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800 S. Taft Ave., Loveland, CO 80537

Fax 970-613-5095

Spring 2011

Empower to learn — Challenge to achieve — Inspire to excel

TVHS teacher receives regional, national recognition

Optimal Oxygen


Five Walt Clark students develop robotics project


he idea behind their project is to automatically adjust oxygen flow for long-term oxygen therapy users. No, these are not Ph.D. candidates working in the biomedical field. They are five 8th graders representing Walt Clark Middle School who designed Optimal Oxygen as part of their FIRST LEGO Robotics project, one reason they earned a spot among 24 other U.S. teams in international competition at the end of April. Known as Knights of the Field Table, the impressive quintet articulate like adults and seem to think like people who have earned several degrees. Their ability to work together for many months, many hours a week,

Daniel Probasco shows the robot that must solve problems on a worktable. would be envied by major corporations. They are: Nick Brubaker, Patrick Canny, Cody Marvin, Daniel Probasco and Ian Spence. “These kids are leaders,” said Dawn Canny, one of the coaches. “They are composed, organized, creative, and understand one another. I can’t even imagine myself getting up in front of a crowd when I was

14 and talking the way they do,” she said. “Of course, I am a coach, and the coaches and parents are very proud of these kids.” Also coaching is parent Cathy Brubaker and her husband, Mike, who is an engineer and helps the students by questioning them — not by giving I See OXYGEN/Page 6

B. F. Kitchen first in state to earn top USDA healthy school award CONTENTS 2 Letter from superintendent 3 Student is mini barista 3 Staff serve as baby buddies to teen moms 4 School spirit at Stansberry Elementary 5 Districts host Special Olympics 6 Students headed for robotics nationals 7 Educators of the Year 8 LHS Wind Symphony 9 School & district briefs 9 Artistic achievements 10 Little books make a difference



. F. Kitchen Elementary School in Loveland is the first Colorado school to earn the prestigious Gold of Distinction Award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for meeting HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) school meal criteria. “Your school is an exceptional model to others,” Darlene Barnes told a crowd of cheering students, district staff and representatives from Healthy Kids Community, the City of Loveland and the Colorado Department of Education. Barnes is regional administrator for the

B. F. Kitchen 3rd graders sing a song about loving vegetables during the awards celebration. USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service Mountain Plains Region. She presented the award to Principal Kandi Smith at a school assembly in March. Also on hand was Jane I See KITCHEN/Page 2

hompson Valley High School teacher Kris Ayers was one of five teachers in the nation recognized as a regional High School Physical Education Teacher of the Year for 2011. Ayers was honored as the Central District High School Physical Education Teacher of Kris Ayers the Year by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) at its national convention March 29-April 1. The Central District represents a nine-state area from Colorado to Minnesota. The award is given in recognition of outstanding teaching performance at the high school level and the ability to motivate today's youth to participate in a lifetime of physical activity. A physical education and health teacher for 14 years at TVHS, Ayers was considered with four other district winners for the national award sponsored by NASPE and Sportime. The National Physical Education Teacher of the Year award recipient was also announced on April 1 at the NASPE Hall of Fame Banquet sponsored by Playworld Systems. Golf great Annika Sörenstam was inducted into the NASPE Hall of Fame that evening. “As a physical education teacher, the curriculum is based on promoting maximum participation and engagement through a variety of physical activities. My goal is to motivate students to live a life full of passion, movement, and balance between work and play,” Ayers said. While she would like to contribute more time at the state and national level of physical education, her primary I See AYERS/Page 5


she said. Several businesses and organizations also assisted with cash, labor and supplies, she added. The house was officially unveiled during a ceremony on Feb. 28. This first Youth Build home takes Habitat in a little different direction, Mayo said. Normally, houses are built with major sweat equity from the family that will receive the home. This house focuses more on assisting the Geometry in Construction program as well as garnering more youth volunteerism to build an affordable home that a family can purchase. “We will sell it to a family Superintendent Ron Cabrera thanks everyone for their support of the Geometry in Construction program.


I See MVHS/Page 4

Spring 2011

ountain View High School has built a house and a partnership with Habitat for Humanity in Fort Collins that keeps partnering beyond the school. Fort Collins Habitat purchased the house that MVHS’s Geometry in Construction students built last year, moved it to a Fort Collins location, and proceeded to use more student labor to add a garage, a basement and more. “We are calling it our Youth Build house,” said Candace Mayo, executive director of Fort Collins Habitat. “We have had an incredible amount of support from youth organizations and Colorado State University students,”

TSD Community News

MVHS partners with Fort Collins Habitat for first Youth Build home

From the Superintendent Dear Friends, best prepare all our students for college, a career, and life in Imagine a great district ... a globally competitive environOver the course of 12 ment. Our five goals months, community are broken out with members, parents, the key objectives and Thompson listed below: School District staff did just that as part ROBUST of our strategic LEARNING planning process and • Develop successful came up with Vision learners 2020, the Thompson • Develop global School District citizenship strategic plan for the Ron Cabrera • Provide next 10 years. Over personalized learning 4,000 participants and over 2,000 feedback surveys and foEQUITY IN ACCESS cus group responses were uti• Close the learning gap lized to create a comprehen• Demonstrate intercultural sive plan. Vision 2020 is built proficiency around five important goals: • Provide optimal learning Robust Learning, Equity in environments Access, Responsible Stewardship, Healthy Constituent RESPONSIBLE Relationships, and a Culture STEWARDSHIP of Excellence. • Provide exemplary talent These five goals serve as and leadership development building blocks for the district’s work and provide the • Exhibit fiscal responsibility • Demonstrate civic direction for our instruction, responsibility curriculum, budgeting, staffing and partnerships HEALTHY CONSTITUENT through the next 10 years. With our limited resources, we RELATIONSHIPS need to be focused on the • Ensure satisfied constituents • Provide effective goals and strategies that will

communication • Cultivate strong alliances

CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE • Continuously raise the standard Vision 2020 means being fully transparent in the decisions we make to guide our district, setting priorities and sticking to them, and concentrating our resources on the programs, practices and staffing that will best serve our students in achieving academic success. Vision 2020 is ambitious and aims high because we are preparing students for success in a world in which many of the jobs they will hold have yet to be created. The strategies and action steps in this plan are designed to help us reach those goals and will require significant changes in policies and practices throughout the district. You can read more information about Vision 2020 on the district website (www. Additionally, for the first time in Thompson School District history, we have developed a plan to achieve

the specific results we are seeking. Our progress toward our goals and objectives will be monitored using key measures such as graduation rates, financial reports, satisfaction surveys and state assessments. We will report our progress on a scorecard, published annually so that the residents of the Thompson School District can see both our successes and areas for improvement. The success of Vision 2020 calls for a commitment from the entire Thompson community to work with us to provide services and support to close our achievement gaps and raise the level of achievement for all students. This will ensure every student graduates ready for college, a career, and life in a continually changing, highly competitive and exciting world. In advance, I thank you for your support. Sincerely,

Dr. Ron Cabrera Superintendent

Asbestos Information Public Notice This notice will serve to meet the requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 763.83c, Subpart E, Asbestos-Containing Materials in Schools — Management Plans. This notice hereby informs those interested parties that the Asbestos Management Plans, including reinspections and response action activities that are planned or are in progress for Thompson School District R2-J, are available for review between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the district’s Facilities Services office located at 255 South Cleveland, Loveland, CO 80537. Questions and/or requests to review plans or receive a copy of a school plan can be directed to Brian Erickson, director of Facilities Services, or Trudy Trimbath, environmental specialist, by calling 970-613-5350. The cost of copies will be paid by the requestor.


The HUSSC is a voluntary initiative established in 2004 to recognize those schools participating in the National School Lunch Program that have created healthier school environments through promotion From Page 1 of nutrition and physical activity. Among the criteria that B. F. Kitchen had to meet Brand, the Colorado Department of Education’s nuin order to earn the award were: trition director. • Provide nutrition education to students HUSSC awards are presented to schools that take • Provide students the opportunity for physical specific steps to improve their programs and activity address childhood obesity. Schools must apply for At left, Darlene Barnes, regional administra- • Maintain an average daily participation of school the honor and are selected based on a rigorous set enrollment for reimbursable lunches of at least 60 of criteria related to nutrition and physical activity. tor for the USDA’s Food and Nutrition The Gold of Distinction is the highest award Service Mountain Plains Region, watches as percent for Silver awards possible and includes a monetary prize of $2,000. • Adhere to guidelines established by USDA’s staff and students raise the banner they The HUSSC is a key component of Michelle Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) for foods received as part of their award. Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative. served/sold in schools outside the National School Lunch Program “This is a tremendous accomplishment,” Barnes Visits to classrooms often reveal short breaks where said. “We applaud B. F. Kitchen Elementary and its FNS oversees the administration of 15 nutrition staff for their commitment to making healthful food students stretch or do jumping jacks. assistance programs, including the school meal proThe celebration occurred during National School grams that touch the lives of one in four Americans options available for students, and for their commitBreakfast Week (March 7-11). Each year, USDA ment to nutrition education and physical activity.” over the course of a year. These programs work in partners with the School Nutrition Association and concert to form a national safety net against “Our school is one of the healthiest in Colorado other organizations to raise awareness of the School hunger. Visit for information and we work hard to keep it that way,” said Smith. Breakfast Program and highlight how critical it is to about FNS and nutrition assistance programs. For “Our students have physical education every day the health and well-being of the 12 million children more on the HealthierUS Schools Challenge, please and have healthy lunches that include fruits and it serves each school day. vegetables. We also have an annual health fair.” visit


TSD Community News

Spring 2011

Our direction:

Vision 2020

Dear Readers: This spring issue of the Thompson School District Community News focuses on the five goals of our new strategic plan, Vision 2020. Through our stories, we will try to convey how the project, program or activity meets one or more of the five goals: robust learning, equity in access, responsible stewardship, culture of excellence, and healthy constituent relationships. Most of the stories fall under healthy constituent relationships because they reveal how the various individuals, organizations and businesses work with our schools in partnerships to improve the success of our students. The stories only reflect a small picture of the many collaborative learning experiences that are taking place in our schools and out in the community. We hope you enjoy seeing just a snapshot of the great things that are happening in the Thompson School District. Melissa Adams Editor

Thompson School District website: This publication is a project of the Thompson School District, 800 S. Taft Ave., Loveland, CO 80537. All editorial content is provided by the Thompson School District. Advertising sales and revenue are generated and gathered by the Loveland Reporter-Herald. Editor and Writer: Melissa Adams, Communication & Community Resources, Thompson School District Assistant Editor/Proofreader: Debbie Wright, Thompson School District Photography: Melissa Adams, Thompson School District, and contributions by staff and parents Page Design: Jade Cody, Loveland Reporter-Herald Thompson School District is an equal opportunity educational institution and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, marital status or veteran status in its activities, programs or employment practices. The prohibition against sexual harassment includes a prohibition against harassment based on race, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, marital status or veteran status. For information regarding civil rights or grievance procedures, contact the Department of Human Resources, 2890 N. Monroe Ave., Loveland, CO 80538 (mailing address) or 800 S. Taft Ave., Loveland, CO 80537 (physical address), 970-613-5000, or the Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, Region VIII, Federal Office Building, 1244 N. Speer Blvd., Suite 310, Denver, CO 80204, 303-844-5695. The Spring 2011 Thompson School District Community News is published by the Loveland Reporter-Herald on behalf of the Thompson School District. Contents are copyrighted by the Loveland Reporter-Herald and the Thompson School District. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic content, in part or in whole, without express written permission is prohibited. Neither the Loveland Reporter-Herald nor the Thompson School District assumes any liability for errors or omissions.


Mini Barista

Buddies Staff become “baby buddies� to teen moms and kids

S Brianna Allee with her coffee cart decorated by teacher Terry Bartlow.


uiet and shy, 4th grader Brianna Allee needed a little boost, and it came in the form of caffeine — not drinking it, but serving it. General education teaching partners Terry Bartlow and Jody Erickson at Carrie Martin Elementary knew that art class wasn’t working for the Down syndrome child who attends the Intensive Learning Center, so they thought about a project she could do instead that might help her come out of her shell. “It started with her getting coffee for the teachers,� Erickson said. “We had a coffee pot so we made it and she would go take orders. She would come back and get the coffee. It has really helped with her language skills,� she said. Then Bartlow stepped in and created a cart from a projector cart. He continues to add to it and now Barista Brianna walks around right after the start of school each Thursday offering coffee or hot chocolate to staff with the assistance of the teachers. “It’s a treat for her and a

treat for the staff,� Erickson said. When she first saw the “tripped up� cart with candy-cane stripes and a fringe on the top, Erickson said her eyes grew large and a smile crossed her face as she said, “WOW.� At first she hid behind the cart, but now she proudly pushes it down the hall and takes care of it. The coffee is provided by Mark Ludy, a friend of Bartlow’s who had a coffee shop in Windsor. Ludy, who is also a children’s book writer and illustrator, drew a picture for the front of the cart. Principal Sheryl Weitzel beams as she watches the student open up. “This was such an example of creativity on the part of these two teachers and it has done wonders for Brianna.� “And you ought to see her with the whipped cream can — she is a master!� Bartlow boasts. That’s master barista, Mr. Bartlow. Brianna Allee’s story conveys the equity in access, responsible stewardship and culture of excellence components of the district’s strategic plan.

Teacher Jody Erickson talks to Brianna as she prepares her cart.

and First Steps Nursery. I love the concept of our own assisting our own.� Staff at the administration building jumped at the idea of helping out with the purchase of diapers, wipes, bottles, bowls, spoons, clothing of all types, gas cards, books, toys, stuffed animals, etc. Some of the buddies are individuals; some are groups from various departments. Even some students attending transition school at the administration building have stepped up as well. “Emotionally, having this extra support has helped to decrease anxiety and has fostered self-esteem in the moms as they feel acknowledged and special in this partnership,� Breslin said. “Often, the young moms are judged for their circumstances. Having the opportunity to tell their

Having the opportunity to tell their story and share their hopes and goals helps them to feel more confident as parents.� — Diane Breslin, Ferguson High School





story and share their hopes and goals helps them to feel more confident as parents.� Baby buddies provide “gifts� each month. In February, the moms made goodies and hosted a small reception for the buddies, who got some time to meet the moms, hold the babies or play with the toddlers. “The teen moms have also broadened their social experience by meeting with the administrative staff and have learned the importance of expressing gratitude and writing thank you notes,� Breslin noted. Groups and individuals from Financial Services, Learning Services, Communication & Community Resources, Human Resources and more chip in personally to purchase gifts for their buddies. “I think it is a great idea and is great support,� said Dan Lucero, interim principal at Ferguson High School. “It sends a really nice message to the kids that there are people out there who want to help them – especially coming from the administration building. It’s a great project.�


A promising

future starts at IBMC A four-year college isn’t for everyone. We’re here for students who want a career in 19 months or less. Medical Assisting Paralegal Business and Accounting Therapeutic Massage Medical Billing and Coding Administrative Assistant Pharmacy Technician


Spring 2011

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TSD Community News

Brianna serves coffee to Dora Hunsinger, custodian at Carrie Martin.

ome 70 administrative staff and some students are lending their support of "Leave no child behind: Birth to graduation" as baby buddies to 17 children of moms who are trying to finish school. The concept of the program, devised by staff at Ferguson High School who wanted to provide some encouragement to teen moms, was to help remove some of the financial barriers for the moms as well as lend support. “The baby buddy program is making a significant impact on the physical, emotional and social needs of the young parents in the FHS Teen Parent Program,� said Diane Breslin, teen parent coordinator at Ferguson High School. “The collaborative effort of the TSD administrative staff to provide diapers, toys, clothing, books, etc. shows significant support for our Teen Parent Program

Bobbie Murphy, administrative assistant for Learning Services, greets her “buddy.� (800) 495-2669





Brianna Allee serves up improved language skills and coffee at Carrie Martin Elementary



Emma Harris

Stansberry students stay after school for cheering club

M Pierce and Illyas Hasert

Selah Moya

ore than 20 percent of Stansberry Elementary students are staying after school — not because they are in trouble, but because they are SOARing and cheering. Thanks to teacher Melody Johnston, several other teachers and volunteers, 50-60 students participate in additional physical activity after school through a running club in the spring and fall and a cheering club in the winter. “Research shows that students that are involved/invested in their school will take more ownership of their academics and behaviors,” said Johnston, a second grade teacher. “It also states the importance of physical activity.” So, as a former NCAA cheerleader at Colorado State University with her first degree in human nutrition, Johnston stepped up to get the kids moving. She started the SOAR Feet running club two days a week for six weeks in the fall. SOAR stands for the school’s slogan of safety, ownership, achievement and respect. The students ran around the field clocking their miles, she said. “We punched their card every time they passed the beginning



America L


TSD Community News

Spring 2011

oveland High School National Honor Society students participated in the National Education Association’s Read Across America by reading to young visitors at Barnes & Noble at Centerra. Read Across America is the celebration of the birthday of Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel).

point,” Johnston said. At the end of running club, the students received "feet" tokens for their total miles run. “I had some kids that ran 40 MILES!” She said a total of 50 kids participated in the club. “We also participated in the Heart Center of the Rockies Kids Run around Boyd Lake. I had many students run as well as some who run 5Ks,” she added. The club starts again in the spring when the weather warms up. But in the cold months, Johnston decided to bring a little of her cheering experience to the kids. She had more than 60 K5th graders come and learn the rudiments of cheer. She taught them the importance of stretching, breathing and, well, cheering. Loud! Together! With feeling! They met once a week for six weeks for 45 minutes learning cheers, dances, stretching, etc. “I have coached high school and competitive cheer for seven years, so a cheer clinic just seemed natural,” Johnston said. The activity has been great and kids of all body types have joined and enjoyed. “Not all students are athletic,” she acknowledged. “So by providing alternative ways to

get kids moving (like cheer, yoga and running club), we encourage healthy lifestyles, create a community and allow students to feel success at school when some school is daunting.” Johnston receives assistance from several volunteers. “For SOAR Feet I had 5-7 teachers and classified staff help with various tasks. And with cheer I have our new 5th grade teacher Kirstie Inkley and our physical education teacher Debbie Luithly,” she said. Judging by the enthusiasm and participation of the students, her activities will remain in high demand. “Our society is quickly becoming obese and our future is these kids. We need to encourage and teach healthy lifestyles so when they become adults, they are lifestyle habits.” This activity reflects the district’s strategic plan goals of culture of excellence, equity in access and healthy constituent relationships as well as the core values of personal learning and continuous improvement.

LHS math teacher, who showed her the ropes of teaching math from a construction perspective. Moore now acts as a From Page 1 consultant to the program. “But earning 80 percent or less of the I want to thank the kids the most because they are the most area’s median income,” Mayo important part of this program,” said. Habitat of Colorado entered in- she said. The Fort Collins unit also plans to a partnership with the district, to purchase the current LHS Mayo said. “TSD builds and can sell to any Habitat affiliate in the project, which is to be placed in Wellington. “This will be the first state, but we bought the first in Habitat house in Wellington,” state,” she said. Mayo said. “I want to thank LHS The home is located at 317 for starting this program and Albion Way, adjacent to another allowing us to continue,” she Habitat home built in the said. traditional Habitat way. Superintendent Ron Cabrera Other sponsors included praised the partnership as well as First United Methodist Church the success of the Geometry in in Loveland, Wells Fargo FoundaConstruction program. “It start- tion, State Farm Insurance ed before I arrived here, but it is Corporate College Grant an amazingly effective program,” Program and Colorado he said. Association of Realtors’ Housing MVHS students joined students Opportunity Fund. Nearly 30 othfrom CSU and other volunteers er businesses and organizations in the celebration along with provided assistance as well. For MVHS teachers Erica DeCoste more information about this proand Gary Luster, MVHS Principal ject, visit or Kevin Aten and Tom Moore and Scott Burke from the Loveland High School Geometry in Construction program. “I can’t say enough about the assistance we received in building this house,” said DeCoste, a MVHS students pose during a check presentamath teacher at tion from Wells Fargo Foundation, which conMVHS. She also tributed $10,000 to Fort Collins Habitat for thanked Tom Humanity. Moore, former



Members of the MVHS Girls Soccer Team pose with special needs students at MVHS.

Effor ts Districts join forces to provide local Special Olympics


group of teachers from Thompson and Poudre school districts are working to create a Special Olympics competition on their own turf with a senior high meet planned in Larimer County. Mountain View High School teachers Ericka Griess, an intensive learning center teacher, and Kim Gardner, affective education teacher, connected with their counterparts at Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins to plan a track and field event at Fossil Ridge on May 6 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. “For the past five years, we have been taking our students over to the event in Greeley, and Kim and I thought we would like to try to have an event here,� Griess said. While this first effort will be for grades 9 and above, including the high school transition students, they hope to extend it to middle school and elementary school in the future. “We had to be realistic,� Griess said. The pair figures they will need about 200 volunteers to assist with the event that will include about 200 special needs students from the two districts. “We’ve already got a lot of staff, the Lincoln Elementary Student Council and the MVHS Girls Soccer Team on board,� Gardner said. She is also the coach of that team and one of her students, Kelsey, was team manager last year and is still assisting this year after her graduation. “Having them work the event truly builds connections between the team and kids with disabilities,� she said. “And we are all about connections and kids accepting one another.�

worked on getting sponsors and are already looking toward next year’s event. “This is going to be great,� Griess said. “The facilities at Fossil Ridge are perfect for this event — it is totally accessible.� Both MVHS teachers are excited about the event building connections in the community. “We want people to cross paths with our kids so they better understand them and build that sense of community,� Griess said. She added — Ericka Griess, Mountain View High School teacher that having something that the kids can participate in gives them a deeper sense of belonging. Having it more local also “This is an official Special Olympics each Special Olympian paired with a creates a community among the particevent,� Griess said. “We are coordinatvolunteer from the school so they can ipating students. “They meet kids that ing the event with the Greeley regional share the excitement of the competithey will meet again through school office.� tion. events and classes. It builds camaraderie among them.� “We are so excited about this partnerThe plan is to have T-shirts for the ship,� said Julie Elder, dean of students participants that reflect the overall The three encourage attendance to at Fossil Ridge. “We wanted to create an event but that are unique to each stuthe free event (donations accepted) so opportunity for our students to be indent’s school so they will feel connected people can feel the spirit and joy of the volved with regular education students as a competitor from their home high students in a Special Olympics event. in a local event,� she said. “We want school. This effort incorporates the equity in these kids to feel the spirit and be part In March, the organizers held a access, culture of excellence, and healthy of a team like other kids in their fundraiser at Crazy Jack’s between constituent relationship goals of the disschools do.� She said the idea is to have Loveland and Fort Collins. They have trict’s Vision 2020 Strategic Plan.

“We want people to

cross paths

with our kids so they better understand them and

build that sense of community.�

AYERS From Page 1

Kris Ayers at the central district award ceremony.


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sional affiliations include: the National Association for Sport and Physical Education/American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (NASPE/AAHPERD); the Colorado Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (CAHPERD); and the American Association for Health Education. Ayers holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in physical education and health from Fort Lewis College and a Master of Arts in special education moderate needs from the University of Northern Colorado.

Come experience the journey with The Sunshine Houseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2011 Summer Odyssey.                                             ! 

TSD Community News

focus has been her commitment on the local level to her students. She incorporates real-life learning experiences for students to learn and grow from including a pool-side lifethreatening simulation with local EMS response. In Ayersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; self-defense class, female students defend themselves from a â&#x20AC;&#x153;bad guy,â&#x20AC;? practicing various selfdefense strategies â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Ayers encourages her students to be empowered. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Krisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s curriculum goes beyond whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s expected from the state standards. Our students have been given a great advantage in preparing for the real world through the many resources she brings into the physical education program,â&#x20AC;? said TVHS Principal Mark Johnson. Among her other duties, Ayers is the physical education curriculum coordinator for the Thompson School District, a district teacher mentor, and the Physical Education Department chair for TVHS. Her many profes-

we discuss what to do,” Brubaker said. During competition, however, each is ready to jump in and do whatever it From Page 1 takes. “They really know each other them answers. “It’s hard to and if they have a conflict, they stand back and not provide sowork it out,” said Coach Canny. lutions, but that is my role — I Coach Brubaker agreed that question, I answer their questhe boys don’t fight. They talk tions, but it’s all their project,” and work it out. he said. The students have been For the competition season, meeting for about two hours students are given a topic, and per practice about twice a week this year’s was biomedical techfor seven months. About 70 nology. Each team receives a percent of practice time is basic robot and must complete devoted to the robot game, and a game where the robot must about 30 percent is devoted to solve problems at stops along a the project. table within a certain amount When asked how she got of time. Then the students involved with the coaching, must create and solve a probCanny said she had a passion From left to right, Coach Dawn Canny, Nick Brubaker, Ian Spence, Cody Marvin, lem off the table. That’s where for curious learners. “Patrick’s Daniel Probasco and Patrick Canny. The group works around their oxygen project. Optimal Oxygen came into passion lies in science, engiplay. neering and robotics. I have no “The kids came up with this technical experience. My skills idea because one of the robotic lie primarily in team building player's grandmothers is a and creative problem solving. I LTOT (long-term oxygen want to encourage other partherapy) user,” Coach Canny ents out there without technisaid. “... and his family is cal experience that coaching intimately familiar with the LEGO Robotics is something shortcomings of the current they can do,” she said. system that most LTOT users — Daniel Probasco The season started with some have in place.” 300 teams and each step along “My grandma is on long-term the way, the Knights of the oxygen and she sometimes Field Table have earned more determining the level of oxygen “But our aim at internationals part, that’s where Nick comes forgets to turn the oxygen up skills and elevated their game. in, with quality assurance. Then in the patient's blood. When is to do it, and that’s what we and down – that is hard on a “When we won state, we were Patrick and Daniel are detail are working on now,” said patient, but it also wastes a lot their oxygen requirements thrilled, but also a bit stunned! guys – the minutia,” he said, increase (determined by a B r u b a ke r. of oxygen, like about 25 perIt took a while for the honor to with Canny doing a lot of the lower level of oxygen in their While they share all of the cent,” said Probasco, who is a sink in – to be one of 25 teams p ro g r a m m i n g . homeschooled student working blood such as during exercise), duties in building, programin the entire United States to Each member of the team ming, designing, etc., the with the four Walt Clark Middle Optimal Oxygen would autobe invited to the world matically change the level of has been appropriately knight- competition is quite an students recognize various School students. He explained ed in relation to their characstrengths within each other that $18 billion a year is spent oxygen that the user is receivhonor!” Coach Canny said. ing. It is a system that requires and use them. Spence ter/qualifications. Spence is Sir on oxygen. “So we could For more information, go to no manual intervention. Collaborator; Marvin is Sir described himself and Marvin benefit patients and save The group is Quotes A Lot; Brubaker is Sir On the game table, the robot as the “big picture” guys who $4-5 billion a year,” he added. trying to raise $10,000 in order Assure; Probasco is Sir SteadThe system would constantly has several tasks to accomplish look at all of the issues. “Cody to attend the world competifast; and Canny is Sir Slash in a few stops. The team has yet and I look at the broad stratetake readings from a micro tion in St. Louis April 27-30. (// as in programming). to accomplish all of their steps gy, the big picture. Then once pulse oximeter that would be They can be seen on Facebook within the 2.5 minute period. you get down to the middle “We all have specific jobs, but at Knights of the Field Table. inserted in the nasal cannula


“My grandma is on long-term oxygen and she sometimes forgets to turn the oxygen up and down — that is hard on a patient, but it also wastes a lot of oxygen, like about 25 percent.”

BHS VEX teams, others headed for nationals, worlds


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TSD Community News

Spring 2011


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team of five students, four from Berthoud High School and one homeschooled, will be competing in the VEX Robotics World Championship in Orlando, Fla., at the end of April. Three BHS teams made it to the VEX Robotics National Championship. Students had to compete in regional and state tournaments to advance. From there, they had to be tournament champions to make it to the world championship, said BHS teacher Robert Sommerfeld, coach of the teams. “We had two teams who placed well enough in the tournaments to be invited to the VEX Robotics National Championship and one team earned a backup position to be invited,” he said. The 1069B team going to nationals and worlds is composed of Chad Schlage, Trevor Von Seggern, Michael Strandquist, Brandon Montero and Melody Blackis. Teams also going to nationals are: 1069A composed of Daniel Weinsten, Tasha Wagler, Averie Lester, Kayla Fast and James Wood; and 1069E composed of Jon Neuhalfen, Emily Birkmaier, Trenton Pippin-Mandley and Kaleb Stennis. Mixed teams that made it to the world competition are: 1069A composed of BHS student Brandon Montero and homeschooled student Trevor Von Seggern; and 974M composed of Caleb Hammel and Clay Rayment, BHS, Rachael Stewart, Thompson Valley High School, and Savanna Inman and Linda Baker, Rocky Mountain High School. Middle school Berthoud Community Team 974 earned a spot to the VEX Robotics World Championship in Orlando as well. Team members are Chase Rayment from Bill Reed Middle School, Mark Stewart from Walt Clark Middle School, and Zac Marquardt from Turner Middle School. For more information about the competitions, go to

B. F. Kitchen kindergarten teacher Bill Wride dances with his students during class.



of the


. F. Kitchen kindergarten teacher Bill Wride was named Teacher of the Year during the annual Thompson Education Foundation Educator Appreciation Breakfast at Brookside Gardens in Berthoud. One award was given in each of the district’s employee categories. Other awards went to: Celeste Hyland, Principal of the Year; Becky Kissler, Classified Employee of the Year; and Barb Swanson, Administrative/ Professional/Technical (APT) Employee of the Year. Wride is known for his creativity, humor and playing the guitar as a teaching tool. "Mr. Wride has a selfless attitude. He is always helpful and upbeat and never seems worn down or frustrated,” one nominator wrote. “He makes a great impact on all his students, but I'm especially grateful that he acts as a positive male role model in the lives of many children who would not otherwise get that experi-

ence. Additionally, Mr. Wride is excellent with parents. He is always outside making contact with parents and involving them in every way possible.” Hyland, who has been at Garfield Elementary School for several years, was commended for her work with her school’s community. “Celeste has inspired me with her intense passion. She has tirelessly advocated for Garfield students, staff and parents. She truly believes in the value of each individual and she is committed to making positive things happen for everyone in the Garfield community." Kissler is a faculty assistant at Coyote Ridge Elementary School. She was acknowledged for going above and beyond for her school, staff and students. "She sets up and participates in all of our PBiS Family Nights, attends every evening SAAC meeting and never requests to be paid for these activities,” a nominator wrote. “She demonstrates her belief that it is critical for all parents to become and stay actively involved in our school, and she invites their participation by being there herself." Swanson, insurance and risk manager for the district, was recognized for being a role model to others. "She leads by example and doesn't ask others to do something she is unwilling to do herself,” a nominator wrote. “She accepts people where they

Barb Swanson

Bill Wride

Celeste Hyland

Becky Kissler

are and yet encourages them to grow personally and professionally." This is the third year for the breakfast, which drew some 285 people to celebrate the winners as well as hear about projects funded through TEF’s Creativity Grants. A total of 106 nominees were recognized including 50 teachers, 19 principals, 32 classified staff and 5 APT staff. The nominations, submitted by students, staff, parents and community members, were reviewed by the Thompson Education Foundation Board of Directors. Winners were chosen based on the entries that demonstrated that the nominee has exemplified the qualities of empowering, challenging, and inspiring the people and students they work with and the community around them. Nominations were opened to the community in November 2010 and closed in January. Sponsors for the event were: Healthy Kids Club from Poudre Valley Health System; The UPS Store; Edward Jones (Doug Rechkemmer); Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors (Roger Bates); Starr & Westbrook, P.C.; Northwestern Mutual; and The Group Inc. Real Estate. Door prize sponsors were: 4th Street Chophouse; Gold’s Gym; Group Publishing; Johnson’s Corner; and The UPS Store.

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Spring 2011

he tennis courts at Berthoud High School were built in conjunction with the reconstruction of the irrigation pond at BHS. The project was funded by capital reserve money with the help of the Payments in Lieu of Land (PILO) dedication. The six new tennis courts were constructed by Hall Irwin Construction Company and designed by The Birdsall Group. The design consultants of The Birdsall Group were: Jim Birdsall, lead architect; Gary Weeks, structural engineer; R.J. McNutt, electrical engineer; Earth Engineering, geotechnical engineers; and Northstar Design, civil engineers.


TSD Community News

Settled on the Cour t


Art & Design MA (Educators)—Online + Summer sessions in Greeley Autism Graduate Certificate: Teaching Students with Autism—Online Curriculum Studies MAT—Loveland Educational Leadership Certificate: Teacher Leadership Emph—Online Educational Psychology MA: Teaching Applications Emphasis—Online Educational Studies Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)—Online + Short Summer visits in Loveland Geography Education Certificate—Online + short field workshops Linguistically Diverse Education MAT—Online or Loveland Natural Sciences: K–12 Teaching Emphasis MA—Online + short field workshops Reading MA—Loveland Special Education MA Programs: Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Gifted and Talented (Loveland also), and Visual Impairment—All Online Theatre Education MA—Online + Summer sessions in Greeley TV-325300


Striking A

Chord LHS Wind Symphony strikes a chord with district 4th graders


new relationship developed this year between 4th grade students and high school students. From the looks of it, it could be the beginning of a beautiful and musical friendship. All 4th graders from the district were treated to an hour with the Loveland High School Wind Symphony as part of their music standards to attend a performance using the Encounter with Music Trust Fund to support a field trip. It all started when elementary music teacher and curriculum liaison Susan Harding decided to focus on instrumental music this year instead of musical theater performances as in previous years. “We originally were trying to attend a Fort Collins Symphony concert, but due to renovations to the Lincoln Center, they were not able to accommodate us this year,” Harding said. “After hearing about the LHS Wind Symphony’s acceptance to attend and perform at the Western International Band Clinic in Seattle and the Colorado Music Educators Association conference, we knew they would be capable of providing a truly exceptional musical performance for the 4th grade students as well as giving the students a vision for their own musical potential as a Thompson School District student.” She received no argument from LHS Band Director Matthew Arau. He was able to accommodate all of the 4th graders in the LHS auditorium during two sessions, which were regular class time for members of the Wind Symphony. And they were ready for the challenge. “The week prior I asked the sections to prepare something fun to show off their instrument to the 4th grade students. We also

performed pieces that we had played at CMEA and WIBC,” he said. Arau engaged the 4th grade students by asking them questions and having them identify some of the familiar tunes from such shows as Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Wars and more. “My students really enjoyed playing for such an engaged and responsive audience. They had a lot of fun playing for enthusiastic 4th graders. It was so much fun to hear the cheering and excitement from the students. It seemed that the 4th graders had a great time.” Harding agreed. “After our experience Feb. 7, and the response Feb. 11 from the students, I would wholeheartedly do this again,” she said. “Seeing and hearing high school students perform was truly a meaningful experience for the 4th grade students.” In the recent past, the district has worked through the Rialto Theater to provide performances that meet the standards. Harding commends the local theater for its partnerships. “The Rialto has worked great in the past and they have been great partners to the TSD, especially when we were looking for a musical theater production.” When they switched gears a little this year, Harding said that the elementary music teachers used the weeks leading up to the concert to focus on the standards in their 4th grade lesson plans, teaching the instruments of the orchestra and band as well as appropriate audience behavior. “We even dedicated our last district professional development Wednesday to share ideas and lesson plans focused on these specific standards.” As for Arau, would he be willing to do it again? “I hope that we will be asked to do this performance/ presentation again next year. We had a blast!” The strategic plan goals of robust learning, responsible stewardship, culture of excellence and healthy constituent relationships are evident in this multi-level effort.

Different sections of the LHS Wind Symphony introduced their instruments, including students who play saxophones.

Attending the LHS Wind Symphony concert tied into many of the new state standards: THEORY OF MUSIC — ANALYZE VOCAL AND INSTRUMENTAL EXAMPLES a. Aurally and visually identify specific instruments of the band and orchestra b. Aurally identify music performed in two or more parts c. Aurally identify music from various periods in history

AESTHETIC VALUATION OF MUSIC a. Explain personal preferences for specific music b. Comprehend and respect the musical values of others considering cultural context as an element of musical evaluation and meaning

Help Kids Succeed fills backpacks for students in need


TSD Community News

Spring 2011


Ocean Bowl Success


oveland High School placed third in the regional Ocean Bowl competition in February. Teacher Darlene Halvorsen is pictured at front left. Members of the LHS team were Kahleah Walker, Dalton Meyer, Gavin Stewart and Tim Buckley. The team received backpacks full of prizes and a plaque to take back to the school. The National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) is an academic competition that tests high school students’ knowledge of the marine sciences including biology, chemistry, physics and geology.

he Help Kids Succeed campaign, sponsored by several community organizations, will again be providing backpacks filled with school supplies to Thompson School District students in need. This will be the eighth year that the partnership — including Thompson Education Foundation, the Thompson School District, the Loveland Chamber of Commerce, the Loveland Reporter-Herald, United Way, Salvation Army, Sertoma Club and, more recently, Rocky Mountain Cheer & Dance — has managed the Help Kids Succeed program, providing over 1,200 backpacks full of school supplies to kids in need. While several community organizations provide cash donations, the campaign is a communitywide effort in which people send money to the foundation to support the project. Support of one backpack filled with supplies is about $15. Look for ads this year in the Loveland Reporter-Herald that provide information on how to contribute. Donations may be sent directly to Help Kids Succeed, c/o Thompson Education Foundation, 800 S. Taft Avenue, Loveland, Colorado 80537. For more information, call Mechelle Martz-Mayfield at 970-613-5067.

School & District Briefs Editor’s Note: The briefs in this publication were submitted by district schools and departments. community becoming involved with the school,” said teacher Candie Joshi about the evening. Each “star” was assigned to a room. The star would read for 10 minutes and then students switched rooms to hear another star. Readers included Loveland Mayor Cecil Gutierrez, author Zach Wood, a newspaper reporter, an archaeologist, police officers, high school LINCOLN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL football players, an illustrator, and much Pennies for Patients — Lincoln’s KID more! Council organized a Pennies for Patients Joshi said that more than 800 books fundraising campaign to help children were donated to the school, primarily facing serious illnesses. Our goal was to from the Book Haven. “Anthology Book raise $250, and we collected $1,157.78. We are proud of our students’ efforts and Store also came through for us, donating two boxes of books,” Joshi said. “We also generosity! had many books delivered to our school Letters to ACE — Participating in the from community members.” letter writing campaign to ACE The Chick-fil-A cows were on hand (Aerospace and Clean Energy Manufacturpassing out bookmarks with a coupon ing and Innovation Park) gave us a wonderful opportunity to engage students (very appropriate!). In addition, School Technology eXtensions had free in writing for a purpose and a specific cookies and hot cocoa for audience. Imagine how students will feel attendees. if indeed Loveland is chosen for ACE, knowing they had a part in making this LUCILE ERWIN MIDDLE SCHOOL happen. Here is an excerpt from one of String quartet study — Thanks the letters: to a grant from the Margaret Dear ACE, Foote Fund, Lucile Erwin and Loveland would be a great place to start Conrad Ball middle schools are your business. Loveland has a wonderful studying string quartets with recycling business. We have a clean faculty from the String Quartet recycling business because we would like Program of Northern Colorado. to keep our town safe and to keep it clean Students progressed wonderfulto feel like home. We are also close to the ly and presented their work in most beautiful mountains in the world a master class/performance with wonderful nature, too. We also have a on March 4. A formal nice, wonderful, tall sculpture park. Some- concert for these students times people come from all over the world was held at Lucile Erwin to see when we have Sculpture in the Park. Middle School on March 8 That’s why I think you should pick and will be held at Conrad Loveland to do your business. Ball Middle School May 3.


BYU Singers to perform — The Loveland High School and Thompson Valley High School music departments are sponsoring the Brigham Young University Singers April 28 at 7 p.m. at Roberta Price Auditorium at TVHS. Tickets are $10 at the door (no presales).

SARAH MILNER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Health fair — On April 15, Sarah Milner will be hosting a 9Health Fair. The fair will be hosted by student council members to educate the entire school about health-related issues like good sanitation, skin/sun safety, proper dental care and more!

CONRAD BALL MIDDLE SCHOOL Garden of “Eaten”? — Students in Conrad Ball’s FLIGHT Program, composed of at-risk kids along with the special needs kids, will work together on building and planting a garden thanks to a $908.10 grant from the Larimer County Open Lands Program. “The garden is called Garden of Eaten — I know, cheesy, but it works for us!” said Dorothy Fuller, teacher and sponsor of the group at CBMS. “The kids in our families along with staff will take care of it over the summer and then they get free food,” Fuller said. “We wanted to get our community involved to help with our growing need of hungry kids.” She said the group will start soon on building and starting plants, etc. Valentines for nursing home — The same CBMS group listed above also made 120 Valentine cards for the residents at North Shore Manor and made bracelets that another family will use as a fundraiser for their child that is fighting cancer. Children from that family attend CBMS and Mary Blair Elementary School.

HIGH SCHOOL WINNERS: • Gold Key Fine Arts Portfolio Award (8 works): Molly Markow, TVHS • Gold Key Individual Work Award: Haley Dukart, TVHS • Silver Key Individual Work Award: Austin Armstrong, TVHS, and Molly Markow, TVHS • Honorable Mention: Sarah Ashbaugh, Andrea Brush, Molly Markow and Elizabeth Suriani from TVHS; and Cameron Morse, Katie Rasmussen, Kaylee Ross and Annaliese Vucich from Mountain View High School

I See BRIEFS/Page 10

Leadership Loveland


his year’s Leadership Loveland class visited Ponderosa Elementary School as part of their Education Day on March 8. The group also visited Coyote Ridge Elementary, Thompson School District’s administration offices, as well as Colorado State University. Leadership Loveland is a program sponsored by the Loveland Chamber of Commerce.


Winona reads with “stars” — Winona Elementary School reached for the stars in January with its Reading with the Stars night. Several members of the community, including the mayor of Loveland, read to students. “It was a great example of the


wo Thompson Valley High School seniors have artwork contending for a national competition at Carnegie Hall in New York in June. Molly Markow, winner of a state Scholastic Gold Key Fine Arts Portfolio award, and Haley Dukart, winner of a Gold Key Individual Work award, have won the state honors. Now they are competing nationally to be honored at a reception at Carnegie Hall in June. Their work was celebrated at the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards in Colorado this winter and was displayed at the Rocky Mountain School of Art and Design. Markow’s work is currently on display at the Denver Art Museum in the lower gallery, and she was honored at the Denver Art Museum during a Denver Rotary luncheon on Feb. 22.

Spring 2011


Ar tistic Achievements

TSD Community News

Chess Club — Nine students from Lincoln participated in the district Chess Club Tournament. Special congratulations to 2nd grader Cody Thompson who placed 5th in the K-3 division. We’re proud of all our participants. Positive choices — Lincoln is highlighting the positive choices students are making on the playground by using problemsolving strategies they have learned through counseling lessons. Graphs are posted for each of the problem-solving strategies and students watch with excitement as the graph grows with the specific names of students who have been “spotted” using the strategy. So far, the winning strategy is “Share and Take Turns” with “Talk it Out” a close second. We are working hard to reduce incidences of bullying, and we are proud of our students who are using these strategies to solve problems.

Shown is one piece in TVHS senior Molly Markow’s portfolio.

it.” To figure out who was doing what, and so they didn’t have 100 books on popular animals such as polar bears, Gilbert and Cervantes made lists of geographic areas, then a range of plant and animal classes. Each student pair selected a geographic area and a class. For instance, one group selected North America and reptiles. Within that category, they have some flexibility. That team — Mallori Neeper and Kaitlyn Shedds — selected the snapping turtle. “With the new standards, we have so much ground to cover. Having 100 teams doing something different, we cover a lot of ground because they share all of this work,” Gilbert n 10 years, 7th graders at Conrad Ball said. Middle School have created and delivered As a new teacher, Cervantes is excited some 8,000 little books to various levels about the project. “This is a great way to of readers in the community and beyond, in- practice writing and do some meaningful dicating that this multi-layered curriculum research,” he said. “Plus, some of the kids that crosses from science to language arts is are very motivated by the fact that the books effective and popular. might be published outside of the school This year, science and social studies environment. It’s also a great co-teaching teacher Lynn Gilbert is at it again, teaming experience,” he said. with another teacher and working with The little book templates are provided by 200 students to meet the new standards in RealeBooks. Students conduct their creating little science books for their peers research, locate their pictures, cite their as well as younger students. sources, organize their information and design within the templates. “It doesn’t get old because there is always Once they have finished, the students will something new,” Gilbert said. This year, her share their book online with their parents or “experienced” bookmakers are teamed with someone else. As in the past, some of the students in Gabe Cervantes’ classes, and each pair of students must make a book that books may be selected to be given out to other students. For several years, the kids at falls within the curriculum guidelines. Conrad Ball created the books for the “This is like a big research project rolled up Literacy Fair held in March by the district’s into one little book,” Gilbert said. “The kids Early Childhood program. In the past, do the same amount of research, but most of Gilbert’s classes and others produced books the kids don’t groan when they hear about for the Early Childhood students thanks to funding support from the Thompson Valley Rotary Club and an extended grant from Rotary International. During that time, the students actually delivered the books to the students and read to them as well. They have also shared the books with students from other countries. “There is really no end to how many directions we can go,” Gilbert said. And, it seems every step they take dovetails into the direction of the state and district content standards as well as with the goals of Vision 2020, most notably robust learning, Mallori Neeper and Kaitlyn Shedds select culture of excellence, and healthy pictures they will use in their little book. constituent relationships.


Books Little science books continue to make impact at Conrad Ball


Seventh grader Zac Marquardt was the first student at Turner Middle School to finish the marathon distance.

BRIEFS From Page 9

TURNER MIDDLE SCHOOL After-school club — IFFCO (Identified Floating, Flying and Crashing Objects) is a new after-school club for students who are interested in applying project-based learning that emphasizes math, science, physics and art. The students build identified floating, flying and crashing objects. They are currently working on the physics of flying by building prototypes. Currently, there are 30 students participating. First aid/CPR — As part of their health class, Turner 7th grade students had the opportunity to receive their CPR /AED First Aid certification for adults, children and infants. Forty-six students became certified by the American Red Cross. Marathon miles — The school wellness committee and student-led Fuel Up to Play 60 team works together to teach students how to eat healthy and get students moving. Each Monday and Wednesday, students are encouraged to walk or run around the school’s track during their lunch recess. Students are awarded a necklace and plastic feet for every five miles they complete. A special prize is awarded when a student completes a marathon (26.2 miles). Seventh grader Zac Marquardt was the first student at Turner to finish the marathon distance. Many students and staff members cheered as Marquardt crossed the finish line. “I knew he was going to finish his marathon and I wanted to be sure to see it,” commented Eileen Hoover, a senior citizen who has been counting most of the laps that Marquardt and other students have run in the Mileage Club. Several senior citizens have helped with the program throughout the school year, but Hoover and Rebecca Ryan were consistently there through the winter.



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TSD Community News

Spring 2011

DISTRICT MathCounts results — The district MathCounts competition was Feb. 5 at Walt Clark Middle School. Conrad Ball, Lucile Erwin, Turner and Walt Clark middle schools each had teams participating. The individual results were: Lauren Howard , WCMS, 1st; Amber Wiens, WCMS, 2nd; Sean Jordan, TMS, 3rd; and Gabriel Vigil, TMS, 4th. Chess results — The district Chess Tournament was Feb. 5 at Conrad Ball Middle School with more than 100 students participating. Students from Thompson schools as well as homeschooled children participated. Thompson students in the top 10 in each division are listed with their school and placement order. K-3rd grade: Megan Stackhouse, Cottonwood Plains, 3rd; Luke Namesnik, New Vision Charter, 4th; Cody Thompson, Lincoln, 5th; Evan Taylor, Mary Blair, 6th; Nicole Rogers, Coyote Ridge, 7th; Megan Lindsey, Coyote Ridge, 8th; Aaron Forster, Garfield, 9th; and Cleveland Odd, Stansberry, 10th. 4th-6th grade: Jacob Bennert, Turner, 2nd; Brandon Lindsey, Coyote Ridge, 3rd; Josh Stackhouse, Lucile Erwin, 4th; Jared Ogg, Cottonwood Plains, 5th; Heron Lenz, Coyote Ridge, 6th; Micah Ramirez, Namaqua, 7th; Ben Krueger, Turner, 8th; and Anand Vissa, Coyote Ridge, 9th. 7th-12th grade: Kevin Green, BHS, 1st; Spencer Golsan, BHS, 2nd; Jacob Schafer, WCMS, 3rd; Kimball Taylor, CBMS, 4th; Sam Hardy, TVHS, 5th; Zach Holsinger, WCMS, 6th; Keegan Heyart, TMS, 7th; Jonathan Whitaker, New Vision Charter, 8th; Kane Remmick, CBMS, 9th; and Wes Wilson, WCMS, 10th.

Teachers of the


Stepping Up recognizes community-school par tnerships

UNC program mixes class time with student time



here aren’t many better learning experiences for future teachers than to be in the classroom with students, immediately attached to their own in-class time with university peers and teachers. All of the students involved benefit. That’s the opportunity University of Northern Colorado students have through a reading diagnostic program with Dr. Michael Opitz, Ph.D., professor of literacy at UNC. The future teachers actually attend class at Namaqua Elementary School during the fall. Then they work one-onone with some 20 students in a reading intervention program to improve the reading skills of students who need extra help. “What’s great is we spend time in our class learning teaching skills and can go right out and apply them and see if and how they work,” said Katie Hansen, a UNC student teacher working at Namaqua. She worked with student Emma Briles to find strategies that would help Briles become a better reader. “I really wanted to make reading fun and so picked books she might like,”

bimonthly, streamed video program features a few of the many community-school partnerships that enrich the learning and activities provided in the Thompson Schools. Twice a month, Stepping Up, hosted by district staff Michael Jones and Wes Fothergill, introduces how these partnerships benefit the schools, the students and the organizations that provide assistance. The lighthearted half-hour program, produced by Thompson Schools Television, includes interviews with students, teachers and community members and has even included a dog, which was part of Human-Animal Bond in Colorado (HABIC). HABIC works with students at Laurene Edmondson Elementary School, thanks to sponsorship by Tom Dwyer and the Embassy Suites in Loveland. "It's been really great to learn about all of the different partnerships our schools and departments have with organizations outside of our district,” Fothergill said. “But the best part is hearing from our students about how those partnerships have made a difference in their lives.” Other programs have included partnerships between: the Geometry in Construction program and Habitat for Humanity; the volunteer programs in the schools and the district; the Boys & Girls Club and Truscott Elementary; Grace Place and Turner Middle School; Philo Club and several schools for their food drive; Mary Blair Elementary and seven local organizations, including the Larimer County Food Bank and Poudre Valley Health System’s Healthy Kids Club, for the Kids Club at Maple Terrace; Colorado State University, Winona Elementary (and other schools) and Nutrition Services for various nutrition projects; Namaqua Elementary and the University of Northern Colorado for a reading tutor program; and more. Jones is the assistant superintendent of Human Resources & School Support. Fothergill is director of Communication & Community Resources. If your organization is participating in a partnership with our schools, contact Fothergill at 613-6086.

Student teacher Katie Hansen and student Emma Briles talk about the reading program at Namaqua on a segment of Stepping Up. Hansen said. She found that Briles liked biographies and fantasy, so she selected Taylor Swift’s biography and Harry Potter books. “We would read a little, write a little, do some silent reading — a little of everything.” “She made reading really fun,” Briles said. “Before I had her, I didn’t like reading. But I got to learn about someone else with biographies and got to go somewhere else with the fairy tales.” Hansen said the immediate hands-on approach was crucial and rewarding. “It was great to have the assessment and practice all at once and to use that assessment to help find books.” Namaqua Principal Rick Bowles said he has seen positive results. “We have seen improved acuity and other test scores,” he said. “Plus, the relationship is important. The student teachers really build bonds with the kids.” During second semester, several of the kids and their UNC

tutors still attend tutoring classes every Tuesday night at the UNC-Centerra classrooms. Opitz, who has been in education and in the forefront of literacy programs for 37 years, said this particular program actually is connected with Linda Leon, formerly the Intensive Reading teacher at Namaqua who is now at the Reading Center at UNC, which provides tutoring and outreach. He said results are evident in the young students. “It benefits everybody involved,” he said. “It gives our future teachers better insight into how kids operate and it’s good for the students who improve their reading,” he said. “But it’s also good for them and me to want to always be connected and to be involved.” This partnership is reflective of all five strategic plan goals: equity in access, robust learning, responsible stewardship, culture of excellence, and healthy constituent relationships.


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Spring 2011

lementary and middle school students participated in the district spelling bee. Ami Jones (above) from Stansberry Elementary, who won 1st place at the elementary level, accepts an award from Danel Lins, Gifted & Talented education parent liaison & enrichment coordinator. In 2nd place was Megan Krumweide from Stansberry, and in 3rd place was Chase Corlett from Ivy Stockwell. At the middle school level, the winners were: Rocky Eisentraut, Bill Reed, 1st; Ken Kubik, Turner, 2nd; Olivia Conde, Turner, 3rd; Mark Stewart and Hannah Stippich, Turner, 4th; and Bridget Hyde, Lucile Erwin, 6th.The top six middle school students were eligible to compete at the state spelling bee in Denver on March 19.

Helping Parents Raise Healthy Smilers



TSD Community News

Can you spell

126 E. 29th Street • Loveland, CO 80538 970-635-4353 •

Love of the Outdoors CYO joins youth and parents in outdoor education



A view of the property where Colorado Youth Outdoors holds its classes. Once the initial program is completed, participants are eligible to sign up for any of the CYO Adventure Series, which are excursions ranging from overnight fly fishing, camping and hunting trips to rodbuilding classes or other activities that Hewson said provide opportunities to learn, connect and experience the outdoors and family relationships. Some of the neatest experiences have been watching a mom and her 14-year-old boy connect or a very busy father and daughter engage, he said. Then they return. “They come here to spend time doing something meaningful with their son or daughter,” Hewson said. Hewson’s staff is composed primarily of teachers — three from Thompson, one from Poudre and one from Greeley — plus himself and program manager Brad Wright. Wright was seeking volunteer hours when he was attending the University of Northern Colorado and connected with Tom Hewson (Bob’s brother and Thompson Valley High School science teacher) at church. He volunteered for CYO and began writing grants. Greig McAlpin teaches 2nd grade at Monroe Elementary

and is also an instructor for CYO. It fits in with his love of the outdoors as well as his love of teaching. “You meet these families and watch them build on their relationships. It’s really cool,” he said. He, Hewson and Wright are all graduates of TVHS, although at different times. Hewson worked for Hach Company for 16 years as an engineer and traveled a lot. He wanted to spend more time with his family, live a bit simpler life doing something that combined natural resources, the outdoors and building healthier families. Though he started CYO in 2001, he didn’t leave Hach until 2003. Over the years, CYO has grown and built a solid reputation from the high school students and their parents. It operates about equally between its own fundraisers, grants and gifts and contributions. Its biggest fundraiser is April 29May 1 with The Maverick event, a sporting clay shoot held at Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch. For each session, CYO accepts 75 pairs who meet on Wednesday nights for 12 weeks. Visit to register or find out more about CYO.


ob Hewson is proud of bringing parents off the bleachers and onto the field with their kids. He has been sharing the love of outdoor activities with families in the Thompson School District and surrounding area for 10 years through Colorado Youth Outdoors. During its early years, CYO actually worked out of school facilities to bring parents and students together in a partnership to participate in a variety of outdoor activities including trap shooting, fly fishing, archery, spin fishing, outdoor survival and more. “The sweetness of it is reaching out to area high schools, bringing parents and kids together to make connections with each other as well as with the environment around them,” Hewson said. “The whole idea is for the parent and child to work as a team and make connections, find commonality.” Now with its own 240 acres to house its activities, the nonprofit can serve more with its own program as well as provide activities and a location for nonprofits and organizations from Denver north such as the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Foothills Gateway and more. The program operates through the school year offering traditional outdoor activities through a 12-week program offered twice a year. The parents and youth meet once a week to spend time learning and working together, he said. “Our gift is the gift of time to spend together,” Hewson said. “It is amazing what this can do to a parent-youth relationship.”

Spring 2011




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TSD Community News

Second graders lend a hand to Haitian orphanage econd graders at Coyote Ridge Elementary School took on a humanitarian project as part of their International Baccalaureate curriculum — they wanted to help victims of Haiti’s earthquake through their service project "Haiti Houses." Students made little magnets and pins that looked like houses and sold them for $5 each. All proceeds were for Haiti earthquake relief, in particular an orphanage that lost its building. “We tied this project in to our IB unit of inquiry about communities and businesses, and the students had to apply for a job when it was time to market and sell the Haiti Houses if they wanted to participate,” said Sarah Smith, one of the 2nd grade teachers. “The pins and magnets are being sold at Coyote Ridge. A local book club, Mountain States Driver's Education in Fort Collins, and an adoption agency have teamed up with us and are selling the Haiti Houses at their places of business,” Smith added. The name of the orphanage is Step-by-Step. The All About Adoption agency in Berthoud, which works with a nonprofit Haitian agency called Haitian Orphan Rescue, will take the funds to Haiti, she said. “So far, our 2nd graders have raised $650 at Coyote Ridge with the help of Mountain States Driver's Education and the local book club that our librarian attends to send to the orphanage!” Several other elementary, middle and high schools also conducted various fundraising and support activities for Haiti. This effort exemplifies the equity in access, responsible stewardship and healthy constituent relationship goals of the district’s strategic plan.

Students at an orphanage in Haiti that is being supported through an effort led by a 2nd grade class at Coyote Ridge Elementary School and several community partners.

LEMS students place at forensics meet


iddle school students from four districts participated in a regional forensics meet sponsored by the Lucile Erwin Forensics Club on Feb. 25 at Lucile Erwin Middle School. Ninety-two students from Thompson, Weld 6, Poudre and Cherry Creek school districts competed in Debate, Poetry, Prose, Original Oratory, Duo Interpretation, Improvisation, Humor and Drama. Turner and Lucile Erwin middle schools were represented from Thompson. Awards were presented to the top six competitors in each category, said LEMS sponsor Sue Teumer.

THOMPSON STUDENTS WHO PLACED INCLUDED: In a hurry, mom? Let us pack the lunch.

• Forrest Vargas, LEMS, 7th grade – 1st place Impromptu (out of 28 participants) • Maisie Phillips, LEMS, 7th grade – 3rd place Impromptu • Hannah Meador, LEMS, 7th grade – 1st place Original Oratory

1430 W. Eisenhower Blvd.


Southwest Corner of Highway 34 & Taft TV-325443


• Maisie Phillips, LEMS, 7th grade – 2nd place Original Oratory

Making a Splash The 2005 Bond, along with the City of Loveland and private foundations, provided funds for reconstruction of the swimming pool at Loveland High School. The pool will support competitive swimming as a venue for dual meets. The former pool structure was demolished and the existing adjacent building walls were retained.

A closer look at the new LHS pool • Six 25-yard lanes each eight feet wide, a shallow-end depth of 4 feet 4 inches and a deep-end depth of 13 feet • 205,000 gallons of water fill the pool • Water temperature will range from 79-82 degrees Fahrenheit • Inside air temperature will range from 84-85 degrees Fahrenheit • Starting blocks on the deep end along with a one-meter diving board • New Colorado Timing System along with a judges booth • Portable ADA pool lift

• New lockers, showers and slip-resistant floors in the locker rooms • Parapet gutters at the ends of the lanes and rollout side gutters to help with wave control • Modern overflow recirculation system • Modern high-rate sand filtration • Water chemistry monitoring and control systems • Modern chemical treatment systems • New spectator bleachers and deck equipment • New interior finishes • New translucent window wall for natural daylight • All new mechanical system • New outside concrete patio area at the south entry


Reading Clinic INC. • Individualized Instruction in Reading, Writing and Study Skills for students of all ages • Now Tutoring Math K-12


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Middle school students interview Denver Bronco

GO BACK TO SCHOOL IN STYLE! ASSOCIATES IN FAMILY EYE CARE David M. Banford, O.D. • William C. Straub, O.D. 2249 W. Eisenhower Blvd.



Spring 2011


ix students from Thompson School District participated in a Fuel Up to Play 60 student reporter event with Denver Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno in February. Through a shared commitment to combat childhood obesity, the Western Dairy Association and Denver Broncos sponsored the event to focus on the importance of healthy eating and leading an active lifestyle. Students questioned the pro athlete on his eating and

TSD Community News

Fuel Up to Play

exercise habits. Two students and adults representing each school attended. The schools participating from Thompson were Turner, Lucile Erwin, and Walt Clark middle schools. The Western Dairy Association has been working closely with these schools to implement the Fuel Up to Play 60 program. The program was launched by the National Dairy Council and the National Football League in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Students who attended were: Logan Redabaugh and Kiah Leonard from Turner with adults/advisors Dale and Kristi Leonard; Braxton Morby and Tyler Logan from Lucile Erwin with adults/advisors Kelly Anderson and Jobi Duke; and Andrea Hernandez and Ell Lincoln from Walt Clark with adults/advisors Jayna Mong and Stephanie Richard. Scott Pickert, a dairy farmer and wrestling coach at Berthoud High School, participated in the event as well.


Braxton Morby and Tyler Logan represented Lucile Erwin Middle School at the Fuel Up to Play 60 student reporter event. The students were joined by Fuel Up to Play 60 program advisors Kelly Anderson and Jobi Duke, the Denver Broncos mascot, Miles, and running back Knowshon Moreno.

Kicking up



WCMS students take a health and wellness day


t was a welcome break to the day at Walt Clark Middle School — to push the desks aside and try some karate kicks or to do the crab walk. It was part of the school’s Health and Wellness Walk-a-Thon event. Students spent the entire day learning about ways to improve their mind and body as well as raising funds to support the needs of their school. Each student was able to go to 10 stations. “Stations run by members of the community were among students’ favorites as I overhead many excited voices throughout the day,” said science teacher Dee Woodcock, who assisted Janette McCahan, physical education teacher.

Students take some lessons from Trans Martial Arts staff at Walt Clark’s health and wellness day. Some of those community stations included: 24 Hour Fitness, Trans Martial Arts, Best Buy with Wii Fit, yoga, meth awareness, suicide prevention, McKee Hospital on stress, Healthy Kids Club on nutrition, and FRCC on blood pressure and body mass index. Many of the WCMS staff also had interesting stations, she said. “Our campus monitor, Matt Hughes, facilitated one on fitness culture of the Japanese,” she said. In addition to the stations, students had some time in the library for reading and then 20 min-

utes on the track for the actual Walk-a-Thon, a fundraiser. There was also an obstacle course and a contest of the “calories are right.” The final 45 minutes consisted of an all-school assembly which included the presentation of the grand prize to the top fundraiser. “Ms. (Danielle) Balliet was in charge of making the assembly fun and engaging for the culmination of the day,” Woodcock said. “It was truly a great day that seemed to excite and inspire students as well as teachers!”

“I really liked learning about people. I want to be a police officer, and I learned a lot by asking questions.” — Travis Pflock, student

is subliminal to the kids. What they were able to do is use a new technology to create something that relates to their personal lives. The process applied their existing knowledge to create a new idea and create original works as a means of personal or group expression. In order to complete their tasks, they had to interFrom left, Isabel Layne, Madison Ruff, Jenna Hammel, Travis Pflock and Noe Munguia chat act, collaborate and publish about the process of making their vodcasts. with peers, experts or others using a variety of digital envieach other,” she said. “This ronments and media. They alwas new to me so there were so communicated information times I couldn’t answer the and ideas effectively to multiquestions, but a student who ple audiences using a variety had already addressed the issue could share it so we could of media and formats. all move forward.” Through the process, students had to identify the qualiWhen Dolezal received her grant from the foundation, she ties of their heroes through was able to purchase the cam- character traits by answering the question “what does the eras at a two-for-one price, so term hero mean to you?” They she leveraged her ability to Most important is the look purchase a few more. The stu- then had to describe the charon the students’ faces as they acteristics of a person who dents had to work on their watch the vodcasts they creat- projects in stages, but all 24 meets those qualities; learn ined about their heroes — parterview skills; consider what have now completed their ents, teachers, policemen, setting would add to the storyvideos. Now, a new vodcast is coaches, etc. Acknowledging line; record, edit, trim, seposted each week on their the impact of someone else’s quence and transition clips; class blog and students can life on theirs is a huge leap for ask questions or comment create titles; and do echnology has a heart as 4th graders, Dolezal noted. through blogs or messages to voiceovers. Jeanna Dolezal’s 4th “I have been amazed and ed- the student who produced the “I really liked learning about grade class learned ucated by the stories these featured video. people,” said Travis Pflock, when they used creativity and kids have produced,” Dolezal The school-community digi- who featured his hero, a police innovation, communication said. The depth they were able tal storytelling project, deofficer who was a friend’s dad. and collaboration to tell the to reach in terms of gathering signed by Dolezal last school “I want to be a police officer, world about their heroes. information about their heroes year, unwittingly exemplifies and I learned a lot by asking Using flip cameras purto make successful videos was what the district envisions for questions,” he said. He learned chased through a Creativity impressive, she said. “For inthe future through its Vision why police officers are linked Grant from the Thompson Ed- stance, they had to understand 2020 Strategic Plan. Vodcast with eating donuts, but the ucation Foundation, Dolezal what makes a good question elements represent a culture budding marketer said one designed a project that covso the response wasn’t a yes or of excellence, robust learning, would have to watch his video ered plenty of curricular no,” Dolezal said as her stuhealthy constituent relationto find out. He also learned ground and yielded a multidents nodded in agreement. ships, responsible stewardship about paintballs that are filled tude of results. and equity in access. But that with pepper spray. “They also learned from


TSD Community News

Spring 2011

Hero of the Day Cottonwood Plains kids share heroes in vodcasts


“I think a hard thing to do was to know what’s important and what’s not,” said Jenna Hammel, who interviewed her riding instructor. “Everything is interesting, but you can’t use it all.” An important thing she learned was that her instructor doesn’t just teach riding, she also rescues horses. Angus, the horse she rides, was rescued from neglect. Isabel Layne selected her father, who is also her basketball coach. “I learned my dad won a coin toss and that’s how I got my name,” she said. Noe Munguia’s hero is his English Language Acquisition teacher, Samara Cohen. He learned that she grew up near the ocean in Rhode Island and that her first name was Samara. He selected her because she has been such a major help to him. “She has helped me a lot like with my topic sentences,” he said. Madison Ruff is a figure skater, and she wants to follow in her instructor’s footsteps. She found out her hero had made a commercial and also competed on the state and national level. When the students sat down to talk about their videos, there was no shortage of input. They knew they were now emerging video experts and couldn’t wait to share their knowledge. Their class was among other classes from Cottonwood Plains Elementary featured in a segment of Kid TV, which can be streamed from the district website at

Odyssey of the Mind regional results


isted are the Thompson teams that scored in the top four places in each division for each problem during the regional Odyssey of the Mind competition at Berthoud High School in March. The top four in each group were invited to advance to the state tournament April 9.

EXTREME MOUSEMOBILES – DIVISION 1 1st place – Namaqua Elementary 3rd place – Berthoud Elementary 4th place – Lincoln Elementary

AS GOOD AS GOLD...BERG – DIVISION 1 1st place – Truscott Elementary 2nd place – Big Thompson Elementary 3rd place – Coyote Ridge Elementary 4th place – Garfield Elementary

LE TOUR GUIDE – DIVISION 1 2nd place – Garfield Elementary 3rd place – Cottonwood Plains Elementary Team A 4th place – Centennial Elementary

Popwith -In

LE TOUR GUIDE – DIVISION 2 2nd place – Lucile Erwin Middle School

Ron Cabrera S

uperintendent Ron Cabrera talks with students, parents and staff at Van Buren Elementary School during his “Pop-in with Ron” visit in March. He speaks with student Mia Fleischer as adults Lisa Grindle, Judi Greenup and Paulette Fleischer watch. He also chatted with students Brady Caven and TiaVonna Lachaypha. Cabrera visits the schools at the end of the day. Participants receive a cup of popcorn. Cabrera visited Truscott Elementary in February and will visit Ivy Stockwell Elementary on April 26.

UNHINGED STRUCTURE – DIVISION 1 1st place – Winona Elementary

FULL CIRCLE – DIVISION 1 1st place – Truscott Elementary 2nd place – Cottonwood Plains Elementary Team A 3rd place – Centennial Elementary 4th place – Garfield Elementary

FULL CIRCLE – DIVISION 2 2nd place – Conrad Ball Middle School

CONGRATULATIONS AND THANK YOU! To the 4,000 community members from Loveland, Berthoud and Fort Collins who made an investment in the future success of our students by contributing to Vision 2020, our strategic plan, which will guide our direction and keep us focused for the next 10 years.


Spring 2011 15


TSD Community News

Goals: Robust Learning • Equity in Access • Responsible Stewardship Healthy Constituent Relationships • Culture of Excellence


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Spring 2011

Associates in Family Medicine

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