Rifle students not the only ones to get jitters | PostIndependent.com

Rifle students not the only ones to get jitters

Rifle Middle School students gathered outside after school on Monday, Aug. 18, on the first day back to school.
Heidi Rice/Citizen Telegram |

Kylie Hudgens was terrified on the first day of school this week. But she’s not a student — she’s a new physical education teacher at Rifle Middle School.

This is the first teaching job for the 22-year-old of Battlement Mesa, but even though she had first-day jitters, she was excited to be there.

“I’ve always wanted to teach in a smaller school district,” Hudgens said. “I don’t think I could handle 2,500 kids and stay sane.”

Rifle Middle School, which covers the fifth through eighth grades, has about 760 students — the largest school in the Re-2 district.

“I was very nervous — I was terrified,” Hudgens admitted with a laugh. “Would the kids like me? But as the day progressed, it got better. It went a lot smoother than I thought it was going to.”

One of Hudgens goals is to get more girls involved in physical activities.

“I really want to focus on getting more girls active in PE and not being shy,” she said. “I want to get the youth to understand how important physical activity is in your life.”

Hudgens herself enjoys, golf, tennis, bowling, ping pong, baseball and basketball. And she not only wants to emphasize participation in sports, but also rules and good sportsmanship.

“I love sports,” she said. “I went to school for nursing because I always knew I wanted to help people. But in my heart, I love teaching kids. I love to see when a light goes off in their head when you’re teaching them. I just love k ids more than anything.”

And like all teachers in the district, Hudgens will also be teaching reading.

“Every teacher is a reading teacher and has to support our reading goals,” explained Theresa Hamilton, director of districtwide services for Re-2. “They have to take training beforehand. It’s a school-wide goal.”

Hudgens wasn’t the only one that was nervous about the first day of school. Leanne Worton of Rifle was sending her son, Jackson, to kindergarten for the very first time.

“I was a little nervous to send him to school for the frist day all day, but so proud of him,” Worton said. “I think it was harder for me than for him. When we arrived in his classroom, he asked me to stay with him a little while since he was nervous, but once he had a muffin, he told me that it was OK, I could go. I guess the muffin gave him confidence!”

Logan Farr, 15, of Rifle, was looking forwarding to his first day as a sophomore at Rifle High School.

“It’s going to be pretty fun hanging out with my friends,” he said. “I do weight training and I’m in the varsity choir. But I know it’s going to be a little bit harder and there will be lots of homework.”

The first day of school was August 18. Re-2 students go to school Monday through Thursday.

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