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Teachers speak out

| December 1, 2021 7:05 AM

To the Editor and the Columbia Falls Community: We are teachers at Columbia Falls High School; we love our students and we have a deep respect for the community members who continue to support our education efforts.

We thank School board members who volunteer their time in planning to smoothly keep our schools open and to help support teachers.

We thank the community for the continued support through passing a technology levy, passing a school bond, and for coming to cheer our teams on. We thank the community for their continued donations of food and clothing to help our students and families out.

We spent time this past summer thinking about all the educational experiences we could orchestrate for our students that were nearly impossible in last year’s classes. Our job as teachers is providing our students with the skills and knowledge to make their goals a reality.

However, keeping us up at night with worry are the students who struggle to get to school. We worry about the 40 students who are homeless, about the students who lost a parent recently, about the students who talk openly about their mental health struggles, and those who don’t. We worry about the students who feel lost in what they want to do after high school, the students who are college bound and are deciding on a path, the students who constantly miss school...

We direct attention towards all the students in and outside of our classroom.

We want our time and energy to go towards helping these students.

The high school will continue to get ready for their spring musical, Hello Dolly. Our sports teams will continue to thrive and produce athletes who are awarded Academic All States. Our Speech and Debate teams will continue to win. Our teachers will continue to lead Model UN, compete in Quiz Bowls, and support student’s passion for music. Our staff works hard to provide the Running Start Program for college credit in addition to vocational opportunities and expression through the fine arts. We hope that the community continues to see students not as issues but as community members who are our future.

Sincerely,

Nia Vestal, HS English

Jeanette Price, HS English and World Languages

Patience Burns, HS English

Hannah Riley, HS English

Gretchen Miller, HS English

Ben Schaeffer, HS Industrial Arts

Jeff Remiker, HS Industrial Arts

Jenny Lovering, HS Social Sciences

Bill Coleman, HS Social Sciences

Jamie Heinz, HS Science

Jim Peacock, HS Science

Erin Quintia, HS Science

Jonathan Blankenship, HS Special Educator

Sue Batee, HS Special Educator

Jessie Schaeffer, HS Health and Physical Education

Anna Danley, HS Health and Physical Education

Chris Finberg, HS Health and Physical Education

Kate Daniels, HS Fine Arts

Shelby Forke, HS Fine Arts

Jake Hall, HS Mathematics

Bridget Chiarito, HS Mathematics

Shelly Gress, HS Mathematics

Dawn Roe, HS Mathematics

Josh Forke, HS Band

Diane Marsh, HS Business and Technology

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