School spirit

Students from the Guffey Community Charter School sing the school’s song at its spring program. (Photo by Flip Boettcher/The Flume)

Once again the Guffey Community Charter School presented a wonderful spring program, which started off with a song about going to the Guffey School that the students and Guffey singer/songwriter Lissa Hanner wrote. Hanner accompanied the students on the guitar.

As part of the school’s 100th-year celebration, longtime Guffey resident and teacher at the school, Peg Larson, told the story of the Black Mountain Elementary School with great pictures.

In 1980, Guffey was a quiet place. There were no phones except in Guffey town. The Guffey School had been closed since the 1960s, and the students were bused to Canon City. Bob and Peg Larson were both teaching in Canon City.

The Larsons decided to approach the Park County school board about re-opening the school in Guffey, but for lack of funds, the board said no. Undaunted, the Larsons opened the private Black Mountain Elementary school in their own small home, located in the Pike Trails subdivision east of Guffey.

Charging a small tuition, the Larsons ran the school for a year, starting with 12 students and six families. Everyone helped. Seeing that a school in Guffey was practical, the Park County RE-2 school board OK’d the opening of the schoolhouse in Guffey a year later. After some upgrades and remodeling, Black Mountain Elementary moved to the Guffey School in December 1981.

The audience was then divided into five groups that toured the five stations set up around the school and outside showcasing the school’s special classes they had this year. Yoga was the first station, with several students demonstrating yoga poses and routines they had learned this year.

Station two was called Messy Science. Several students demonstrated some interesting, but messy, chemical reactions and properties of magnetic fields of energy.

Station three showed the art and cooking classes. Of course, the cooking class was serving deviled eggs and funnel cakes they had made. The art students had a display with their carved cakes of soap and dried, decorated paper towels that had been pressed wet into a mold.

Station four was all about the Park County Library’s monthly science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics program that the school hosted and which culminated in 13 Park County students talking to orbiting astronauts. Six of those 13 picked were from the GCCS.

The last station demonstrated some things about the environment the students learned from Catamount Institute classes. We all played a game called Predator or Prey and learned what happens when there are too many predators or too many prey.

We also learned about abiotic (nonliving) and biotic (living) parts of the environment, by making a list of each. We learned about making a shelter from natural items in the environment.

Catamount Institute in Colorado Springs is a nonprofit whose “mission is to develop ecological stewards through education and adventure,” says the website.

Refreshments and viewing the middle school artwork culminated the program.

Don’t forget school graduation May 30 at 11 a.m. and the Guffey Steampunk Society’s “Steam into Summer” party following.

May 31 at 12:30 p.m. is the 100th-year school celebration with a fish fry picnic, outdoor and lawn games, and a funddraising commemorative tile wall event. One can purchase a tile and make designs on it to put into the tile wall.

There are three sisters from Wyoming who will be attending the celebration. The sisters went to the Guffey School with longtime Guffey resident Pat Ownbey in 1946.

Eighth grade presentations will be May 20 through 23, with one eighth grader making an hour-long presentation at 11 a.m. each day. Troy Dabney on Monday, Havannah VanEgmond on Tuesday, Kaden Gates on Wednesday and Xander Stone on Thursday. Everyone is welcome.

June 15, Rural Coloradans for a Brighter Future are again sponsoring Guffey Clean Up Day. Breakfast starts at 8 a.m. at the fire station, and clean up of the Park County Road 102 roadside will start at 9 a.m., with snacks following.

School Principal Martine Walker announced that the school is looking for a school nurse and bus driver for next year.

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