`The time is now, we must be ready,’ Pack says
Re-2 teachers and classified staff members were welcomed back to school on Wednesday, Aug. 14, at the Rifle High School auditorium. School Board President Vicki VanEngelenburg began the event by speaking to the employees about the challenges of public education.”Public education is one of the last strongholds of a democratic society. We have to do what’s good for all children. If you feel a sense of urgency… we can’t waste one precious moment,” she said.Superintendent Dr. Gary Pack, in his speech to the employees entitled, “The time is now and we must be ready,” said “The measure of a quality school district is not to take good students and maintain them, but to address critical academic issues with every student regardless of their previous achievement levels and move them to higher levels of active learning.”The challenge for public education as an organizational structure is to move from a loosely-coupled format where schools act in a disjointed fashion to a tightly-focused organization that implements best practice instructional strategies on a daily basis that impact student achievement for all children.””Student achievement is our top priority” is taken very seriously by all district employees. “Working on the Work” is the district’s core business, which making sure every student is academically challenged and engaged in meaningful activities everyday.Assistant superintendent Ava Lanes spoke to, “If the time is now, how do we get there?””What we really want is for students to think, to problem solve. Who’s responsible for getting us there?” she asked.Mmost important, Lanes said, is the Comprehensive School Leadership Reform Model. CSLR is the program adopted by the district which directs the focus to interesting, engaging work for all students and comprehensive training for every classroom in every subject area K-12. In his animated and sometimes comical speech to the staff, Rifle High School social science teacher David Kosht said about the CLSR and the Re-2 administration, “They’ve got the right vision. What if everyday we had cool stuff for our students to do? And kids were working their tails off and they were just sweating and working and the brain energy was just going whrrrrrrrr.” Ten employees from all parts of the district spoke to the audience to help others understand how their jobs contribute to the quality of education for Re-2 students and a true team effort.For the second year, the Community Newspapers of Colorado, Inc. honored one teacher at each Re-2 school. Each school’s teachers voted for one outstanding teacher. Winners received an individual plaque honoring them for outstanding service, and funding to use to either further their own education or to improve their classroom.Teachers given this distinction were Rifle High School, Matt Boland; Rifle Middle School, Brad Skinner; Esma Lewis Elementary, Carrie Clark; Wamsley Elementary, Jeneane Schlotthauer; Roy Moore Elementary, Eva Pasiewicz; Riverside School, Barbara McElroy; Kathryn Senor Elementary, Barbara Miller.Because the award program was such a successful way to start the school year last year, the district decided to honor its classified employees (secretaries, janitors, bus drivers, etc.) with a similar award this year. Every employee is important to the district and contributes to the quality educational experience for each student.Outstanding classified employees as identified by their peers are Rifle High School, Kathy (Owens)Haydon; Rifle Middle School, Lynda Costanzo; Esma Lewis Elementary, Dorothy Hutchison; Wamsley Elementary, Julie Berens; Roy Moore Elementary, Jill Richards; Riverside School, Andy Esquibel; Kathryn Senor, Tina Bingman; Transportation, Toodie Middleton; and the District Office, Christy Wiig. Those employees were given an “Above and Beyond” plaque and $100 in crisp, new two-dollar bills.Congratulations to these and all employees who go out of their way to make Re-2 a caring, progressive school district.Following the welcome back, a vendor fair provided useful information for employees.The public is invited to the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Garfield Re-2 Food Service/Maintenance Facility at6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 10. The site is located immediately south of Wamsley Elementary School, behind Columbine Ford.Times for the start of school for each Re-2 building are:Rifle High School, 8:20 a.m.Rifle Middle School, 8:24 a.m.Esma Lewis Elementary, 8:15 a.m.Wamsley Elementary, 8:20 a.m.Roy Moore Elementary, 8:25 a.m.Riverside School, 8:20 a.m.Kathryn Senor Elementary, 8:25 a.m.The district’s preschool program begins Wednesday, Sept. 4. Wamsley Elementary’s morning preschool begins at 8:30 a.m. and the afternoon preschool begins at 12:30 p.m. Preschool begins at 8:25 a.m. for Roy Moore Elementary, and the afternoon session begins at 12:30 p.m. And at Kathryn Senor Elementary, the morning preschool begins at 8:25 a.m. and the afternoon preschool begins at 12:15 p.m. Here’s to another exemplary school year!
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