EHS science teacher explores ocean bottom

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By Deb Hurley Brobst

It’s a trip of a lifetime for Evergreen High School science teacher Cheryl Manning, who is spending seven weeks aboard a research ship sampling the ocean bottom.

Manning left two weeks ago for Costa Rica, where she set sail with other science teachers on the R/V Knorr to collect samples of ocean water and sediment so scientists can better understand the organisms living at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean near the equator.

The program Manning is involved with is called the ARMADA project, which is sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The project allows American teachers to go on scientific exploration trips to hone their science bona fides and to ultimately become better teachers.

“I will be working on the sediment core description and characterization team,” Manning said on her website. “To quantify how the water and sediments interact, we will analyze both the chemistry of the water in the pores of the sediment and the sediment itself. Sediment properties, history, particle flux and critter counts will also be conducted.”

While on her trip, Manning has no phone access and can read e-mail only once a day. However, she is writing a blog to keep her family, friends, EHS students and colleagues apprised of her adventures.

To read the blog, visit http://web.me.com/clbmanning/ARMADA/My_Blog.html.

Book talks can lead to milk and cookies

At Evergreen Middle School, sometimes the reward for reading books can be milk and cookies.

A couple of times a year, library specialist Tarah Nellis sponsors what she calls book talks. In this program, a student tells Nellis why a book is good and why others should read it. In exchange, the student gets food. More than 80 students participated in the December book talks.

Nellis says she tried the book talk idea in 2004 and rewarded students with popcorn. It progressed to hot chocolate and hot cider.

“It’s the most fun thing I do in the library all year,” Nellis says. “I ask them to tell me about a book they really love. It may not be their favorite book of all time, and it’s usually something they’ve read recently. I love it because of their enthusiasm. The kids at this school love to read if you get the right book in their hands.”

Not only does Nellis learn about good books to read, but she also gets a feel for the type of books that students like. Many students are reading fantasy fiction, adventure and books in a series.

Students stop in the library to give talks when they are not in class, so it gets pretty busy in the library before and after school and during lunchtime.

While book talks are not part of a classroom project, they develop literacy and communication skills, Nellis said.

“I tell (the students) I don’t want to hear the whole story. They need to tell me enough to get me engaged, to sell me the book. I want them to convey that passion and enthusiasm.”

Evergreen Country Day School receives accreditation

Evergreen Country Day School achieved its goal of becoming accredited by the Association of Colorado Independent Schools.

The three-year process was comprehensive and well worth the time and effort put in by the faculty and staff, according to the school’s director, Ben Jackson. Evergreen Country Day School, at 1093 Swede Gulch Road, joins 30 other Colorado private schools to reach accreditation.

The faculty and staff were required to complete a self-study of every aspect of the school, including curriculum and facilities, and to host a visit by an accrediting team. The process will start over again in seven years.

“I was gratified by the effort and buy-in from the staff,” said Jackson, who is in his fourth year as director of the school. “The process is healthy because the whole school takes a look at itself. It was a lot of work but a rewarding process.”

The accreditation comes on the heels of the opening of the school’s new campus, which cost $10 million to build. In addition to elementary and middle school classrooms, the building has a dance studio, music area, and indoor and outdoor performing arts amphitheaters. The school is raising funds to build a full-size gymnasium and a high school.

Have tips about businesses in Evergreen? Contact Evergreen resident Deb Hurley Brobst at deb@evergreenco.com.