Principals report to school board

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MEEKER | The principals of Meeker School District’s three schools gave brief, written reports to the Board of Education at their monthly meeting.
Last week, Meeker Elementary School (MES) Principal Kathy Collins emphasized that February has been “I Love to Read Month,” celebrated with Dr. Seuss Days, among other events. Also instituted were special morning reading sessions involving family members.
“Moms and Muffins” involved more than 80 of the maternal species. That event was paralleled by “Dads and Doughnuts” and “Grandparents, Guardians and Goodies.” Dr. Seuss’ birthday was celebrated. Meeker High School art students painted grand posters of Dr. Seuss characters that have been hung around the halls of the school. Collins credits librarian Ann Franklin and music/art teacher Shana Holliday with facilitating all the fun.
The Dr. Seuss activities were highlighted by HS English teacher Kathleen Kelley’s costumed speech class students providing a “Seuss readers’ theater” at MES.
MES physical education students, Collins reported, have been raising money for the American Heart Association through the Jump Rope for Heart Program while third graders this last week have been going to CNCC in Rangely for teeth cleaning.
Thanks to the purchase of several new classroom sets of Chromebooks (fast, individual, mobile, laptop type computers) through the County Commissioners Discretionary Grant Fund, Collins says students at all levels are now using them. She said, “They’ve made such a nice addition to our curriculum materials.”
Staff at MES have been participating in the February Fitness Contest arranged by a staff committee for food and fun. The committee mapped out a walking course to be used before and after school for physical and mental fitness. To date, teachers Heather Burke (second grade), Julie Bowman (first grade), and Stephanie Overton (kindergarten) have won the weekly prizes. The grand prize drawing was for one hour of duty coverage by the principal. That winner was Apryl Newkirk (fifth grade).
Speaking for Barone Middle School (BMS), Principal Jim Hanks indicated there are 28 seventh and eighth grade boys out for wrestling. Their first contest was Feb. 25 and the school will host the Western Slope Championships on Saturday, March 18.
The BMS Math Counts Team competed at regionals in Grand Junction, Feb. 4. The team ended up in third place overall. Eighth grader Abby Moon placed sixth individual overall and will go on to the state competition March 18.
Friday, Feb. 10, 35 BMS and high school students participated in the Solo and Ensemble Festival held in Rifle. Music instructor Jeff Hemingson said that the judges were impressed by how the Meeker students comported themselves. He said, “Our students were prepared and self-sufficient, representing Meeker very positively. We received 18 Superior scores, 14 Excellents and only one Good.”
Hanks added to his report that nine BMS students were going to Craig to participate in the “Taste of College” program hosted by CNCC, stating that many Craig middle school students participate as well. Hanks denied, however, that these students are contemplating skipping high school.
Also, Hanks reported on the eighth grader History Day competition (see sidebar).
Meeker High (MHS) Principal Amy Chinn focused on the presentations made at the school Feb. 13 by John Sosa of the Center for Relationship Education. He gave three lectures that day tailored to each group—freshmen and sophomores, juniors and seniors, and in the evening, parents and guardians. He talked about building appropriate, healthy relationships, personality differences, love vs. lust, and relationship red flags, according to Chinn. She reported that the talks were very well-received, that Sosa was good at engaging his audience, and student discussions ensued well beyond the lecture times themselves. All and all, Chinn said, “It was a very positive day.”
Chinn also apprised the school board of Pake Burke’s project to increase awareness in Meeker of the tremendous fresh water needs in developing countries. He’s conducting presentation and fundraising activities to go toward supplying pure water in huge containers to an African country.
The MHS Family Careers and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) effort is sending 21 students to the State Leadership Conference in downtown Denver in mid-April. Eighteen of those students will be competing in STAR—Students Taking Actions with Recognition— events. Brenda Mullins, FCCLA sponsor, family and consumer science teacher, said of the Meeker contingent, “They’re an exciting group of young men and women.”
At the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) district competitions, Meeker qualified five for the state leadership conference competitions: Christopher Strate in cyber security; Cooper Meszaros in insurance and risk management; Kinzy Turner and Gracie Bradfield placed first in public service announcements; and Delenn Mobley placed first in help desk. Math teacher and FBLA sponsor Naomi Etchart said, “I’m very proud of our MHS students for doing so well. I cannot wait to see how they perform at the state competition the third week in April.”