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Your Letters

Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

My name is Alex Cutright, and if the school district fires Sonya Hemmen, it will be the worst mistake ever.

First, she has done so much for the school and us students.

This is how:

She cares about our education.

She cares about every student.

Also, she cares about me. Even when I am out of Glenwood Springs Elementary and now at Glenwood Springs Middle School, she still cares about me.

Sonya Hemmen Is the best thing about GSES.

Alex Cutright, 6th grader

Glenwood Springs

Sonya Hemmen, GSES principal: Conscientious, innovative, smart and suspended. Wow!

My daughter, Ivy (currently a 7th grader at GSMS), had a week, at most, of kindergarten under her belt when I first met Sonya Hemmen. We were in City Market, Ivy in the seat of the grocery cart. My eyes were on Ivy when I saw her entire face light up. It was Ms. Hemmen!

Sonya came over and introduced herself to me. With Ivy, she exchanged a high five and kind words, “Ivy, it’s so good to see you.” Obviously, the good vibe and the effort on Sonya’s part to get to know her new “kinders” has stuck with me to this day.

Further along in Ivy’s elementary school journey, I had her switch schools as a move had made Sopris Elementary our closer school. Nothing wrong with Sopris Elementary, but for 3rd grade Ivy, it couldn’t begin to compare to her beloved GSES.

With getting in the car to go to either school a necessity due to living in a spot not served by school buses, I cheerfully delivered Ivy back to GSES for 4th and 5th grades.

Sonya Hemmen and her crew did not disappoint. Without even requesting it, we received a team meeting when Ivy experienced some “growing pains” midway through 4th grade. The “we will make time for each student” approach to getting Ivy through her rough patch, and the innovative solutions to keeping Ivy’s education on track that year, were most appreciated. (Thank you Beth Dwyer as well!)

I, for one, feel that when it smells and tastes like fish that there is indeed something fishy going on. When will Re-1 inform us of the alleged infractions? This “heavy on the drama” suspension (she is forbidden to set foot on school grounds, etc.) is not appreciated by this Re-1 parent and taxpayer.

Perhaps, most importantly, let’s rally around Sonya Hemmen and let her know that her work with our children has been, and will continue to be, most appreciated.

Annie Hoghaug

Glenwood Springs

I am writing regarding the fact that Sonya Hemmen has been placed on paid suspension from her position principal of Glenwood Springs Elementary School (GSES).

It is difficult to know how to address the matter when superintendent Judy Haptonstall has declined to justify the suspension or disclose any allegations.

However, I have known Sonya Hemmen as a friend and teammate for the past seven years, and one thing I know a lot about is her character.

Sonya has a very straightforward, cut-to-the-chase style about her. She is honest in all that she does and has very strong morals. She is one of the most hardworking, determined people I know.

When something doesn’t come naturally to her, she gives it her all and makes herself and those around her better as a result. She leads by example, and truly cares about others, especially the students in her school. In my book, those are all admirable traits in a leader.

At a minimum it seems imperative that this process be open and public. Most importantly, I request that the school district reverse the suspension of principal Hemmen and reinstate her as principal of GSES immediately.

Mary Lehrman

Glenwood Springs

We are writing in response to the administrative leave of our principal, Sonya Hemmen, of GSES. My husband and I have a second grader currently at GSES and twins who will begin kindergarten there next year.

My husband and I have met with Sonya Hemmen on several occasions and she has been extremely helpful and supportive of the needs of our children and our family. She is sincere and genuinely cares for all of the children of the school and assists them however she can.

We feel she is doing an amazing job as principal of GSES. We would like to express our incredible support of her and ask that she be reinstated immediately as the principal of GSES.

Katie and Marco Dehm

Glenwood Springs

Over the past 20 years I have traveled more than 175,000 miles across America by way of the Amtrak rail system. I have stayed in your lovely town many times, and through the illustrated talks I give, many people here in Norfolk, England, have seen it.

I am now writing a book on the travels and adventures, and the people I’ve met in America.

I’m wondering if any of your readers can help me with some information.

1. How did the towns of Rifle and Parachute get their names?

2. Information on a mining disaster near the area in 1890?

3. How long is the Roaring Fork River and where does it lead to?

4. What is the Frying Pan?

Any letters that I get will have a reply.

I am hoping that some of the Post Independent’s readers will be able to help my research.

Malcolm Metcalf

43 Magdalen Way

Norfolk, England

Telephone 01493 661138


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