Students and teachers in the Windsor-Severance Re-4 School District were recognized at the May 19 school board meeting thanks to the Weld Re-4 Educational Foundation’s inaugural essay contest that highlighted the importance of teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week.
The students and teachers met during the school board meeting to receive their awards.
The list of winners were:
» Grades K-2: 1st place: Sydney Potts; teacher is Roxanne Visconti at Skyview Elementary School
» Grades 3-5: 1st place: Kylie Sanger; teacher is Mindi Kruger at Tozer Primary School
» Grades 6-8: 1st place: Makena Sanger; teacher is Doug Kathan at Windsor Middle School
» Grades 9-12: 1st place: Mikayla Rydbom; teacher is Kristi Baldino at Windsor Middle School
Kim Schutt, the vice president of the Foundation’s board of directors, said the first-place student in each category won $100 from the Bank of Colorado in Windsor. The teacher honored in the winning essay won a $50 gift card to Knowledge Bound, donated by Greg Backhaus at Edward Jones in Windsor and Knowledge Bound.
Schutt said the Foundation received close to 50 essays with the topic being how a teacher inspired the student. Schutt was pleased with the number of entries for the first time .
“We considered it to be a great success for a number of reasons. One, in terms of numbers, we thought participation was quite good given it was the first year holding the contest,” Schutt said. “Also, we received great feedback from the teachers, who received copies of the essays written about them, that the writings really gave them a boost. It was nice for them to know that they had truly made a difference for one of their students (or more, since we had a couple of teachers who had several students write about them). It also gave the community an opportunity to recognize and celebrate all the outstanding teachers that we do have, which I think was nice for everyone involved — students, families, teachers and administrators.”
Schutt said the essay contest will be held again next year with maybe some minor changes.
“We are definitely planning to do it again next year,” Schutt said. “We may tweak a few things, but overall I think the format worked very well. If anything, we would simply like to encourage more student participation so that we have more essays to read and more teachers to celebrate.”
Schutt said board members of the Foundation were impressed with the quality and effort put forth in the essays.
“The effort reflected in the essays was impressive, from the youngest kindergarteners who submitted hand-written tributes to their teachers with photos and drawings, on up to the more mature writings of our middle school and high school participants,” Schutt said. “As a board, we knew going into the contest that we had stellar teachers and very talented student writers in the district, but I think even we were somewhat surprised by the quality of what the students expressed and the stories they told about their inspiring teachers.” Schutt said many of the essays talked about how a particular teacher had taught that student the value of hard work and sticking with something even when it might be difficult, about doing their best in everything and about doing what they love.
“Those lessons were reflected in the essays themselves,” Schutt said. “It was very touching, and I for one cannot wait to do it again next year.”
Schutt said the next event on the horizon for the Educational Foundation is a Flip Flop Gala fundraising party on the Island at Water Valley from 4-8 p.m. June 29. Tickets are currently being sold for $50 each (tickets include food, drinks, live music, and a chance to win a $1,000 door prize). Tickets are now available for purchase at the Windsor Chamber of Commerce, 421 Main St. #A, (cash and check only) or can be purchased online at www.eventbrite.com.
The Weld Re-4 Educational Foundation, which has been in existence since April 2013, is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization made up of a group of community members who are passionate in their support of the schools in the Windsor-Severance Re-4 School District.