Longtime Teachers, Staff Retire from School District
“Tonight we are honoring 250 years of service,” said Lake County School District (LCSD) Superintendent Wendy Wyman at the End-of-Year school celebration, which included the retirement of three teachers and five LCSD staff members. That number in itself is impressive. But when you saw who was sitting in those chairs at The Elks Lodge last Friday, May 2, it was easy to see how this special group had touched – every life that came through the hallowed halls of Leadville schools in recent decades.
They represent every part of the school district, from teaching to administration, to transportation, to custodial to food services. In some ways, it seemed the marking of an era. So with great gratitude, the best of carefree, healthy days ahead to the following people who were so dedicated to our students for many, many years.
Art Show Highlights Students Work Next Friday
Next Friday, May 9, the Lake County School District will be presenting its annual Spring Art Show from 6 – 8 p.m. at the Lake County Middle School. Under the direction of Leadville art teachers Erin Farrow and Amanda Good, students have put together a collection of fabulous art! Come, see their hard work and have some fun . The evening will also include a pottery ale, silent auction and activities and fun for the entire family.
Also, if you’ve got some free time this week and can volunteer to help with some of the logistics of putting on this special art show from setting it up to breaking it down when it’s over, please contact Art Teacher Erin Farrow at 719-486-6887 or 719-486-6876.
CMC Grads Heading into Dream Careers
By Carrie Click
Diane Ambrose, Greg Ambrose and Shannon Harness won’t have much time to sit back and contemplate the Colorado Mountain College degrees they received in the May 2 commencement ceremonies at the college’s campus in Leadville.
That’s because all three will be quickly applying their degrees to new jobs: the Ambroses in natural resource management, and Harness in outdoor recreation leadership.
Greg and Diane Ambrose are a married couple who live over the mountains from Leadville, outside of Fairplay. Diane said studying at CMC was a decision the two made together, and one that fit with both of their backgrounds.
“We decided to attend Colorado Mountain College in Leadville because it offered a strong combination of hands-on and classroom learning,” she said.
Although Diane and Greg came to the natural resource management program with different levels of experience, Diane said the attention they received at the campus helped them to gain the knowledge they needed.
“Greg started with a much stronger science background than I had so I really appreciated his help and support,” she said. “The staff, faculty and students are really fantastic. CMC offers students a tremendously supportive environment.”
That supportive environment came into play when the couple jumped in to help with disaster relief following the devastating floods that hit the Front Range during the fall of 2013. Diane said they put what they learned at CMC directly to use when offering their assistance.
“First we need to thank our instructors and other students for flexibility in rearranging a few classes so we could both work on the American Red Cross Flood support,” she said. “Our job working on the flood was to make maps that would help the Red Cross leadership deploy staff and then help the people that were going out to provide assistance to people who lost homes and personal belongings in the floods.”
Now that graduation has passed, the Ambroses are putting their degrees immediately to work.
“We are going to celebrate our graduation by participating in a week-long U.S. Forest Service archaeology program documenting petroglyphs in Utah,” Diane said. “We will then start on new careers that include both computerized map making and analysis and natural resource management.”
Becoming a leader in outdoor recreation
Shannon Harness is equally as enthused about immediately applying his degree in outdoor recreation leadership to a dream job in Salida.
Filling the role of a student is not all Harness has done during his time at the campus in Leadville. A veteran, he has worked part-time as the student veteran liaison on campus, and has served as an instructor for a CMC mountain biking course.
“I feel that my time in the military developed a unique discipline that has helped me excel in my classes and stand out among my peers,” he said. “Being a nontraditional student – I’m 33 years old – has its advantages in the classroom as well.”
Harness said it’s impossible to pin down one memorable experience that rises above all others during his time at CMC.
“I spent two unforgettable weeks in East Africa in the study-abroad program with CMC, and walked away with an intimate understanding of the people in that region, their culture, their ingenuity and their perseverance amidst corrupt and unjust governments,” he said. “Then there was an amazing internship in Ollantaytambo, Peru, where I was a mountain biking and adventure guide.”
And Harness said it’s the faculty at CMC who have made an indelible imprint.
“The instructors at CMC-Leadville are second to none,” he said. “They are here and not at a big university because they love the teaching and they have a love for the outdoors, just like all their students. Our instructors are amazing networking resources and have certainly helped to kick-start my career in the outdoor recreation field.”
That career is set to start right after graduation.
“Starting in May, I will be the operations manager for Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center in Salida, as well as a mountain biking and rafting guide,” Harness said. “And I have future plans for a start-up outdoor recreation business in the Leadville area.”