The Guffey Community Charter School eighth grade graduates for 2020 (left to right) are Joe Valerio, Grace Grosch and Anthony Meng. (Photo courtesy of School Principal Martine Walker)

It was a beautiful, sunny mountain morning with only a few gusts of wind for the drive-in Guffey Community Charter School graduation ceremonies held at Sarah’s Place at the Bakery, located on the south side of the school with plenty of parking.

Everyone seemed to be enjoying being outside and visiting, with the proper social distancing and masks, of course.

School Principal Martine Walker introduced the teachers, Jenny Hartman, sixth to eighth grades, Lynda MacDonald, third to fifth grades and former kindergraten to second grade volunteer Kathie Boucher.

Boucher took over for Stacey Knutzen, who left before the end of the school year. Each class had 13 students.

Each teacher announced awards for every student and the staff handed the awards out to the students in their vehicles. MacDonald said this was her 25th year teaching at the Guffey School, and this drive-in graduation was definitely a first.

Then Hartman recognized the eighth grade graduates, Grace Grosch, Joe Valerio and Anthony Meng, giving each a survival kit containing items such as bubble gum, to stick to it; a sponge, to soak up knowledge; rubber bands, to stretch oneself; Post-It notes, to know what’s going on; Band Aids, for when things got a little rough; hot chocolate and a mug, to relax; and several other items. Of course, the three eighth graders got their diplomas.

The graduates will be going on to high school in the fall. Grosch and Meng will be going to Canon City High School and Valerio is choosing between Cripple Creek -Victor High School and Woodland Park High School.

Walker recognized and thanked the three teachers and said they were “flying the plane while trying to build it,” to develop a plan for distance learning for the last two months of the school year. Walker also recognized and thanked all the rest of the staff and the many volunteers for their help during the school year.

Walker introduced the new kindergraten to second grade teacher, Elizabeth Jackson, who will be starting in the fall. Jackson is Boucher’s daughter and she said she was thrilled to be teaching at the Guffey School, it was her dream job. Walker also stated that the school was planning on being open in the fall.

After the ceremonies about 30 vehicles, most of them decorated, drove two times counterclockwise around Guffey honking, waving and celebrating all the graduates. Congratulations to all.

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