Saguache School News: What the Students Are Doing!
Here’s the latest school video newsletter from the Social Media Class at Mountain Valley School in Saguache.
Tomorrow, December 8, Mountain Valley School (MVS) in partnership with Saguache County Prevention Partners and Saguache Sharing Christmas will be hosting a Bingo Breakfast and Sharing Christmas food/toy drive. The event will begin in the evening at 5 p.m., serving breakfast for dinner.
Bingo playing is free to participants and has some great prizes to be given away, including a $25 gift card to Colorado Sports in Alamosa.
In addition, to prevention bingo and breakfast for dinner the school district will be collecting unused toys for Saguache Sharing Christmas. They will also be collecting food items as follows: canned green beans, cranberries and corn, stuffing mix, other non-perishable food items such as nuts and dried fruit, as well as cash donations to purchase needed items.
While you’re at the Thursday Dinner & Bingo event you can also hear the details regarding the Community MVS School Facility Action Plan Work Session! MVS Superintendent Travis Garoutte invite sthe public to help build the school’s future. This meeting will be held in the gym on Thursday, Dec. 15 at 5:30 p.m. Bring your great ideas and questions!
Saguache Students Fire It Up in Telluride!
Students from Mounatin Valley School in Saguache were among those who attended the Telluride Fire Festival held earlier this month in Telluride, Colo. The weekend program of of science, technology, engineering, ART, and math, and created a fiery masterpiece. The nine-foot tall, three-headed, fire-spewing sculpture was made almost entirely of found objects welded into a fabulous creature with larger-than-life hands reaching toward the sky.
Students were treated to dinner at the home of Erin Ries and Chris Myers on Friday evening where they met with mentor artists and teachers. “It was great opportunity to share ideas before jumping into the creative process,” explained Suzanne Ewy, Executive Director of Coldharbour Institute, a collaborating partner of the event. The next day, teams were formed and one group of kids joined forces at the Ah Haa School for the Arts to create the multiple heads of the sculpture out of clay for what was decided (Friday evening) to be a three-headed “being”.
The remaining creators went to an old abandoned mine, home to the artist collaborative called Deep Creek Experimental, to find suitable objects to weld the “body”, which became a two piece installation that included a fire cauldron with skeletal hands as well as a propane fired “poofer” that will release fire puffs from the multiple heads of the creature.
Saguache students who particiapted included: Alex Willard Alpine Achievers Initiative/AmeriCorps member; and Mountain Valley School’s Alyssa Chavez, Jodeelee Rigdon, Taleb Nelson, Ryker Poor, and Casey Groom. Well-done!
The fiery sculpture is to be exhibited at the January 20 – 22 Telluride Fire Festival. The Festival has applied for grants to support bringing all the students back to Telluride for the premier of their special sculpture. The Festival then wishes to have the sculpture travel to each of the student groups’ communities after January 22—Moffat, Crestone, Saguache, Gunnison, and Norwood, CO.
The student workshop was made possible, in part, through grants from Saguache County, Coldharbour Institute, and a GoFundMe Campaign. “We also could not have done this without the tremendous generosity from the Telluride community,” remarked Ewy.
Artists, Experts, and Teachers
The artist/teachers for this unique STEAM class were Scott Harris from Telluride, Brent Cain from Moab, and Andy McKim from Moffat Consolidated School District 2.
The students were also assisted by Christian Arel, an Americorps Vista student from the Master of Environmental Management Program at Western State University, Alex Willard an Americorps volunteer with San Luis Valley’s Alpine Achievers.
The Telluride Fire Festival was able to offer this two-day workshop through support from various companies in Telluride and the region: Coldharbour Institute, Alpine Achievers, Saguache County Sales Tax Grant, Moffat Consolidated School District 2, Ah Haa School for the Arts, Deep Creek Experimental, The Mountain Market, The Victorian Inn, Clark’s Market, Baked in Telluride, La Cocina de Luz, High Pie Pizzeria.
About the Telluride Fire Festival and Coldharbour Institute
The Telluride Fire Festival, a 501c3 organization, is an interactive fire art experience offering free outdoor displays of fire artistry to attendees to enable all to immerse themselves in fire arts. Workshops are offered through scholarships for this January. Dates for 2017 are January 20-22.
Coldharbour Institute is a 501c3 organization in Gunnison that facilitates education, innovation, and demonstration. Its Coldharbour Youth Development Initiative, whose students engaged in this program, links Gunnison Basin high school students to Western’s Environment and Sustainability program through students from Western’s Master in Environmental Management program and a very generous grant from the Colorado Department of Higher Education. www.coldharbourinstitute.org.
For more about the Telluride Fire Festival, next year’s youth workshop and youth scholarships, volunteer positions, or to subscribe, visit www.telluridefirefestival.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Retired School Employee Rocks On in Saguache!
Pat Innes begins a new tradition at the Mountain Valley School (MVS) District as the first recipient of the Retirement Rocker!
Innes is officially retiring from the district after nearly 15 years of service. She has been a valuable asset to MVS while working in the district office. Additionally, she has spent countless hours helping Mountain Valley students, enjoying lunch with the kids and lending an ear to those in need.
So all the best in her future endeavors; she will be truly missed at Mountain Valley School. Thank you, and Rock On, Pat!
School Football Coach Positions Open in Saguache
As the world goes, as people retire from the Mountain Valley School District, new folks come aboard! It’s the Circle of School! And it won’t be long before that first school bell rings for the 2016-17 school year. So here are some positions the school is hiring for:
- Assistant High School Football Coach. Successful applicants will be required to complete first aid, CPR and concussion training. High school coaches must also pass the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) Coaches Test. Completed applications should be received by Monday, July 25, 2016.
- Head Middle School Football Coach. Successful applicants will be required to complete first aid, CPR and concussion training. Completed applications should be received by Monday, July 25, 2016.
Assistant Middle School Football Coach. Successful applicants will be required to complete first aid, CPR and concussion training.
Completed applications should be received by Monday, July 25, 2016.
Mountain Valley School District is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Fingerprints and background check will be required. Applications can be found online HERE. or mailed to: Mountain Valley School, Attn: Travis Garoutte, PO BOX 127 , Saguache, CO 81149
In addition, Mountain Valley School District is seeking qualified candidates to fill a current Board of Education vacancy. Successful candidates will be actively involved in the school community with a strong desire to empower and prepare every student for lifelong academic success and personal growth. Candidates must be a registered elector of the Mountain Valley School District for at least 12 consecutive months prior to appointment date and be able to pass a background check. Letters of Interest should be received at the following address by Thursday, July 28, 2016: Mountain Valley School, Attn: Travis Garoutte, PO BOX 127 , Saguache, CO 81149
School Recognized for Green Thumb, Green House
While most would agree that the true purpose of education is to grow a students mind, sometimes there’s actually a bit richer harvest than that!
Such is the case at Mountain Valley School in Saguache and thanks to the efforts of Megan Cleaver, local students are expected to have fresh, school-grown vegetables year-round! Her efforts were recently recognized by the Colorado Department of Education – well-done!
Cleaver is doing service work for the U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, BRIDGE Network and VISTA AmeriCorps and is working at Mountain Valley School in Saguache, where she has been the greenhouse manager and coordinator. When she arrived in Saguache in August 2015, the school’s greenhouse structure had been built under the coordination efforts of the previous VISTA worker, Patrick Johnson. Megan was tasked with making it functional.
After a year of hard work, watermelon, squash, lettuce greens, tomatillos, tomatoes, herbs, flowers, and other produce are thriving in the Mountain Valley greenhouse.
The school has had a bountiful community garden on campus for seven years, and the produce has reduced cafeteria salad bar costs by 90 percent during the growing season. But the bounty has traditionally gone away when the growing season ends. Now, the school plans to stock the cafeteria salad bar with produce from the green house year-round. When school is not in session, school employees and community members are able to enjoy the harvest.
Megan’s tenure at Mountain Valley School is coming to a close and the district and school staff wants to wish her the best as she pursues a Master’s degree in ecology at Michigan Technology University in Houghton, Mich.
Dias de Los Muertos Teaches Students Mexican Culture
By Lynn Nowiskee, Saguache Today Contributor
Saguache knows how to celebrate fall and included in those list of festivities was the very elaborate Los Dias de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) program held at the Mountain Valley School last week. Students were attentive as Ms. Garcia explained the colorful and meaningful altar honoring the dead. This Mexican holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey.
Students participated in the ritual by bringing pictures of loved ones, placing their favorite foods and items on the altar, as Ms. Garcia burned an incense offering. The entire program wrapped up in a festive manner with the class enjoying candies, rice krispy treats, tamales, beans, and cake.
Saguache County Voters Select School Board Members
At the local level, in the school board election for the Mountain Valley School District, voters tallies the following numbers, according to Jane Whitten with the Saguache County Clerk and Recorder’s Office. The top three will be seated on the school board:
- Lacy N Reed – 291 votes.
- Mona Kay Lovato – 285 votes.
- Christan R Archuleta – 279 votes.
- Randy Arredondo – 173 votes.
As for the only state ballot issues, Saguache County voters lined up with the rest of Colorado voters by approving Prop BB with 70.4% (972 votes) in favor and 29.5% opposed (407 votes). Now that the measure has been secured, $66 million dollars in marijuana taxes, has been approved to spend on schools and drug-abuse prevention.
Student Interns Learning & Earning at Saguache Works
By Stacey Holden, Saguache Works
Student interns at Saguache Works never get bored. A day’s work may include unpacking, pricing and shelving food items following a major delivery; providing information about the area to out-town-visitors; waiting on customers at the cash register, wrapping packages and running the credit card machine; or creating a spreadsheet to track inventory for Homegrown Totes.
“We are cultivating in them a sense of self-confidence, responsibility, hands-on work experience, as well as a genuine interest in the wellbeing of their own community,” says program coordinator Stacey Holden. “We are thrilled with our interns and wanted to take this chance to tell the community about our program.
The internship program at Saguache Works began in 2013, thanks to a sales tax grant from the Saguache County Commissioners. This year’s program, funded by generous grants from the Peyback Foundation and the Southern Colorado Community Foundation, involves high school students in the Saguache Welcome Center, the 4th Street Food Store, Blue Earth Thrift & Mercantile and Homegrown Totes.
“They are learning new skills, helping us out immensely, and we are able to pay them a small stipend so they get a monthly paycheck,” Holden says. “By including them in a variety of different projects, we hope that we are enhancing their overall learning experience while allowing them to discover their strengths and interests.”
Student Rosey Lowe particularly enjoys working with locals and interacting with people from out of town. “The internship,” she shares, “gives me business experience that will be helpful in my future.”
Kaya Holden likes running the cash register, meeting new people and helping to revitalize her community, while Brianna Long is a great organizer of thrift store donations and has a flair for creating new displays.
All our interns have been extensively involved in Homegrown Totes, Saguache Works’ fledgling fiber arts cottage industry, since it began in the fall of 2014. They help with marketing, designing, sewing, and preparing the bags for sale. They also have actively participated in several arts and craft festivals, representing, talking about and selling Homegrown Totes.
Marian Glenn has particularly enjoyed “getting to see the creation of a new business, helping to make something new and being able to show my creative side.”
Totes production manager Penny Bruce says she has come to rely on Marian’s sense of design and her ability to envision things geometrically. Bruce appreciates the level of enthusiasm and fresh spirit of creativity that all of the interns have brought to the project.
“They make it fun to do something mundane like sorting fabric and,” she adds “the students have learned quickly to perform all aspects of producing the totes.”
Interns also have the opportunity to use their computer skills in creating signs, posters and even spreadsheets, and their math skills in calculating food prices, while at the same time gaining a better understanding local food production and distribution.
For more information about the Saguache Works student internship program, or to apply for an internship position, please call 655-0216.