people transitioning to new careers, new environments and new adventures.Garfield Re-2 is excited for, and sad to lose, seven quality staff members to retirement after a combined 128-years of service to the children of the school district. Wamsley Elementary teacher Neal George, Rifle Middle School teacher Sandy Vaccaro, Kathryn Senor Elementary teacher Vina Klahn, Riverside Middle School principal Bill Nickell and District Office staff Sandra Lay, Cathy Vaccaro and Christy Wiig are all off to great adventures after years of nurturing, educating and supporting the children of the valley.This outstanding class of retirees was honored with an evening of fun, friends and food at the Two Rivers Convention Center in Grand Junction on May 2. The event was paid for through private donations.We will miss these gifted teachers and staff at Garfield Re-2, but we are excited for them as they get ready to take on their new challenges. Congratulations, Garfield Re-2 retirees!Garfield Re-2 is also excited to celebrate another successful matriculation of seniors at Rifle High School and the first graduating class of Coal Ridge High School on Sunday, May 18. Rifle High School seniors are busy this week with Senior Banquet at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 14, and Baccalaureate at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 15. Rifle High School will begin Sunday’s graduation festivities with a ceremony for approximately 140 students and their families at 1 p.m.. at Bears Stadium. As of Monday, valedictorian calculations were too close to make a final determination.Coal Ridge will host its first graduation activities for approximately 68 students this week. Seniors had their senior banquet on Monday, May 12. Coal Ridge will begin graduation at 4 p.m. May 18 in the Coal Ridge gymnasium. Pramini Kanakaraj will have the distinct honor of being the first valedictorian at Coal Ridge.Congratulations to all of the seniors and their families for their success.Another upcoming transition in Garfield Re-2 will be occurring this summer in New Castle, as that community moves from a two-school town to three. Riverside Middle School students will finish classes Friday, May 16 – a week earlier than the rest of the district – so the existing school can be transformed into Elk Creek Elementary, and the middle school can move into the new building next to Kathryn Senor Elementary.Garfield Re-2 maintenance and custodial crews will be busy this summer, transforming the building from a middle school to an elementary school in 12 weeks. This will include a building remodel with new paint, carpet, lighting, roof repairs and improved fire suppression systems. Minor construction will also take place to relocate the entryway of the building, remodel the kitchen and relocate the library. Both Elk Creek Elementary and the new Riverside Middle School will be open and ready for students on the first day of school, Aug. 18.The 2007-08 school year has indeed been a great one. Garfield Re-2 looks forward to an exciting 2008-2009.Theresa Hamilton is Re-2 director of districtwide services.
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The family of Rosie Ferrin has worked to clean up and make safe again the old schoolhouse in downtown New Castle. Ferrin died this summer and had owned the building that included classrooms turned into apartments for years.