Schools

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Cross Country Season Underway for Student Athletes

A new dawn rises over the Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby, as the Lake County Panthers Nordic Ski Season got underway this past weekend. Photo: Facebook - SMRN

A new dawn rises over the Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby, as the Lake County Panthers Nordic Ski Season got underway this past weekend. Photo: SMRN

While most of Leadville and Lake County was digging out from the first big winter storm of 2017, the Lake County Panthers were taking advantage of all that fresh snow as their 2017 Cross Country Season kicked off this weekend in another part of the state. Here’s the Leadville Nordic report from Panther Coach Karl Remsen:

The Lake County High School and Middle School Nordic teams had their first race this past weekend at Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby. The temperatures were cold, but the skiing was excellent with plenty of fresh snow and beautiful tracks.

Lake County Panthers Nordic Skiers tip up to the start line at the first race of the season held this past weekend at the Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby. Photo: Facebook - SMR

Lake County Panthers Nordic Skiers tip up to the start line at the first race of the season held this past weekend at the Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby. Photo: Facebook – SMR

The course started with a quick funnel that led to a long, gradual climb. The trail then descended before one final climb led to a final kilometer of slight downhill into the finish.

The first off the line were the high school boys. A trio skied within sight of each other. Joe Koch led the pack in 25th place, and Cheyenne Mendoza was right behind in 28th. Brandon Hanson rounded out the group of three in 34th.

Conner Lenhard and Sam Frykholm proved that even as freshman they were ready to compete at the high school level. Conner placed 43rd and Sam was close behind in 47th. All five of these skiers placed in the top 45% of the 110 finishers, which qualifies them for the state meet in later February.

Zach Coffin had a strong race after a tangle up at the start to place 76th. Matt Koch fought through having cold hands to place 102nd. Overall, the boys placed 8th of the 13 teams.

Next up were the high school girls. Caroline Benney led the charge for the team with her top ten finish in 8th. Harper Powell was a touch behind and placed 12th. Ariel Benney was next across the line in 14th. Molly Lenhard and Jackie Williams both moved up throughout the race and ended up placing 25th and 29th respectively. These five girls all earned a state qualifying spot. Abby and Hannah Holm had excellent races for their first high school start, placing 72nd and 87th.

The girls as a team had one of the strongest showings in recent years, taking 2nd among the 12 teams by edging Summit and Aspen. The skiers were excited about their team ranking and are hoping for more good results throughout the season.

“It was a good day for all the skiers. I was impressed with how well they skied,” noted assistant coach Andrew Coffin.

The team will have a chance to test their skate skiing prowess this coming weekend at the next competition at the Tennessee Pass Nordic Center.Spac_50

Middle School Nordic Skiers Off to a Strong Start

By Jeff Spencer, Coach Middle School Nordic team

This past Saturday, the Lake County Middle School Panthers competed in their first Nordic event. The race take place on at Snow Mountain Ranch outside of Grandby. The course was relatively flat; however, frigid temperatures still made the skiers work for their glide.

Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby hosted the first Nordic Ski meet of the 2017 season. Photo: Facebook SMR

Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby hosted the first Nordic Ski meet of the 2017 season. Photo: Facebook SMR

The boys 3 kilometer race was first. Seventh grader Jace Peters got off to a great double-pull start, starting the race off in the top ten. Jace slipped a few positions back during the race, but still had an outstanding 13th place finish out of over 60 racers. Jace reported “I had a strong double-pull and double-pull kick, but I lost a little ground with my diagonal-stride.” In the same race Panther sixth-grader Dakota Hanson competed in his first ever Nordic event. Dakota raced hard and almost finish in the top half of a 7th and 8th grade dominated field.

Up next was the 3-kilometer girls race. The girls got off to a great team start; all three racers double-poling in unison took command of a lane off the finish line. Elona Green was the first Panther to come in with a strong top-ten finish. Less than a minute behind Elona, Mitchek double-pulled across the line, finishing in 13thplace, followed by Morgan Holm finishing in 21st place. Together, these three girls had an outstanding 3rd place finish, only a few points behind the 2nd place East Grand team. Middle School Parent Jamie Peters said “It will be exciting to see how this group of girls competes together in future races.”

The Middle School Panthers next Nordic race is their home race of the season at Tennessee Pass Nordic Center taking place on Saturday.

Leadville School News: Horns, STEM Class and New VP


Spac_50Lake County High School (LCHS) student Christian Torsell has made the Colorado All State Jazz Band for the 4th year in a row. There were 196 students from across the state who auditioned for 36 spots. For the first time, Torsell who primarily plays the saxophone was awarded first chair Lead Alto in the band. He will perform with the All State band in Colorado Springs, Colo. on January 28 at the Broadmoor Hotel for the Colorado Music Educators Conference. Congratulations, Christian!Spac_50

Climax Mine Hosts Virtual Event for Students

This Tuesday, Dec. 13 local students will join others across the country to participate in an interactive live virtual field trip offering students a behind-the-scenes look into the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers available in today’s copper industry. Sponsored by Freeport-McMoRan, the parent company of the Climax Mine located north of Leadville, the event will encourage engagement with students and educators from coast to coast.

dig-into-miningDiscovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, will provide the instruction for this ‘Day of Learning’ from 11 a.m. – 2p.m. (ET) for students nationwide. During this virtual event, which is offered as part of the “Dig Into Mining: The Story of Copper” educational initiative, participants will meet professionals at Freeport-McMoRan as they discuss the various STEM applications found in each phase of copper recovery.

“The Day of Learning is an outstanding culmination of the learning opportunities included in Dig Into Mining,” said Tracy Bame, President of the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation. “This fun, interactive way of learning will bring the mining process to life for students and allow them to engage with the employees who make it happen. We believe it’s an excellent way for students to gain a greater understanding of how STEM knowledge is used in a workplace in various careers on a daily basis, making the content they learn in math and science classes more relatable.”

From ore to virtual lab: Climax Mine helps students take an interactive look into mining with a learning simulation focused on various phases of hard rock mining.

From ore to virtual lab: The Climax Mine in Leadville helps students take an interactive look into mining with a learning simulation focused on various phases of hard rock mining. Photo: Freeport McMoran.

On Tuesday, the ‘Day of Learning’ event will highlight different copper industry professionals including geologists, engineers, metallurgists, and reclamation and environmental managers. Designed with educators in mind, this flexible viewing format allows classrooms to tune-in at any particular hour throughout the event. Students may submit questions in advance on the program website for a chance to have them answered live by Freeport-McMoRan professionals during the event. To register and submit questions for this event, CONNECT HERE.

The ‘Day of Learning’ event is offered as part of Discovery Education and Freeport-McMoRan’s comprehensive “Dig Into Mining: The Story of Copper” program. Available at no cost, this initiative provides students, educators and families an online site that includes hands-on resources to inspire students to explore how the earth’s natural resources shape their lives geologically, societally and economically. The program offers standards-based classroom tools and Virtual Labs that encourage the development of students’ STEM, critical thinking and problem solving skills. Additional at-home family resources help students to share their classroom learnings with family members through insightful conversation about geology, and match their skills and interests to exciting opportunities within the copper industry.

For more information about the virtual field trip or Dig Into Mining: The Story of Copper’s free resources, visit HERE.

The Climax Mine, located north of Leadville in Lake County is owned by Freeport McMoRan.

The Climax Mine, located north of Leadville in Lake County is owned by Freeport McMoRan and commited to STEM education in classrooms nationwide.

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CMC names Pokrandt as Vice President

Rachel Pokrandt has been appointed as the vice president of Colorado Mountain College (CMC) in Leadville effective immediately. Pokrandt has been providing interim campus leadership since August 1, after the previous campus VP left last spring. Previously Pokrandt had been the campus dean for CMC in Rifle and has also held leadership roles at CMC’s Edwards and Breckenridge campuses.

“While I generally encourage internal or national searches for most position, there are occasions when timing and one’s fit with the unique needs of a department or campus require a different approach. This is one of those times,” stated Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser, CMC president and CEO. “After watching Rachel at work these past months, and listening to all the feedback I’ve received, I am convinced that she brings the desire and commitment to serve extremely well our communities in Lake and Chaffee counties.”

Rachel Pokrandt has been named campus vice president for Colorado Mountain College in Leadville. Photo Doug Stewart

Rachel Pokrandt has been named campus vice president for Colorado Mountain College in Leadville. Photo Doug Stewart

Pokrandt’s experience includes time an instructional dean at Front Range Community College after a 10-year career in the nonprofit sector working on educational programs with a variety of corporations. She maintains a Bachelor of Arts in theatre studies and British literature from Manchester University, U.K.; a Master of Business Administration from Western Governor’s University; and a graduate certificate in sustainability from Harvard University, and is scheduled to receive her doctorate in management from University of Switzerland, Zurich in the winter of 2016.

“I am truly honored to be offered this position,” said Pokrandt. “I am ready to roll up my sleeves to provide our campus and community with the stability, enthusiasm and creativity that they need.”

Homecoming Weekend Brings First Snow To Leadville

If you’ve lived around these parts for any length of time, you’ll know that once September shows up the weather can be a real-life, unpredictable Wild West Show. snow-chair

And this weekend, it proved to be just that as Mother Nature gave Old Man Winter a free pass to simply march right into town rather than approaching in his slower, more measured manner.

While most accounts of the white stuff barely measured an inch, it still counts as the first official snow in town!Spac_50

The Lake County High School Class of 2018 shows off their Panther Pride at the Homecoming Parade in Leadville yesterday. Photo: Leadville Today

The Lake County High School Class of 2018 shows off their Panther Pride at the Homecoming Parade in Leadville yesterday. Photo: Leadville Today

It was also Homecoming Weekend for Lake County High School, but these students didn’t let a little snow dampen their Panther Pride! While the snow held off to allow the Classes of 2017-2020 take their annual march down historic Harrison Avenue, the student athletes weren’t so lucky!. Temperatures hovered around freezing during the 7 p.m. kick-off and eventually the snow moved in. But the Homecoming Game went on and the Panthers crushed Dolores Huerta Prep by a score of 56-0, according to the MaxPreps website. Go Panthers!Spac_50

Clement, Mohrmann Named CMC Faculty of Year

Nominated for their nonjudgmental approach to teaching, as well as their ability to inspire students, Dr. Kent Clement and Jacob Mohrmann have been named, respectively, 2016’s full-time and adjunct Faculty of the Year for the campus at Colorado Mountain College Leadville and Buena Vista.

Dr. Kent Clement teaches outdoor recreation leadership and has been on the faculty of Colorado Mountain College Leadville and Buena Vista since 1996. He has received campus full-time Faculty of the Year honors for 2016.

Dr. Kent Clement teaches outdoor recreation leadership and has been on the faculty of Colorado Mountain College Leadville and Buena Vista since 1996. He has received campus full-time Faculty of the Year honors for 2016.

Each year students and faculty at each of Colorado Mountain College’s campuses and its online learning department nominate adjunct and full-time faculty members for Faculty of the Year awards.

Clement is the Leadville campus’s lead faculty member in outdoor recreation leadership. In nominating Clement, students described his ability to connect with and support them – even those students who are a generation in age behind their professor.

“The man is fully gray, and fully digital, as well as very green in his ways,” wrote student Matt Burns. “He is ever adapting to the current times.”

“I am really honored to be chosen Faculty of the Year among so many deserving others,” said Clement. “The outdoor studies students are so resourceful, so good to each other and so interested in making their world a better place. I am glad to know I have helped them on their way.”

Clement received his doctorate in human dimensions in natural resource management from Colorado State University after earning a master’s degree in recreation and park administration from Western Illinois University and a bachelor’s in biology from California State University-Chico. He has been on CMC’s faculty since 1996.

“Kent has changed my whole outlook on life, the environment and the people around me,” Burns wrote. “I am more positive in all of my endeavors, and apply his philosophies to my life every day.”

Adjunct ‘asset to faculty’

Mohrmann, who teaches in the college’s natural resource management program, is the project manager of the Timberline Field Institute and an adjunct faculty member.

Jacob Mohrmann, who teaches natural resource management at Colorado Mountain College Leadville, at a trout population survey that the college’s Timberline Field Institute conducts with Colorado Parks and Wildlife on the Arkansas River outside of Leadville. Mohrmann has received the 2016 campus adjunct Faculty of the Year for Colorado Mountain College Leadville and Buena Vista.

Jacob Mohrmann, who teaches natural resource management at Colorado Mountain College Leadville, at a trout population survey that the college’s Timberline Field Institute conducts with Colorado Parks and Wildlife on the Arkansas River outside of Leadville. Mohrmann has received the 2016 campus adjunct Faculty of the Year for Colorado Mountain College in Leadville.

Besides encouraging every student to succeed, as noted in his nomination, Mohrmann, who joined the college in 2011, is known for his passion about the natural sciences, and especially his expertise in hydrology and geology.

“The adjunct Faculty of the Year award is absolutely humbling and an incredible honor to receive as it signifies that all the hard work and unseen hours put into field, lab and classroom preparation have not gone unnoticed,” Mohrmann said.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Northwest University near Seattle, and a master’s in geology from the University of Montana. He is a licensed professional geologist in the state of Utah.

“Teaching in the natural resource management program for the past five years has been a real privilege,” Mohrmann said. “Many of our students are nontraditional, and several are older than I am. While I was nervous with this at first, I now look at it as quite an honor to be able to teach and work with people who are absolutely dedicated to learning and focused on their goals of working in the outdoors as researchers and scientists.”

“He makes this college shine,” wrote Wayne Arrigo, a nontraditional student who nominated Mohrmann for the adjunct award. “He takes an interest in each student to succeed. CMC should be proud to have Mr. Mohrmann. He is an asset to the faculty of CMC.”

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Leadville 4H Students Win Big at Chaffee County Fair

Last month Leadville students with the 4H Broken Arrow presented their projects at the Chaffee County Fair and Rodeo, and won big! In fact, they got the grand champion on their indoor projects and livestock. Congratulations to Leadville’s 4H Broken Arrow student winners who are Brittany Romero, Shyanne Treddell, and Matthew and Shania Gurule.

Brittany Romero and her prize goose which was bought at auction by the Scanga Ranch in Salida. Photo: 4H Broken Arrow of Leadville

Brittany Romero and her prize goose which was bought at auction by the Scanga Ranch in Salida. Photo: 4H Broken Arrow of Leadville

Held annually (July 22 – 31, 2016) the Chaffee County Fair showcases the biggest pumpkins, the newest gizmos and the toughest rodeo cowgirls and cowboys in the area. It’s also the opportunity to present in compeition all of the hard work of the 4H Broken Arrow of Leadville which included entries in the small animal project, as well as the clothing and fashion categories this year.

Leadville 4H member Brittany Romero’s small animal project featured a goose. This project allows students to raise and manage a small animal. Romero’s goose was bought for $750 at auction by Brittany and Ben with Scanga Ranch an animal farm located in neighboring Salida. Shania and Matthew Gurule also participated in the small animal project with a goat.

4H members Shyanne Tweddeel and Brittany Romero showed off her more creative side during the clothing and fashion project. The 4H students learn how to create their own style in this clothing project.

Shyanne Tweddeel and Brittany Romero Model their Creative Fashion at the 4h competition at the Chaffee County Fair last month.

Shyanne Tweddeel (left) and Brittany Romero (right) model their creative fashions at the 4H competition at the Chaffee County Fair last month. Romero won top honors!

Romero’s creation was a big hit, as she modeled a special dress that she made from magazines! Her genuine design is currently on display at RE+ on Harrison. Romero will also be modeling this dress at the state fair next Saturday, Aug. 20, where it will remain on display for two weeks.

For those unfamiliar with Colorado 4H according to their website, 4-H began a century ago as an educational program for the nation’s rural youth. Today, 4-H meets the needs of and engages young people in positive youth development experiences. These experiences are based on the idea that young people should be regarded as resources to be developed. 2010 marked the state’s centennial of 4-H in Colorado and a renewed commitment to helping shape youth and communities. In looking to the next century, 4-H further develops its programs and continues its motto of “Making the Best Better.”

Matthew Gurule displays the $h Browkn Arrow Members' goat, part of their small animal project this year.

Matthew Gurule displays the $h Browkn Arrow Members’ goat, part of their small animal project this year.

Local Youth Learning Leadership Concepts – for FREE

By Carrie Click, Special to Leadville Today

A group of First Ascent students is perplexed, standing around a life-sized puzzle. It’s part of Colorado Mountain College (CMC) Leadville’s ropes course tucked into the woods adjacent to the campus.

Maggie Friemel, in pink T-shirt, passes a plank to Spencer Ellsperman, far right, as their teammates balance on narrow boards, as part of First Ascent’s team-building activities at Colorado Mountain College Leadville’s ropes course. Friemel and Ellsperman, both from the Roaring Fork Valley, and students from throughout the college’s service area spent a week at the Leadville campus with First Ascent, which combines outdoor challenges with a unique leadership curriculum. Photo Matt Lit

Maggie Friemel, in pink T-shirt, passes a plank to Spencer Ellsperman, far right, as their teammates balance on narrow boards, as part of First Ascent’s team-building activities at Colorado Mountain College Leadville’s ropes course. Friemel and Ellsperman, both from the Roaring Fork Valley, and students from throughout the college’s service area spent a week at the Leadville campus with First Ascent, which combines outdoor challenges with a unique leadership curriculum. Photo Matt Lit

These eighth- and ninth-grade students are trying to figure out how to get their team of 10 to cross a difficult combination of tree stumps and moveable, unstable wood planks.

After the students try, and fall off – several times – their counselor, Kristen Sidor, circles them up.

“Before you started here, did you have a plan?” asks Sidor as the students’ heads collectively shake “no.”

“Start over,” she says. “Ask questions. Make a plan this time.”

After a brief discussion, the group tries again. They are much more methodical in their approach, slowly moving one student at a time. This time, they succeed.

“This helps you get to know everyone really well,” says Karla Gamez, a student from Carbondale, after making it through the gauntlet.

Leadership training at 10,000 feet

Eighth- and ninth-grade students at First Ascent, held at Colorado Mountain College Leadville each summer, learn to trust each other on a ropes course, shown here, in addition to climbing, rafting, hiking and taking part in an interactive leadership skills curriculum. The program is free for up to 40 participants who come from all over the college’s service area. Photo Matt Lit

Eighth- and ninth-grade students at First Ascent, held at Colorado Mountain College Leadville each summer, learn to trust each other on a ropes course, shown here, in addition to climbing, rafting, hiking and taking part in an interactive leadership skills curriculum. The program is free for up to 40 participants who come from all over the college’s service area. Photo Matt Lit

Ropes course problem-solving was one of many leadership and team-building activities 39 students took part in July 10-15 at First Ascent, a week-long, residential camp offered at Colorado Mountain College Leadville. Now in its 22nd year, the program is held each summer for students living in most of CMC’s service area, including Lake County.

Besides solving challenges on the ropes course, campers rock climbed at Camp Hale north of Leadville; summited nearby Mount Elbert, Colorado’s highest peak; and rafted the Arkansas River, all while immersing themselves in an intensive leadership curriculum.

Mariana Velasquez-Schmahl, Colorado Mountain College’s former youth outreach coordinator, created First Ascent, and now serves as the program’s manager.

“Our curriculum has evolved through the years,” Velasquez-Schmahl said, as it strives to inspire students to pursue postsecondary education. “It’s more than just coming here and climbing. These students leave with lifelong leadership skills to initiate positive civic change.”

The program is absolutely free to its participants, thanks to Colorado Mountain College and the program’s sponsor, the J. Robert Young Foundation/Alpine Bank. Because of CMC and this sponsorship, this summer students from a diverse range of backgrounds were able to come, at no charge, from 10 schools in the Roaring Fork and Vail valleys, western Garfield County, Summit County and Oak Creek. Kids from the same school who had never talked to each other finally did, and strangers became friends.

Sponsors support innovative program

Ronaldo Lopez, 14, from Edwards experienced a lot of “firsts” at this year’s program. It was the first time he’d ever rafted, and the first time he’d climbed a mountain – in the United States, that is.

“I used to climb a mountain in Mexico to get to my village, but I hadn’t done it here,” he said. “Plus it’s good to come here and meet new people.”

Silverthorne’s Ali Clarke, 15, said she’d already checked off Mount Elbert on her bucket list but she was still excited to climb the peak again. “I didn’t really know what to expect [at First Ascent],” she said. “It’s interesting. And it’s fun. We’re trying to figure out things together.”

Far left, Austin Rickstrew, a counselor at First Ascent, watches as Morgan Geiger, center, from Oak Creek balances on a cable with her fellow students, from left, Esteban Magana from Silt, Arleth Chavez Martinez from New Castle, Ian Anderson from Dillon and Cassidy Lawson from Frisco. The eighth- and ninth-grade students spent a week at Colorado Mountain College Leadville at First Ascent, which teaches team building, communication, conflict resolution, consensus building, problem solving and trust, while exposing campers to challenging outdoor activities. Photo Matt Lit

Far left, Austin Rickstrew, a counselor at First Ascent, watches as Morgan Geiger, center, from Oak Creek balances on a cable with her fellow students, from left, Esteban Magana from Silt, Arleth Chavez Martinez from New Castle, Ian Anderson from Dillon and Cassidy Lawson from Frisco. The eighth- and ninth-grade students spent a week at Colorado Mountain College Leadville at First Ascent, which teaches team building, communication, conflict resolution, consensus building, problem solving and trust, while exposing campers to challenging outdoor activities. Photo Matt Lit

Counselors and facilitators, such as Junior Ortega, are former First Ascent students – and dedicated First Ascent alumni. First a camper in 2007, this summer Ortega was a facilitator in this, his ninth, year. Sidor, too, like many of her fellow camp staff, is a longtime counselor. This summer’s program marked her seventh year at First Ascent.

Velasquez-Schmahl knows that the teamwork – from Colorado Mountain College, the J. Robert Young Foundation/Alpine Bank, the staff and the students – which surrounds First Ascent is what makes it effective, well-attended and enduring.

“This is a one-of-a-kind program,” she said. “These eighth- and ninth-graders are at such an opportune age to learn leadership concepts. They are the seeds that are being planted now to flourish into leaders.”

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Lake County Class of 2016 Turns Tassels on May 28

Lake County High School Class of 2016 Co-Valedictorins emma Collins nad Charlie Koch give a speech at Last Saturday's Graduation ceremony in Leadville. Photo: Live Stream LCHS

Lake County High School Class of 2016 Co-Valedictorians Emma Collins and Charlie Koch give their speech at Graduation ceremony in Leadville. Photo: Live Stream.

Spac_50Summer Reading Keeps Leadville Kids Learning

By Carol Boorom, Leadville Today Contributor

School is out for summer on June 3, but that doesn’t mean that kids shouldn’t keep learning all summer long!   reading is fundamental

According to Reading is Fundamental:  All young people experience learning losses when they don’t engage in educational activities during the summer.

Here are some ways to still have fun and keep that brain engaged over the summer. Make sure that you carve out time for educational opportunities this summer. 

One way to engage your young reader is by planning a trip to the library. Make sure to sign your kids up for fun and prizes at the Lake County Public Library.  The program this year runs between June 14 to July 28.  

The Lake County Public Libarray keeps kids reading throughout the summer! Photo: Brennan Ruegg/Leadville Today

The Lake County Public Library with help from Mr. Andy keeps kids reading throughout the summer! Photo: Brennan Ruegg/Leadville Today

The library has programs for preschoolers through teenagers.  There are some great prizes for reading from free food, rock treasures, up to a free train ride for a child and an adult.  Plus, there is a raffle and five readers will win either a new bicycle or a new skateboard.  The program includes weekly themes around sports, fitness and health.  Pick up a flyer at the library for more detailed information.  

Make time to read to your children over the summer. Reading in isolation does have some benefits, but reading with your child and having conversations about the text is even more educational. Ask them questions about the story.  If you read the book with them you can discuss deeper meanings, vocabulary, and themes with your child.  You could also invite a few of your child’s friends to read the same book and host a book club meeting.  

From Spring flowers to summer reading programs, the Lake County Public Library (LCPL) is blooming! Photo: LCPL

From spring flowers to summer reading programs, the Lake County Public Library is blooming! Photo: LCPL

Reading more challenging material aloud to your child is also really beneficial to young minds.   Chose a high interest book that would be difficult for them to read on their own. Kids love books like Harry Potter, Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryCharlotte’s WebCheaper by the DozenThe Hobbit and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.  

You can pick up used books at The Matchless Treasure Thrift Store or check in with The Book Mine for more ideas.  Read a chapter a day to them.  This can create lasting memories for a lifetime as well as a love of reading.  Take time to discuss what the author may be thinking and have your child make predictions of what may happen next.  When your child answers a question don’t forget to ask them about their thinking.  What in the text causes them to believe the way that they do?  

Don’t forget about non-fiction text.  Think about the kinds of things that your child is curious about and find non-fiction books or magazines about those subjects.  Kids often enjoy books about how things work.  They can take their learning a step farther and perhaps design a product, create an experiment, or build a model.  

Life moves fast, but if you slow down a bit over the summer you may notice all kinds of opportunities to keep the learning flowing!

Writer Carol Boorom

Writer Carol Boorom

Carol Boorom is an educator, mother and writer. Carol developed her love for Leadville years ago when she began teaching Colorado History.  Since then, she escapes to Leadville whenever she can with her family.   Carol is excited to have finally achieved a goal in buying a home in Leadville and plans on spending more time in the historic city.  In addition to teaching, she was the editor and chief contributor for SoapHub, an online soap opera website and has been published in Valley Living magazine in Denver.   Spac_50

Bujanda, Reveles Receive HMI Merit Scholarships

By Ray McGaughey, HMI Director of Admissions

Lake County High School sophomores Angel Bujanda and Brayhan Reveles are the recipients of this year’s High Mountain Institute (HMI) merit scholarships.

Angel Bujanda

Angel Bujanda

Bujanda, son of Mr. Daniel Bujanda and Ms. Diana Gutierrez, will attend HMI for the fall semester; Reveles, son of Mr. and Mrs. Fernando and Christina Reveles will attend in the spring. The recipients were selected for their commitment to academics, leadership, and involvement in their greater communities. Since inception in 1998, 28 other LCHS students have attended HMI on full scholarships.

The merit scholarships cover the full cost of tuition for each recipient.

Brayhan Reveles

Brayhan Reveles

HMI is a boarding school for high school juniors. Each semester a new group of students travel to Leadville to partake in the school’s rigorous academic curriculum, extended backpacking expeditions, and a small, intentional community.

In addition to the semester program, HMI offers a 5-week Summer Term for high schoolers, a two week backpacking trip for middle schoolers, and a variety of adult programs including wilderness medicine and avalanche awareness training. HMI also partners with Full Circle each summer to offer a free, week-long backpacking program for LCHS 7th and 8th graders.

HMI: Celebrating the Union of Wilderness and Intellect

“Can we have class outside today?” is a question you’re NOT likely to hear at The High Mountain Institute (HMI) in Leadville, as the fact that class WILL be held outside is more than likely.

Two full High Mountain Institute (HMI) scholarships are available to Leadville high school sophomores.

Two full High Mountain Institute (HMI) scholarships are available to Leadville high school sophomores.

Founded in the spirit of combining wilderness and intellectual pursuits, HMI programs combine academic learning with wilderness skills, travel,and connecting to the natural world. HMI focuses on educating teenagers through interaction with the natural world. The school offers semester and summer programs for high-school students and programs for middle-schoolers and adults. For more information, visit their website: LINK.

So as the school year winds down and thoughts turn to summer, here’s the latest blog report from some students at High Mountain Institute and a recent trip they made to Southern Colorado earlier this month. Re-printed with permission.

Semester 36: An Adventure to Southern Colorado

By Dalia Tabachnik, Casey Lake, Teddy Culman, and Fatou Konteh

May 06, 2016

This past week, HMI Semester 36 students spent their Saturday evening and Sunday at a Ranch in Southern  Colorado. There was much anticipation leading up to the trip during the bus ride there. We sang along to songs and stared in awe at the view around us. The trip began with us setting up our tents just outside the main building on the ranch. Once we settled in, we were greeted by the ranch manager and learned a lot about what a conservation easement is and the history of the ranch itself.

At Home on The Range and at this beautiful Ranch in Southern Colorado, High Mountain Institute students report on their recent adventure. Photo: HMI

At Home on The Range and at this beautiful Ranch in Southern Colorado, High Mountain Institute students report on their recent adventure. Photo: HMI

That evening, we enjoyed an absolutely delicious dinner, and got to drink water out of wine glasses – something that made us feel extra fancy! In typical HMI fashion, we ended our day with a nice campfire and fun games. On our final day at the ranch we were able to meet with the ranch’s forest manager, who gave us much insight on how an environmentally friendly ranch operates. Overall it was a great time. We were sad to leave great food, beautiful views, and great hospitality by the ranch owners.  

After departing from the ranch, the semester piled back into the buses. Although we were tired after camping out the night before, everybody was excited to visit the Sand Dunes National Park. In the 45 minute drive to the dunes, shenanigans abounded in the buses. People played games like contact, sang songs, and generally had a good time. When arrived at the park, the race began to get to the highest visible peak of the dunes.

However, we soon faced adversity, first in the form of running water that soaked people’s feet, and later as winds whipped sand directly into our eyes. A group persevered for a time, and eventually made it about 90% of the way to the peak. Once there, there was not opportunity for rest, as the winds made just standing there uncomfortable. However, respite could be found by rolling or sliding down the hill. While that group was hiding under their jackets at the peak, the rest of the semester was much farther down the dunes, on a smaller but quite steep hill. That group was having a great time rolling down the hill or trying, unsuccessfully, to use a baking pan as a sled.

Students from High Mountain Institute in Leadville enjoy the Great Sand Dunes in teh San Luis Valley during a recent venture to Southern Colorado. Photo: HMI

Students from High Mountain Institute in Leadville enjoy the Great Sand Dunes in the San Luis Valley during a recent venture to Southern Colorado. Photo: HMI

When the time came to return to the buses, the semester had to climb back over a ridge, again braving the winds, and then cross the river once more, creating a slosh of sand and water in our boots. We once again climbed back into the buses, brushed the sand out of our eyes, and headed back to campus.

Despite all weekend adventures, the students of HMI hit the books with dedication starting Monday morning. Advanced Placement exams commenced this week, with students completing AP Spanish and AP English Literature tests. A number of major assignments were also due this week, including a US History paper on the broad prompt of “What does it mean to be free?” Heated debates on the topic could be heard ringing through the hallways. All students wrote a creative piece in English class, while Andrew’s Science class spent 3 hours observing a number of different bird species in the Clear Creek valley.  

Amidst the work, a “wildcard” trend has caught speed. Essentially, students attempt to do everything and anything unexpected. This may include excessively spicing a select few meatballs, or turning in an entirely blank essay.

For the past couple of days, everyone here has been walking around in shorts and sandals in the “balmy” 55 degree heat. With this warm weather, running has certainly been more enjoyable as well! Two days ago, students tackled a challenging 2 mile “negative split run,” where we had to run back from the thawing Beaver Ponds faster than we had ran there. With “prom-posals” starting this week and square dance coming up this Saturday, there’s plenty to look forward to here at HMI!

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Students Eradicate Styrofoam in School District

To mark Earth Day, Lake County Intermediate School (LCIS) students will be recognized for their leadership in eliminating the use of Styrofoam in Lake County School District.styrofoam

On Friday, April 22, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Shaun McGrath will present the President’s Environmental Youth Award to a group of LCIS fourth grade students at a school assembly. The students are being recognized for initiating a program, called Styrofoam Stoppers, to eliminate the use of Styrofoam in food service across the school district.   Congratulations! Go Panthers!Spac_50

Greater Heights Students at Art Museum on Sunday

Then on Sunday, April 24 Leadville students from Great Heights Academy will attend the end of the year performance for HOPE’s Arts Across Cultures program. Greater Heights_Arts at DAMThis special arts program “Where’s the WORD?” will be presented at the Denver Art Museum, giving students the added benefit of seeing one of the state’s leading cultural venues.

Arts Across Cultures is a year-round arts program at two HOPE Learning Centers in Denver, Victory at Hillcrest and I AM. Throughout the year, students in K-12th grades have had the opportunity to meet and work with local artists in a variety of mediums from dance to music and visual arts. This performance will showcase their learning throughout the last year.Spac_50

CMC Graduation Set for May 6 in Leadville 

Spring commencement ceremonies for Colorado Mountain College students in Leadville and Buena Vista will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. Friday, May 6, in the Climax Molybdenum Leadership Center at CMC’s Leadville campus.

Colorado Mountain College graduate Hannah Davis was all smiles at last May's commencement ceremony in Leadville. Photo Kelley Cox.

CMC graduate Hannah Davis was all smiles at last May’s graduation in Leadville. Photo Kelley Cox.

This ceremony celebrates graduates earning bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, and certificates of occupational proficiency. The keynote speaker will be Ellen Galbraith, senior manager of mountain operations at Beaver Creek Resort. 

A reception for graduates and their guests will be held on campus immediately after the ceremonies. Contact Mary Laing at 486-4211 or mlaing@coloradomtn.edu for more information.Spac_50

VP Taylor To Leave CMC Leadville for Utah

Dr. James Taylor, vice president for Colorado Mountain College (CMC) in Leadville has accepted the position of executive director of Utah State University, Uintah Basin. His last day at CMC will be May 31.

James Taylor, VP @CMC

James Taylor leaves CMC for Utah

Before launching a search process to find a successor to Dr. Taylor, CMC President Carrie Hauser will convene a special committee to assist her in considering how to best position the campus and its next leader with long-term success.

The group will conduct listening sessions with students, faculty, staff and community members in both Lake and Chaffee counties. Dates for these sessions and an interim leader will be named prior to Taylor’s departure in May. President Hauser also plans to spend additional time in Leadville and Chaffee County during the summer months to support the transition.Spac_50

 New High School Principal Cairns Selected 

The Lake County School District announced yesterday the appointment of Ben Cairns as principal of Lake County High School.

Lake County High School District Ben CairnsCairns currently serves as the principal of DSST Cole High School in Denver, where he has led the school since its founding in 2013. Prior to this position, Cairns served as the Assistant Principal at Cole Arts and Science Academy for two years and at North High School as the Restorative Justice Coordinator / Dean of Culture for five years.

Cairns’ current school, DSST Cole High School, has a demographic profile similar to Lake County with 72% of students qualifying for free or reduced lunch and 25% English language learners. The school has received accolades for closing the achievement gap, meaning that its lower income students have begun to perform as well as their high income peers on some standardized assessments.

Cairns pursued the principal position in Lake County because of a strong affinity for Leadville’s student population; a belief in and experience with the reforms LCSD is undertaking; and a desire to live with his family in a small mountain town. Cairns’ wife and two school-age sons will join him in moving to Leadville this summer.

After a comprehensive search, five candidates participated in an in-depth interview process for the position. Lake-County-High-School-Exterior-WEBSuperintendent Wendy Wyman selected Cairns because of his strong experience as a school leader and demonstrated track record of leading schools and students to high levels of academic achievement.

 “We are so honored by the caliber of candidates who reached out to us during the search,” said Superintendent Wyman. Wyman also expressed thanks to the many staff, students and community members who participated in the process. Current principal Christina Gosselin will lead LCHS through the end of the current school year.

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Reunion Time for High Mountain Institute Students

It was Family Weekend at High Mountain Institute (HMI) in Leadville and beautiful early spring weather set the stage as Semester 36 students reunited with parents and siblings after two months apart. It was hugs and smiles all around, with lots of stories to share.

Students arrive at Head of School, Danny O'Brien's, house on April 2 to greet their parents for the first time in two months! Photo: High Mountain Institute.

Students arrive at Head of School, Danny O’Brien’s, house on April 2 to greet their parents for the first time in two months! Photo: High Mountain Institute.

The High Mountain Institute was founded by Leadville’s Christopher and Molly Barnes in the spirit of combining wilderness and intellectual pursuits. The school’s programs combine academic learning with wilderness skills, travel, and connecting to the natural world. On the trail, the students study the human connection to the natural world, and learn new leadership skills. In addition, Students takes college-preparatory academic classes in English, science, history, math, and foreign language at HMI. 

HMI is one of several semester schools that is  often recognized alternative to the typical path of four years of secondary schooling, and HMI’s mission and vision remain unique in the realm of 21st century education.

High Mountain Institute Apprentice Mary Gianotti teaches class in the field. Photo: HMI

High Mountain Institute Apprentice Mary Gianotti teaches class in the field. Photo: HMI

After leaving HMI, alumni repeatedly report increased confidence, improved academic performance, affinity for positive communities, and passion for exercising their new leadership skills toward building community and solving substantive challenges.  

Today, HMI has over 1,000 alumni from across the country from its Semester School and summer programs and is recognized nationally as a leader in progressive education. The educational institution is a non-profit organization. For more information, visit their website: LINK.

High Mountain Institute math instructor Dylan Kane teaches

High Mountain Institute math instructor Dylan Kane teaches “quigloo” techniques. Photo: HMI

Spac_50School’s Back in Session for Leadville Students

Leadville schools are back in session after a (hopefully) wonderful Spring Break session for students, faculty and staff!

The Lake County High School (LCHS) Chamber Choir, vocal music director Scott Carroll (tuxedo) and chaperons pose for a picture at Times Square during their recent trip to New York City. You can see the students perform in Leadville at their upcoming Spring Band Concert on Thursday April 14 from 7 - 9 p.m. in the LCHS auditorium. Photo: Lake County School District Facebook Page.

The Lake County High School (LCHS) Chamber Choir, vocal music director Scott Carroll (tuxedo) and chaperons pose for a picture at Times Square during their recent trip to New York City. You can see the students perform in Leadville at their upcoming Spring Band Concert on Thursday April 14 from 7 – 9 p.m. in the LCHS auditorium. Photo: Lake County School District Facebook Page.

High School Wins Award for Construction Company

Adolfson & Peterson Construction (AP) announced yesterday that its work on the Lake County High School Addition and Renovations has earned the company a National Excellence in Construction Eagle Award from the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Lake-County-High-School-Exterior-WEBin the Institutional $10 to $25 million project category. Representatives from the company received the award March 2 during ABC’s 26th annual Excellence in Construction Awards celebration in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

“Associated Builders and Contractors is honored to recognize Adolfson & Peterson Construction with a well-deserved Excellence in Construction Eagle Award for their commitment to high quality construction, innovation and safety in their work on Lake County High School,” said 2016 ABC National Chair David Chapin, president of Willmar Electric Service, Lincoln, Neb. “AP’s performance is a great example of the impressive work Associated Builders and Contractors’ member companies produce and we are happy to claim this project for the merit shop construction industry.”

The renovations and addition to the existing Lake County High School created a high-performing, 21st-century learning environment for students while reflecting Leadville’s natural environment and history. The entire school is now outfitted with new technology, security camera system, 65-inch LCD screens in each classroom, and new furniture.Spac_50

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According to the press release, situated at an elevation of 10,152 feet, Leadville is the highest incorporated city in the United States. With an average of 278 days annually with freezing temperatures, extensive planning was taken by the project team for the harsh seasonal conditions. The project was completed during a winter with so much snow the school district canceled school for a snow day for only the second time in 100 years.

Working on a fully occupied campus also located across from the hospital required coordinating steel erection with emergency helicopter flights. The school was open for both the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years. The project encompassed three separate additions that nearly doubled the size of the school. A new high school classroom 50,000-sf addition – a double stacked wing – includes up-to-date science labs and wireless connection throughout, making every area a learning environment. Two small additions to an administrative area and around a stairway completed the 114,000 total square footage of the new school.

Members from the Adolfson & Peterson Construction team accept the Excellence in Construction Eagle Award for their work on the Lake County High School.

Members from the Adolfson & Peterson Construction team accept the Excellence in Construction Eagle Award for their work on the Lake County High School.

The Excellence in Construction Awards program is the industry’s leading competition, developed to honor innovative and high-quality merit shop construction projects with eagle awards presented to the top project in each category. The award honors all construction team members, including the contractor, owner, architect and engineer. The winning projects, selected from entries submitted from across the nation, were judged on complexity, attractiveness, unique challenges overcome, completion time, workmanship, innovation, safety and cost.

A panel of industry experts served as the competition’s judges. This year’s panel included representatives from the Design-Build Institute of America, Engineering News-Record, the Construction Users Roundtable, and the National Association of Women in Construction, and representatives from higher education, among others.

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EMTs, Firefighters Trained, Learn Locally at CMC

The first responder to the next fire or medical emergency in Lake County will likely be a graduate of Colorado Mountain College (CMC).

CMC faculty member and Leadville/Lake County Fire Rescue Capt. Sean Simon hands out awards at the December Fire Academy I graduation at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville. Behind him, left to right, are instructors Brandon Drury (partially visible), Taylor Reifschneider and Andrew Majeski. Majeski and Drury also work with Leadville/Lake County Fire Rescue and Reifschneider is with Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue. Graduating students are, left to right, Tony Crisofulli, Devin Parker, Justin Boyd, Benjamin Lysdahl, Jon Orthmeyer, Keith Dudley, Phillip Porter, Jonathan Fisher, Joshua Wolf and Blake Kerrigan. Eighteen firefighters were in the 2015 graduating class.

CMC faculty member and Leadville/Lake County Fire Rescue Capt. Sean Simon hands out awards at the December Fire Academy I graduation at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville. Behind him, left to right, are instructors Brandon Drury (partially visible), Taylor Reifschneider and Andrew Majeski. Graduating students left to right, Tony Crisofulli, Devin Parker, Justin Boyd, Benjamin Lysdahl, Jon Orthmeyer, Keith Dudley, Phillip Porter, Jonathan Fisher, Joshua Wolf and Blake Kerrigan. Eighteen firefighters were in the 2015 graduating class.

Since 2012, many area firefighters and emergency medical technicians have taken classes or graduated locally from either the college’s fire science technology or emergency medical services programs, providing essential services to their hometowns.

CMC – Leadville offers fire science classes and Certificates in Fire Academy I and an Associate of Applied Science degree are available through the college, in a hybrid format, a combination of in-person and on-line learning. In fact, last December, 18 students graduated from the Fire Academy I in Leadville.

And it’s not unusual that many of these students are local. In 2014-15, 75 percent of all students at the Leadville campus came from within the Colorado Mountain College district.

Hands-on training leads to quick employment for firefighters

Andy Majeski works for Leadville/Lake County Fire Rescue and said he was working for Salida Fire Rescue when he obtained a grant through the Colorado State Firefighters Association to further his education at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville. The STRIVE grant covered up to $5,000 in tuition and books for an academic year.

At December's Fire Academy I graduation at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville, graduates finally were able to wear the blue shirts the students made. Students wear red shirts until they graduate and become firefighters; then they can wear blue. Left to right are graduating students Blake Kerrigan, Jon Orthmeyer (with back to camera) and Phillip Porter.

At December’s Fire Academy I graduation at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville, graduates finally were able to wear the blue shirts the students made. Students wear red shirts until they graduate and become firefighters; then they can wear blue. Left to right are graduating students Blake Kerrigan, Jon Orthmeyer (with back to camera) and Phillip Porter.

At CMC, in his late 30s, he earned certificates in both Fire Academy I and EMT Basic. A resident of Poncha Springs, he currently is also an assistant fire instructor in the program.

“I know a lot of other fire science programs don’t have nearly as much hands-on training and fire burn experience,” he said. “Last year we had 13 live-fire days, and other academies may have only one.” The CMC program features a live-fire training facility in Dotsero, Colo.

Majeski said having instructors with real-world firefighting experience is another plus adding “That also helps you get a leg up when it comes to finding a job.”

He had intended to return to Salida, but a few openings surfaced in Leadville. “I’d worked with some of the guys on the department through the CMC program and I liked how they did things,” he said. “I’m planning to stick around now.”

Dave Truesdell has worked for Leadville Fire Rescue for the past several months, after earning a Fire Academy I certification from CMC. He is working toward earning his associate degree in fire science technology, and afterward wants to stay in the Leadville area.

“I think the program has been a big plus because it helps bring more people to Leadville,” Truesdell said.

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Leadville School News You Can Use: Education Up High

Students at Great Heights Academy in Leadville practice their abstract moose watercolor techniques during art class. Nice work! Photo: Great Heights Academy Facebook Page.

Students at Great Heights Academy in Leadville practice their abstract moose watercolor techniques during art class. Nice work! Photo: Greater Heights Academy.

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Paying It Forward, Thanks to Education at CMC

By Carrie Click

Jennifer Penn is a Denver native, but a couple of years ago she wanted to be anywhere but her hometown.

“I needed to reinvent myself,” said the 42-year-old, who was ending an unsuccessful 17-year marriage and living in a transitional home with 16 women.

After supporting herself for years tending bar, she secured a job at a Subway sandwich shop in Denver.

Jennifer Penn works part time at the front desk at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville while going to school. She came from Denver to earn her associate degree in social work and will graduate in May. Photo: CMC Dean of Students, Skip Lee

Jennifer Penn works part time at the front desk at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville while going to school. She came from Denver to earn her associate degree in social work and will graduate in May. Photo: CMC Dean of Students, Skip Lee

Still, she longed to get out of the city, so on a hunch, she called the Subway in Leadville to ask if there were any jobs available there, away from a past she was ready to leave behind.

To Penn’s delight, Dixie Mullaly, the owner, said yes, and also told her there was a college in Leadville.

“And she told me there were dorms at the college – a community college with dorms!” Penn said. “I could live cheaply and get on my feet.”

Studying for degree in social work

This was the beginning of a new life for Penn, particularly when she discovered that Colorado Mountain College’s Leadville campus offered an Associate of Arts degree in social work. After doing some research, she realized she could take her challenging life experiences, educate herself and use that knowledge to help others.

“It’s my goal and intention to help other women overcome the challenges I have met,” she said.

This May, Penn will graduate with her degree in social work. She credits her “amazing teachers” and Christine Londos, the program coordinator for the Leadville campus’s TRIO Success Center, with supporting her in her academic goals.

“Christine has been an important part of my success in school and I work closely with her all the time,” said Penn.

After graduation, Penn is transferring to Metropolitan State University in Denver for her bachelor’s degree in social work. And while there, she also plans to earn another degree, a Bachelor of Science concentrating on addiction and human trafficking prevention.

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Intermediate School Wins Colorado Health Award

On February 17, the Colorado Education Initiative announced that Lake County Intermediate School (LCIS) in Leadville was being recognized for their success at creating a healthy school environment and implementing effective school health efforts. The Lake County School District (LCSD) confirmed that they had won the top award for the Healthy School Champions program: the $7,500 2016 Platinum Governor’s Award.

“LCIS is a school that has undergone a remarkable culture change from one year to the next,” said Kerri Quinlan, LCSD Health & Wellness Coordinator. “This coordinated school-wide effort is worthy of recognition!”

Three cheers for the

Three cheers for the “Lunch Ladies!” as the Lake County Intermediate School (LCIS) is being recognized for being a healthy school. Photo: Leadville Today

The school district reported that Lake County High School was also recognized as a Bronze recipient ($1000) and West Park Elementary as an Excellence awardee ($500) for their work on Health and Behavioral Health services and Healthy Celebrations and the West Park Playground Project respectively.

Healthy schoolThe Healthy School Champions program is now in its sixth year and has awarded more than $250,000 in awards to Colorado schools. With the support of The Colorado Health Foundation, schools have received awards ranging from $300 to $7,500 per school.

The school district’s efforts will be recognized at the 2016 Colorado Healthy Schools Summit: The Power of Collective Impact event on March 4 in Denver.
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Schools: Storytime, Scholarships, Skate Skiing to State

Making literature come alive is Lake County Public Library Storyteller Andrew Lee. The library holds Storytime on Thursdays. For times and themes: LINK. Photo Brennan Ruegg/Leadville Today

Making literature come alive is Lake County Public Library Storyteller Andrew Lee. The library holds Storytime every Thursday. For schedule and themes: LINK. Photo Brennan Ruegg/Leadville Today

Spac_50HMI Solicits Scholarship Apps from Sophomores

Did you know that the root of the word sophomore translates in some Greek etomology circles as “wise fool.” Perhaps that’s appropriate for second year students, who are expected to know the how and why of everything. While at the same time, the term sophomoric implies a certain level of immaturity, and is often, accompanied with an apology.

Two full High Mountain Institute (HMI) scholarships are available to Leadville high school sophomores.

Two High Mountain Institute (HMI) scholarships are available to Leadville high school sophomores.

Regardless, if you know any “wise fools” at Lake County High School (LCHS) you should make them aware of this great opportunity from High Mountain Institute (HMI), located right here in Leadville.

Here’s the official word about how LCHS Sophomores can apply from Ray McGaughey, HMI Director of Admissions:

Is your son or daughter a sophomore at LCHS? Applications for the two full High Mountain Institute (HMI) scholarships are due February 15th. LCHS sophomores apply to spend a semester of their junior year as a boarding student at HMI. For more info and to apply,click here.
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Choosing Your Child’s School: the 5 Ws and How?

The Little Red Schoolhouse south of town at the Malta Curve is one of the most photographed scenes in Lake County. And rightfully so.

The Old Malta Schoolhouse's fresh coat of red paint looks a stark contrast against October's bright blue skies in Leadville. The new paint (2015) came compliments of some High Mountain Institute students - well done!

The Old Malta Schoolhouse’s fresh coat of red paint looks a stark contrast against October’s bright blue skies in Leadville. The new paint (2015) came compliments of some High Mountain Institute students – well done!

Officially known as The Malta Schoolhouse, this quaint educational institution was built in 1902 after the original schoolhouse burned down. This “second” Malta School operated from 1902 to 1945.

But for photographers, it’s the school’s dramatic backdrop of the Mosquito Range – especially then it’s covered in snow – that makes that bright red color POP. Then, of course, there’s the nostalgia of the one room schoolhouse, a throwback to a much simpler time in education, many years ago.

The Little Red Schoolhouse is duly noted today, in honor of National School Choice Week. Yep, that’s right every January – this year from the 24-30 – is held to raise the public’s awareness of all types of education options for children. Greater_Heights_EnrollThese options include traditional public schools, public charter schools, magnet schools, online learning, private schools, Catholic schools, and homeschooling.

Choices are good. It’s healthy for a community to have options. So, to celebrate the 5th Annual National School Choice Week, Leadville Today is posting a news story by a group of student journalists from Greater Heights Academy in Leadville. Ms. Gibson’s middle-schoolers learned the who, what, why where, when (5 Ws) and how of what makes a good interview (SEE STORY). Then, they interviewed Leadville businessman and Melanzana owner Fritz Howard.

Posted below is their story, plus a link to the entire “The Monthly Heights” Newsletter from Greater Heights Academy. The students did a good job, and you might even find some “breaking business news” in their interview – looks like they asked all the right questions! Well done!Spac_50

Leadville’s Melanzana: Original, Functional, Soulful!

By Ms. Gibson’s Middle School Class

Living in Leadville, it would not take very long to hear about a successful and thriving business that has been around now for over 20 years. Having a Melanzana is a must have for the Leadville locals!

The middle school class from Greater Heights Academy was excited to have the opportunity to interview Fritz Howard, owner of Melanzana, and Jenny David, (a gem of a seamstress). Fritz started the interview with a tour of the building showing off the enormous rolls of fabric in the back, to the personalized work stations the professional seamstresses each have.

Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015 Greater Heights Academy students from Ms. Gibson’s middle school class interviewed Fritz Howard and Jenny David from Melanzana. Photo: Neysha Gibson.

Last December Ms. Gibson’s middle school students from Greater Heights Academy interviewed Melanzana’s Fritz Howard and Jenny David. Photo: Neysha Gibson.

Seventh grader Tyra Chavez, began the interview with a brief introduction, “Hello, my name is Tyra Chavez we are here for the interview.Thanks for having us here today.”

“Yep, thanks for being here,” said Fritz Howard, the founder and owner of Melanzana.

Another seventh grader, Skylar Nacke was curious when the busiest times of the year is.

“Around Christmas and August.” Fritz quickly pointed out.

The ever-popular Melanzana Hoodie.

The ever-popular Melanzana Hoodie.

Seventh grade student Taylor Duel would point out that we all have our own favorite Melly, but wanted to know what the most popular item is to the customers.

“What you’re wearing now, the microgrid hoodie” Fritz said.

However eighth grader Allie Collins was curious about which item Fritz would pick out as a personal favorite. A smile reached across each face as Fritz replied, “The Melanzana dress, it is also our newest so that is probably why it’s my favorite.” Though we probably will never see Fritz in one it was certainly interesting to know that is his favorite melly.

The microgrid hoodie (displayed on the left) is a simple multicolored hoodie (hood and sleeve/ body). It can tighten around the neck and face as much as desired. The melanzana dress (displayed on the right) is a dress with an adjustable hood, and pockets. It can also be multicolored.

“Who comes up with these design ideas?” asked Taylor Duel.

“Um, well it’s kind of a group effort. Everyone works together to make them, but I come up with the original design ideas.” Fritz answered.Melanzana Logo

Sixth grade student Haylee Gerbitz wanted to know more about Fritz, “What did you see yourself doing when you were a child?”

“I wanted to be a vet” Fritz replied to Haylee.

Though mellys are made and worn for so many activities we, as a class, were curious what they were originally designed for, so Angelo stepped in and asked.

It did not take long for Fritz to respond, “I thought they would be used for kayaking and rafting instructors.”

Then sixth grader Hayden Gerbitz began asking his questions. “Do you sponsor anything?”

“Yes, a lot of things.” Melanzana sponsors the local snowboarding team at Ski Cooper. Another project that really stood out to the middle school class was a program called Rebuild Ghormu, Melanzana donated 150 hats, to the village of Ghormu, where 40 out of 42 homes have been destroyed, along with its surrounding villages. Tents and sleeping bags have been donated as well. This act of kindness displays the impact that this business has on not only Leadville, but on other communities as well.

Fritz's favorite: The Melly Dress

Melanzana Owner Fritz’s favorite: The Melly Dress

Howard was asked about colors and who picks them out. According to him “The seamstresses find colors that they like at the fabric company we use.” Their fabric company (Malden Mills) is located in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

Alex Velasquez, hoping to put Howard on the spot asked, “Where do you find your success?”

Howard replied without hesitation, “I find it in my employees, and having a comfortable, happy workplace.”

Angelo Rivera asked one last question, “If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be and why?”

“I don’t think I would want to change anything except expanding into the building next door.” Fritz responded.

Jenny David, (a professional seamstress at Melanzana and sixth grade student Sydney’s mother) was next to be overwhelmed with our questions.

Skylar started off the questions with, “How do you like your job at Melanzana?”

“I love it, it’s the best job I’ve ever had!” said Jenny. (Of course, Howard was still present)

Melanzana Helped Victims of Nepal Earthquake Leadville’s outdoor wear manufacturer, Melanzana recently reported via their Facebook page that they donated 150 hats to the village of Ghormu in Nepal where 40 out of 42 homes have been destroyed by recent earthquakes. The hats, along with donated tents and sleeping bags are being distributed to the people of Ghormu and surrounding villages. Donations are still being accepted. If you would like to donate, go to Rebuild Ghormu‘s site. Photo: Melanzana Facebook Page.

Leadville’s outdoor wear manufacturer, Melanzana donated 150 hats to the village of Ghormu in Nepal where 40 out of 42 homes had been destroyed by earthquakes. The hats, along with donated tents and sleeping bags were distributed to the people of Ghormu and surrounding villages. Photo: Melanzana Facebook Page.

“Have you always liked sewing?” Allie asked Jenny. “Yes I’ve always enjoyed sewing, I learned how to sew when I was around Sydney’s age.”

“Why did you choose to work here?” asked Haylee.

“Well the pay was good and I’ve always enjoyed sewing.”

Sarah Benton, another 6th grader asked, “Do you wear Melanzana often?”

“Yes, all the time, especially the dress.” she answered.Sydney asked her mom what the most rewarding part of her job was. Being able to provide for her kids was Jenny’s quick reply, but Sydney pointed out all of the amazing clothes her mom has made over the years!

Melanzana is a business that anyone could learn about just by going to their website. However, to be able to see the building and talk to the people behind the scenes is what it is all about according to Ms. Gibson’s middle school class!

Melanzana is located at 716 Harrison Ave. in downtown Leadville. You can contact them at 719-486-3245. For more information, visit them at melanzana.com.

Students from Neysha Gipson’s class at Great Heights Academy sit ready to learn the Who, What, Why, When, Where, and How of journalism from Leadville Today Publisher Kathy Bedell during a lesson in journalism last November. The up and coming reporters learned the Inverted Pyramid – New Writing Model in preparation for the newsletter they started for their school.

Students from Neysha Gibson’s class at Great Heights Academy sit ready to learn the Who, What, Why, When, Where, and How of journalism from Leadville Today Publisher Kathy Bedell during a lesson in journalism last November. The up and coming reporters learned the Inverted Pyramid – New Writing Model in preparation for the newsletter they started for their school. Photo: Leadville Today.

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Greater Heights Academy Newsletter
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Leadville School News

Congratulations and Best Wishes to Joshua Scurles , a native of Leadville, Colorado, who graduated Summa Cum Laude from Metro State University on December 12, 2015. Joshua was a double bachelor’s degree graduate, obtaining a degree in Environmental Science and a degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics. Joshua plans to continue his education with an internship in Finland. Scurles is the son of Carol Mestas. Way to go Josh!

Congratulations and Best Wishes to Joshua Scurles, a native of Leadville, Colorado, who graduated Summa Cum Laude from Metro State University on December 12, 2015. Joshua was a double bachelor’s degree graduate, obtaining a degree in Environmental Science and a degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics. Joshua plans to continue his education with an internship in Finland. Scurles is the son of Carol Mestas. Way to go Josh!

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Students from Neysha Gipson’s class at Great Heights Academy sit ready to learn the Who, What, Why, When, Where, and How of journalism from Leadville Today Publisher Kathy Bedell. The up and coming reporters learned the Inverted Pyramid – New Writing Model in preparation for a newsletter they plan to start for their school. They’re first interview will be for the community news section and include an interview with local business owner Fritz Howard of Melanzana. Once their story is finished Leadville Today will also publish the story so that it may friends and relatives far and wide may also see their good works. Stay Tuned!

Students from Neysha Gipson’s class at Great Heights Academy sit ready to learn the Who, What, Why, When, Where, and How of journalism from Leadville Today Publisher Kathy Bedell. The up and coming reporters learned the Inverted Pyramid – News Writing Model in preparation for a newsletter they plan to start for their school. Their first story will be for the community news section and include an interview with Fritz Howard of Melanzana. When their story is finished Leadville Today will also publish the story online so that friends and relatives far and wide may also see their good works!


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The Center and their families celebrated Thanksgiving a week early on Thursday, Nov. 19 with a traditional meal of turkey, stuffing and all the fixins, complete with pumpkin pie! It’s great to see everyone come together and be grateful – Happy Thanksgiving to everyone at the Lake County School District.

The Center and their families celebrated Thanksgiving a week early on Thursday, Nov. 19 with a traditional meal of turkey, stuffing and all the fixins, complete with pumpkin pie! It’s great to see everyone come together and be grateful – Happy Thanksgiving to everyone at the Lake County School District.

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Spac_50Disney’s Beauty & the Beast to Hit the LCHS Stage

by Brennan Ruegg, Leadville Today Contributor
The Lake County High School (LCHS) Performing Arts Department is getting ready to roll out another memorable musical after months of hard work and collaboration. The classic tale of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is coming to life on the LCHS stage this Friday, Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m.

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It’s a “closed set” for the upcoming performance of “Beauty and the Beast” at Lake County High School, but Leadville Today was able to get a sneak peak for readers! Shows start this weekend. Photo: Brennan Ruegg/Leadville Today.

With help from a production and design team of 18, a cast of 31 Lake County students will be performing 4 shows, putting on display the elaborate result of so many combined efforts.

This is the classic story of a grand castle where young and beautiful Belle discovers Beast and his servants the victim of an enchantress’ curse. As arrogant Gaston competes for Belle’s affections, Beast must learn of love and be loved before he and his castle’s servants are forever sealed in their enchanted state.

At the top of the bill are student actors Jessica Jardee in the role of Belle, Grey Finnell as Beast, and Tanner Herron as Gaston. The rest of the principal cast filled out by Makala Schnablegger, Elizabeth Smeltzer, Destiny Mascarenas, Alex Kinnel, Elizabeth Camp, Annemarie Duel, Jordan Sanchez, Jude Hill and Noah Miller.

Prepare to be amazed with a cast of more than two dozen and a design team to back them up! Photo: Brennan Ruegg/Leadville Today.

Prepare to be amazed with a cast of more than two dozen and a design team to back them up! Photo: Brennan Ruegg/Leadville Today.

The technical/design team, with students at the ropes and lightboard, has constructed a detailed and bedecked set of Beast’s Castle and a light/sound design both to be immensely proud of, and secretive about. In fact, no one has seen the set except the cast and crew, at their request!

There is no other operating theater in Leadville, and the Performing Arts Department knows they have a big job to present a show to fill us up for the entire year.

“The students have worked their tails off,” says LCHS Artistic Director Scott Carroll, himself sounding excitedly exhausted, “We are bringing a high level quality of theatre, and they have a lot of heart and soul to do it.”

Scott Carroll, in his second year at the post, is stage director for the play, working alongside musical director Donna Schaefer, associate musical director Jon Cole, assistant director and stage manager Aislyn Marshall, volunteer coordinator Melissa Hill, and choreography/stunt team Makinsey Harmon, Ben Wells, and Sarah Wells.

Adapted from the animated film, this version for the stage features original songs by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, along with new songs by Alan Menken and Tim Rice. The live show has played on stages all over the world, landing finally here, in Leadville, Colo. The production is sponsored primarily by People’s Bank, and in part by Aspen Leaf Realty, Independence Realty, and the Elks.

Performances run for two weekends: Fridays Nov. 6 & 13 @ 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays, Nov. 7 & 14 @ 2 p.m. Tickets for the entire run of the production are currently on sale by calling (719) 486-6888 (extension 2019) or online: HERE. Adult tickets are $10 and student, child, and senior tickets are $6.

Brennan Ruegg is a lover of the theater, but never quite sure if his role is beauty or the beast!Spac_50

It was a bit cold, but the skies were blue for Saturday morning's Lake County High School's Homecoming Parade. The Panthers lost the football game to Grand Valley (Parachute) 21-52. The game also marked the end of Trevor Kerrigan and Isaac Dorsey's high school football careers, as both are graduating seniors. On a high note, Kerrigan was crowned Homecoming King at halftime with Allie Chavez as the Homecoming Queen. Congratulations to all. Go Panthers! Photos: Meghan Buzan.

It was a bit cold, but the skies were blue for Saturday morning’s Lake County High School’s Homecoming Parade. The Panthers lost the Halloween football game to Grand Valley (Parachute) 21-52. The game also marked the end of Trevor Kerrigan and Isaac Dorsey’s high school football careers, as both are graduating seniors. On a high note, Kerrigan was crowned Homecoming King at halftime with Allie Chavez as the Homecoming Queen. Congratulations to all. Go Panthers! Photo: Meghan Buzan.

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Rain or shine, your Lake County School District Administrative Team is there for its students! Photo: Meghan Buzan.

Rain or shine, your Lake County School District Administrative Team is there for its students! Sunny skies ahead! Photo: Meghan Buzan.

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The Old Malta Schoolhouse's fresh coat of red paint looks a stark contrast against October's bright blue skies in Leadville. The new paint came compliments of some High Mountain Institute students - well done!

The Old Malta Schoolhouse’s fresh coat of red paint looks a stark contrast against October’s bright blue skies in Leadville. The new paint came compliments of some hard working, generous High Mountain Institute students – well done! Readers can check out the latest HMI student blog by clicking: HERE

Spac_50Meet and Greet Tonight for Educ. Rep. Joyce Rankin

All community members are invited to meet the new State Board of Education Representative,  tonight (Oct. 16) from 5:30 – 7 p.m. at the Lake County High School. Come and get to know the new representative, help her get to know Lake County, and provide input about the future of education in Colorado.

  • 5:30 – 6 p.m. – Conversation & refreshments
  • 6 – 6:30.p.m –  Joyce Rankin, remarks
  • 6:30 – 7 p.m. –  Community conversation
  • 7 p.m. – Home football game vs. Paonia!

The schools will also be collecting canned goods at this event for the October Neighbors Helping Neighbors Lake County Food Drive. “Bring a Can, Be a Fan,” and receive a free ticket to the evening football game! Go Panthers!

New Board of Education Rep. Joyce Rankin

Board of Education Rep. Joyce Rankin

Joyce Rankin was appointed in August 2015 by the Third Congressional District Republican Central Committee to fill a mid-term vacancy in the 3rd Congressional District seat on the State Board of Education. Her term will expire in January 2017.

Rankin grew up in Allen Park, a suburb of Detroit, Michigan. Inspired by her 5th grade teacher, she told her parents she wanted to be a teacher. Following graduation with a degree in Elementary Education from Michigan State University she traveled to California where she began her teaching career in the fifth grade. She received her master’s degree and administrative credential from California State University at San Jose and served as an elementary school principal.Spac_50

H. S. Students Invited to First Generation College Day

Colorado Mountain College (CMC) in Leadville is hosting the third annual First Generation College Day from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. next Friday, Oct. 23. CMC First GenerationThe event is being held on a day when Leadville schools are not in session. The free event is for high school students preparing for college and future careers, and their family members.

The day will start with a welcome, registration and light breakfast at 8:30 a.m., followed by workshop sessions at 9:30 a.m. Workshops will cover the college application process, scholarship search and placement strategies, and college prep programs including earning college credit while in high school. Lunch and an activity will take place at 12:30 p.m., and a student panel will close out the day. Prizes and t-shirts will also be offered to participants.

All events will be held at the Climax Molybdenum Leadership Center at CMC’s Leadville campus, 901 S. Highway 24. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. on the day of the event in the Climax Building. Questions? Call Jan Krueger at 719-486-4266.

One response to “Schools

  1. Pingback: Congratulations, Retirees! - Lake County School District

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