Education Briefs

Michael Sproul graduates from technical college

Michael Ramsey Sproul recently graduated magna cum laude from Lincoln College of Technology in Denver, achieving an Associate of Occupational Studies Degree and Master Certification in Diesel and Truck Technology.

He is a 2004 graduate of Durango High School.

Blake Knoll receives degree in engineering

On May 11, Blake A. Knoll, son of Blake and Gina Knoll, received a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics from Colorado School of Mines.

Knoll graduated cum laude with honors and is a member of the Sigma Pi Sigma physics honor society. He will attend Colorado School of Mines to pursue a master’s degree in nuclear engineering. Knoll is a 2008 graduate of Ignacio High School.

Animas Valley Elementary announces Huskies

Animas Valley Elementary School named these students Huskies of the Week for showing integrity: Jack Goodman, Madden Harlan, Brady Rodriguez, Eli Russel, Roxi Sharlein, Calan Barnhardt, Rowan Hall, Addy Ickes, Dawson Garland and Jace Pinto.

These students earned Huskies of the Week honors for showing empathy, commitment, creativity, independence or integrity: Avery Stevenson, Berkley Crouse, Jose Leos, Eliza Sandoval, Olivia Miller, Samme Newcomer, Michael Shires, Maddie Jo Robbins, Jack Schuba, London Wheeler, Giddy Hogg, Sean McCardell, Abbey Wiley, Alisen Ballou, Emily Gregory, Estefan Naranjo, Nick Unkovskoy, Logan Van Lindt and Jazzy Martinez.

Elks Lodge announces scholarship winners

The Durango Elks Lodge Scholarship Committee announces that these students were awarded scholarships: Jade Gutierrez and Tyler Steele from Bayfield High School; Amber Thompson, Claire Ochsner, Logan Jaworsky, Morgan Jaworsky, Sabryna Lopez and Seth Pooler from Durango High School; and Abeth Okall and Shane Richmond from Ignacio High School.

The committee awarded $7,000 in scholarships to local high school students and another $1,000 as the state award.

Florida Mesa students make environmental switch

Florida Mesa Elementary fifth-graders recently learned that plastics damage the environment and realized that the school’s cafeteria uses disposable plastic sporks.

As a result, students decided to raise money to replace the disposable sporks with metal forks and spoons. Students calculated the cost of plastic versus metal and determined that school throws away almost 70,000 plastic sporks every year.

Students wrote letters and met with the principal, nutrition director and the cafeteria manager to get permission to replace the plastic sporks. Students then earned money to buy the metal utensils by charging students 25 cents a day to wear a hat in the building.

After the metal utensils come in, students will help educate their peers about not throwing away the metal ones and will help monitor the cafeteria until the new routine is in place.

District 9-R employees of the year announced

The Durango Foundation for Educational Excellence annually celebrates Durango School District 9-R staff members’ contributions to the education of students and invites all employees to nominate fellow staff members to receive top honors at its “9-R Employee Appreciation Event.”

These employees received “Employee of the Year” honors at the event May 3: Barbara McLachlan, High School Teacher of the Year; Jason Thomas, Middle School Teacher of the Year; Lori Smith and Jeb Holt, Elementary School Teachers of the Year; Sonia Miera, Gloria Smiley and Marian Huffman, Non-Teaching Staff Members of the Year.

In addition, the foundation recognized Pete Harter for his years of dedication to 9-R students and staff members with a special award made by Durango High School artists. This school year will be Harter’s final year as principal of Needham Elementary.

For more information, visit

Culinary group attends national competition

Durango High School students Dannah Casto, Dorrian Casto, Chantel Campbell and Walker Rodman represented Colorado in Baltimore at the ProStart National Culinary Competition, creating a meal and finishing on time.

The team had 15 minutes to fabricate two chickens and show high-end knife skills. The team finished the first part of the competition on time.

Next, the team had one hour to create two identical meals, including an appetizer, entrée and dessert, incorporating into their meal the fruit and vegetables cut earlier. The DHS team finished with about one minute remaining.

The team will learn its placement within the next weeks.

Masons recognize outstanding DHS juniors

Cody Robinson and Keely Costello were awarded the Outstanding Junior Boy and Outstanding Junior Girl Award at Durango High School from the Masonic Temple of Durango on April 28.

Ag, FFA students at DHS win honors in contests

KayDe Naylon, agriculture instructor and FFA adviser announces that the Durango High School Agricultural Education/FFA program was recognized at the Colorado Western Slope FFA Career Development Events on April 18 in Fruita.

This is a contest open to all FFA members in Colorado. Although all of the contests were team events, some students won high individual awards within the contests.

The winning teams and individuals are:

Livestock Judging: Champion Team, consisting of Ashley Little (First High Individual); Skkye Moreno (Second High Individual); Chantel Campbell and Terrell Strauss.

Agriculture Sales: Champion Team, consisting of Cole Dunegan (First High Individual); Dustrie Stock (Second High Individual); Elyse Paul (Third High Individual); and Lane Joseph (Fourth High Individual).

Floriculture: Third Place, consisting of Bailey Herrera, Logan Garrett, Cindy Kobrin and Coriss Bosick.

Horse Judging: Fourth Place, consisting of Lorianne Stevens, Dakota Young, Markie O’Rand and Emma Greenberg.

Agronomy/Crops: First Place, consisting of Lukas Morgan, Austin Werts, Shantell Smith and Reyetta Hubbs.

Meats Evaluation: Fifth Place, consisting of Robert Moore, Westly Moore, Stephanie Paul and Tyler Campbell.

DHS students also competed in events April 30 in Fort Collins. These are the results:

Livestock Judging, Gold Team, fourth: Skkye Moreno (second high individual); Ashley Little (gold individual); and Terrell Strauss.

Agriculture Sales, Silver Team, third: Lane Joseph (gold and third high individual); Cole Dunegan (silver individual); Dustrie Stock; and Elyse Paul.

Field Crops, Silver Team, fifth: Shantell Smith (silver individual); Reyetta Hubbs (silver individual); Austin Werts (silver individual); Lukas Morgan (bronze individual).

Horse Judging, Silver Team, seventh: Lorianne Stevens (gold individual); Dakota Young (silver individual); Markie O’Rand (bronze individual); and Emma Greenberg.

Floriculture, Silver Team, eighth: Logan Garrett (gold individual); Bailey Herrera (bronze individual); Corissa Bosick; and Cindy Kobrin.

Meats Evaluation Team, 19th: Westly Moore (bronze individual); Robert Moore; and Tyler Campbell.

Athletes, activity participants at DHS are honored

Spring Durango High School athletes and CHSAA-sponsored activity participants received CHSAA Academic All-State achievements.

These students earned First Team honors, which are given to junior and senior students with cumulative 3.60 or higher grade point average: Band-spring: Ian Junkermann and John Skeath; baseball: Connor Dugan, Easton Garcia and Joseph Keresey; girls golf: Haleigh Lyon; boys lacrosse: Will Jernigan, Kaviram Pool and Hayden Siekman; girls lacrosse: Katelyn Bergl, Haley Dallas, Rachel Giersch and Hannah Quick; orchestra: Barbara Fischer and Heather Schadt; girls soccer: Emily Barney, Erin Maxwell, Amanda McAliney, Brooke Milliet, Karlee Mulkey, Meghan O’Brien, Stephanie Ogier, Savannah Seiter and Amanda Urban; boys swimming: Austin Miller, Jackson Paine and Carl Sallee; girls tennis: Stephanie Bowles, Alexandra Hickey, Brenna Kallaher, Erin Neale, Claire Ochsner, Ellen Southworth and Anna Wright; boys track: Jared Blake, Collin Francom and Joseph Maloney; girls track: Karli Foreman, McKenna Franzen, Mackenzie Sill and Madeigh Winsor; vocal–spring: Harriet Dahlberg, Hope McCraw, Tayler Smith and Amber Thompson.

The junior and senior students with cumulative 3.30 to 3.59 earned Honorable Mention recognition: Band–spring: Emily Sandner, Ellie Schold, James Triola and Keegan Jordan-Matney; baseball: Clayton Haidaris, Daniel Rowley and Marcus Sansoni; girls golf: Alexa Whalen; boys lacrosse: Paul Bikis, Skylar Dobbs and Cooper Stowers; girls lacrosse: Elise Gummow, Alison Millar and Becca Rossi; orchestra: Elroy Smith; girls soccer: Raquel Delgado and Taylor Woolverton; boys swimming: Evan Brookens, Austin Bullock, Peter Bussian, James Calvet and Thananpot Rujinanpanich; girls tennis: Gina Gates; boys track: Austin Miles; girls track: Hannah Hwang; vocal–spring: Zoe Schultz.

These teams and activities were named to the CHSAA Academic All State Teams, to qualify varsity teams must have a cumulative 3.50 GPA or above: Girls tennis (3.78): Stephanie Bowles, Eva Lou Edwards, Gina Gates, Kit Hackett, Emma Hagen, Alexandra Hickey, Brenna Kallaher, Sierra Lillard, Meredith Nass, Erin Neale, Claire Ochsner, Ellen Southworth, Jamie Wanzek and Anna Wright; girls soccer (3.74): Emily Barney, Sarah Bates, Isabella Bernazzani, Shanelle Bogus, Berkeley Davis, Raquel Delgado, Amanda Jones, Erin Maxwell, Amanda McAliney, Brooke Milliet, Lauren Milliet, Karlee Mulkey, Meghan O’Brien, Stephanie Ogier, Hannah Robertson, Savannah Seiter, Amanda Urban, Stephanie Wilson, Taylor Woolverton and Jocelyn Zemach; girls golf (3.59): Brooke Kniffin, Haleigh Lyon, Natalie Lyon, Reiley Waldo, Alexa Whalen and Jessi Wymore; girls track (3.59): Karli Foreman, McKenna Franzen, Miranda Gallegos, Hannah Hwang, Shannon Maloney, Lauren McMunn, Tiffany Morlan, Hannah Peterson, Emily Schaldach, Katarina Seibert, Mackenzie Sill, Dominique Ward, Marley Weaver-Gabel and Madeigh Winsor; boys swimming (3.50): Evan Brookens, Austin Bullock, Peter Bussian, James Calvet, Matthew Erickson, Austin Miller, Joshua Miller, Dane Murdock, Jackson Paine, Jesse Rubenstein, Thananpot Rujinanpanich, Carl Sallee, Danny Shahan and Colby White.

Florida Mesa Elementary names citizens of the month

Florida Mesa Elementary School celebrated the April Citizens of the Month on May 2 and named these students: Reynna Loos, Brooke Fenberg, Brigg Broyles, Willie Fuller, Adrian Gething-Ramirez, Ty Hatfield, Marissa O’John, Alexis Sosa-Ramirez, Nathan Gain, Isaiah Paxton, Elias Ortega Perez, Jason House, Valarie Stiles-Smith, Hailey Levine, Taylor Schermer, Ariah Harwig, Tatym Bergl, Dalton Owens, Drew Owens, Jackie Formby and Aspen Peterson.

The theme for April was the attribute of inquirers.

Needham Elementary names citizens of the month

Needham Elementary School students and staff members focused on the International Baccalaureate Attitude of cooperation during April and acknowledged these students: Austyn Chavez, Nate Pinto, Pam Mendisco, Solomon Gabel, Joey Somrak, Destiny Barber and teacher Kimi Hanson.

District 9-R names director of curriculum, instruction

Lauri Kloepfer has been named Durango School District 9-R’s executive director of curriculum and instruction.

Kloepfer holds a master’s degree from New Mexico State University, has 25 years of teaching and administrative experience and has been employed by 9-R for 11 years. During her tenure with 9-R, she has served as a reading teacher, a resource teacher, the principal of Sunnyside Elementary School and the interim executive director of curriculum and instruction. Additionally, she participated in the curriculum and assessment strategy of the district’s Strategic Plan.

DHS student competes at SkillsUSA challenge

Durango SkillsUSA chapter adviser Shaun Smith announces that Durango High School freshman Weston Pribble competed at the 2012 Colorado SkillsUSA Competition held at Pickens Technical College in Aurora on April 18 and 19.

Pribble participated in a written portion of the cabinetmaking contest and a professional skills test. After competing in the seven-hour practical portion of the test, Pribble finished fourth overall.

For more information, visit

Shock Memorial Scholarship winners announced

The committee for the Lawrence J. Shock Memorial Scholarship awarded scholarships to these 2012 graduating seniors:

Kelsy Sellers of Pagosa Springs, who will attend Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

Kyle Downs of Durango, who will attend Montana State University.

Brenden Ruybal of Bayfield, who will attend Fort Lewis College.

Students win awards, medals at Piano Achievement Day

These students received awards and medallions at the May 5 Piano Achievement Day held at Katzin Music and Studios in Durango:

Bayfield: Brooklyn Moore, special commendation in technique, Level I; and Macey Moore, special commendation in literature performance, Level I and II.

Cortez: Madison Cooper, special commendation in technique, Level I, and literature performance, Level II and III.

Dolores: Naiya Phillips, special commendation in all technique, Level III, special commendation in all literature, Level III/IV, and medallion, Level III.

Durango: Anna Fenbert, special commendation in technique, Level I; Jacob Fenberg, special commendation in literature performance, Level I; Mary Fenberg, special commendation in all technique, Level I and literature performance, Level II; Maddy Gleason, special commendation in literature performance, Level II; Sally Hong, special commendation in literature performance, Level I; Land Lambert, special commendation in all technique, Level I, all literature performance, Level I/II, medallion, Level I; Afton Mann, special commendation in technique, Level I and literature performance, Level I; Karver Mann, special commendation in literature performance, Level I; Cecilia Mino, special commendation in literature performance, Level I; Caitlyn Steiner, special commendation in literature performance, Level I /II; Gracie May Swanson, special commendation in literature performance, Level II; Gavin Syme, special commendation in literature, Level II; and Ava Wayland, special commendation in literature performance, Level I.

Farmington: Dillon Adams, special commendation for technique, Level II and literature performance, Level III; Catelynn Anderson, special commendation in technique, Level II and in literature performance, Level II; Autumn Austin, special commendation in all technique, Level IV, all literature performance Level IV and medallion Level IV.

Ignacio: Jacob Candelaria, special commendation for literature, Level V for exceptional progress in one year.

Mancos: Adam Yoder, special commendation in technique, Level I and in literature performance Level I.

This annual event, open to school-age piano students of all ages and levels, gives students a chance to perform technique and/or literature for judges with an emphasis on making the performance a valuable learning experience. Students receive critiques and awards. Teachers are encouraged to attend. The medallion is given to students who exhibit exceptional standards of performance.

For more information, call 259-2211.

Dakota Sutherlin receives Durango coaches scholarship

Dakota Sutherlin, Durango High School senior and wrestler, is this year’s recipient of the 2012 Durango High School Retired Wrestling Coaches Scholarship.

The scholarship is awarded to a DHS graduating wrestler who desires to continue his or her education and wrestle in a post-high school educational or service institution.

The $500 is a one-time award intended to assist the student-athlete with tuition, books and fees while enrolled in their institutional choice.

Sutherlin will attend Western Wyoming Community College in Rock Springs, Wyo., in the fall. Sutherlin will be recognized at the annual senior scholarship presentation at DHS at 7 p.m. Monday.

Durango High School names student leadership

Durango High School announces that these students have been appointed to serve as members of DHS leadership for the year of 2012-13:

Class of 2016: President, Tyllor Ledford; vice president, Danica Dudly; secretary/treasurer, Austin Urban; member 1, Vance Bulen; and member 2, Nick Jernigan.

Appointed positions: Spirit co-coordinators, Nate Atencio (2015) and Shane Bisogno (2014); community relations, Katja Max (2014); director of technology, Sage Myers (2013); commissioner of goodwill, Claire Fenton (2015); student relations, Haley Dallas (2013) and Rachel Ensign (2015); director of community service, Haleigh Lyon (2013); district liaison, Emily Schaldach (2014); and director of clubs and activities, Jocelyn Zemach (2014).

Animas High head of school attends charter event in D.C.

Animas High School’s Head of School Michael Ackerman traveled to Capitol Hill to represent Colorado during National Charter Schools Week in Washington D.C., from May 7 to 9.

In addition to sharing his experiences at Animas High, Ackerman will work with the National Alliance for Charter Schools in articulating key positions related to the upcoming reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Specifically, leaders will focus on recommendations for policy changes to three programs: the Public Charter Schools Program, the State Facilities Incentive Grants and the Credit Enhancement for Public Charter Schools program.

Additionally, advocates will be calling on Congress to consider increasing appropriations for the Federal Charter Schools Program in the upcoming 2013 fiscal year as well as pushing for the continued right of charter school teachers to participate in state retirement funding systems.

Silverton teachers return from conference

Silverton teachers have returned from the Expeditionary Learning National Conference in Denver.

They participated in three days of professional development with 800 other teachers and school leaders.

In addition to taking classes to further their own teaching practice, the teachers presented two master classes. One focused on the work Silverton has done with character and school culture, including CREW, whole school projects and activities and life skills. The other focused on Silverton school’s successes and struggles in differentiating instruction for multiple grade levels, English language learners and special education students.

Seth Pooler receives Lions Club scholarship

Durango High School senior Seth Pooler is this year’s recipient of the Durango Lions Club Hoyt Miller Scholarship.

This is a one-year $1,000 scholarship awarded annually by the Durango Lions Club to a DHS senior to attend a Colorado institution of higher learning.

Pooler is planning to attend Colorado Mesa University and major in civil engineering.

This scholarship is awarded annually to a student who has demonstrated academic excellence as well as a commitment to community service.

Local students named to dean’s list

These students have been named to the 2012 Spring Semester Dean’s List at Colorado State University-Pueblo:

Brittney N. Harris of Dolores.

Brianna C. Roehrs of Pagosa Springs.

The list recognizes undergraduate degree-seeking students who have completed 12 or more credit hours with a minimum grade-point average of 3.5.

Energy council names scholarship winners

La Plata County Energy Council awarded $6,750 in college scholarships to these high school students:

Bayfield: Austin Riley, $1,000, La Plata County Energy Council Aulbert Memorial Scholarship; Candace B. Shaw, $1,000, La Plata County Energy Council Aulbert Memorial Scholarship; Haley Kathleen Goddard, $1,000, La Plata County Energy Council Scholarship; and Kendall Mimmack, $500, 4-H La Plata County Energy Council Scholarship.

Durango: Miranda Rayburn, $1,000, La Plata County Energy Council Scholarship; Daniel Rowley, $750, La Plata County Energy Council Aulbert Memorial Scholarship; and Chantel Campbell, $500, 4-H La Plata County Energy Council Scholarship.

Ignacio: Dusty Mangus, $1,000, La Plata County Energy Council Scholarship.

Each year, the council work’s with local high schools and 4-H to award four scholarships for a total of $4,000. The group also awarded $2,750 worth of scholarships through the Aulbert Memorial program to students whose parents work in the local oil and gas industry. Funds for the scholarship program are raised at the council’s annual golf tournament.

Student from Cortez named to dean’s list

Benjamin Harclerode of Cortez was named to the LeTourneau University dean’s list for the Spring 2012 semester.

Harclerode achieved a grade-point average between 3.50 and 3.99 for the semester.

LeTourneau University is an interdenominational Christ-centered university located in Longview, Texas.

Ashlee Scalf to compete in pageant

Ashlee Mary Scalf, 14, of Durango has been chosen as a state finalist in the National American Miss Colorado Pageant to be held July 1 and 2 at the Marriott Denver Tech Center Hotel in Denver.

Scalf’s activities include soccer, cooking, tennis, skiing and track. She also enjoys art, singing and the outdoors.

The pageants are held for girls ages 4 to 18 and have five different age divisions. Scalf will participate in the Junior Teen age division.

The winner of the pageant will receive a $1,000 cash award, crown and banner, a bouquet of roses and air transportation to compete in the National Pageant in California, where she will receive a complimentary tour of Hollywood and two tickets to Disneyland.

Scalf is the daughter of Becky and Dana Scalf.

To sponsor Scalf, call 759-5672.

Herald Staff