East Grand School Board celebrates Middle Park student academic projects
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with names of students who presented at the meeting.
At its second community board meeting of the year, the East Grand School District board met in the Middle Park High School library. Like they did when meeting last month in the East Grand Middle School library, the board heard from a few of the school’s students.
Middle Park Principal Cindy Rimmer introduced each of the student speakers, who presented to the board at the start of its semimonthly meeting.
“I’m really excited because tonight we’re going to have a little smattering of a variety of academic and involvement type of activities,” Rimmer said. “We have some wonderful kids that are here to share with you tonight.”
Rimmer said the first presentation was a celebration because sophomore Sabra Forquer spoke to the board about winning the Silver Key award in the Colorado Art Region of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for her painting “Scratching the Surface”.
“We were doing still life in art class,” Forquer said. “I like to go above and beyond with a few things, so I was like, ‘Hey, I’m a little late on my project because I’ve taken a little time, could I take a week or two more to finish this?’ and Ms. (Justine) Sawyer gladly let me finish it.”
The high school paid for Forquer’s entry fee for the competition, and out of around 5,000 submissions, hers made the top 10% of entries, earning her the Silver Key award. This month, Forquer and other students’ art will hang in the Denver Art Museum, where an awards ceremony will take place this Saturday.
Next, Alyssa Barker, one of the co-presidents of Middle Park’s Interact Club, told the board about the work it does with local rotary clubs to fundraise for charities. They said the club is fundraising for H20 for Life to build toilets for schools in Nicaragua.
Business teacher Kevin Kruglet introduced Jaden Bonnett, one of his students that participates in Future Business Leaders of America and built a website for his family’s vacation rental company as a project for FBLA competitions.
“FBLA is very similar to DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America),” Kruglet said. “It’s a bunch of business competitions that they go and compete in. This was e-commerce. We had some other students do broadcast journalism, international business, I think it was, and graphic design.”
Three students presented honors projects from their science classes, something physics and chemistry teacher Lynne Gaunt said is new to the curriculum.
“They were meant to choose something that is interesting to them,” Gaunt said. “So we have a student who investigated the water diversion system and the Climax Mine in Leadville. We have a student who invented a splint to use for goats that she raises because they have weak legs when they’re born.”
Gaunt introduced three honor students who told the board about their projects. Niah Thomas presented about radiation treatments for cancer, Annika Stuart spoke about her design for a lunar habitat chair for the NASA HUNCH (High school students United with NASA to Create Hardware) program and Bode Rehm presented about the molecular processes of solar panels.
- A public commenter expressed concerns about the district’s hiring practices and signage in classrooms that bring “politics and sex” into the classroom. She said conservative students have been reprimanded for wearing conservative T-shirts and sweatshirts, and while she is “not against the rainbow”, she asked the board why “we have rainbows everywhere”.
- The board approved the consent agenda, which included minutes from its Jan. 17 meeting, the hiring of Anthony Ricciardelli as technology director and resignation of English teacher Aldo Ricci, who will leave after the end of the 2022/2023 school year.
- Board members voted to approve policy GBK-R, which has to do with staff grievances.
- District Business Manager Kelly Yaeger reviewed a supplemental budget and quarterly financial report with the board.
- Superintendent Brad Ray gave updates on the district’s construction projects and purchase of an electric bus, the Steamboat Springs School District leaving the Northwest Colorado Board of Cooperative Educational Services, potential employee housing projects and requests for proposals for student information system and strategic planning providers.
- Principals from East Grand’s four schools gave updates on academics and extracurriculars during the principal roundtable discussion.
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