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Evergreen residents: Be aware of the elk rut
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is asking residents to pay extra attention to the presence of elk in town. Fall is the time of year when elk are breeding, a season called “the rut.” The female cow elk are herded into “harems” by the male bulls to breed. Although they can appear and behave tame, elk can be aggressive in some situations. During the calving season (in spring), or during the rut, elk can be especially uncomfortable with the presence of humans. Follow these tips for safe and successful wildlife coexistence:
• Teach children who walk home from school to keep as much distance as possible between themselves and the elk.
• Keep your distance, for your safety and theirs.
• Haze elk out of your yard — don’t let them get too comfortable.
• Use binoculars or scopes for close-up views.
• If an animal changes its behavior, you are too close!
• Leave pets at home — dogs and elk don’t mix.
• Never approach a calf — the mother is usually close by.
• Feeding elk is against the law!
If you feel an “aggressive” bull is in an area, do not approach.
• Don’t stop your car — keep moving!
• Avoid driving between a bull and his harem.
• Don’t pause to take pictures.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife wishes all residents a safe autumn! For more information, visit www.wildlife.state.co.us or call 303-291-7227.
Jennifer Churchill
Colorado Parks and Wildlife

I am a teacher  … and my work is critical to kids
I am a teacher … my days are spent nurturing 32 students (a number I have never seen in 18 years of teaching); helping them not only to read, write, compute, learn science and be responsible citizens, but also to think, gain self-esteem, make new friends, overcome obstacles facing them in their everyday and academic lives, find motivation, organize their materials, and feel safe to take academic risks.
I am a teacher … my job is not only to teach, but it is also to create and nurture relationships. It is my job to develop a personal relationship with each child by connecting with them personally but, even more importantly, to help them connect with their peers.
I am a teacher … my job is not only to teach, but it is also important that I work with parents to recognize strengths and successes in their children, and together search for answers to plan their child’s year.
I am a teacher … my job is not only to teach, but it is also my job to learn (even with a master’s degree); to take classes throughout the school year and in the summer months in order to keep informed of new and ever-changing best practices so that I am prepared to implement them in my classroom at the start of each new school year.
I am a teacher … it is not only my job to teach, but it is also essential that I know how to collect and analyze data about children, and then to remediate, accelerate and instruct based on the individual needs of my students.
I am a teacher … It is not only my job to teach, but it is also my responsibility to plan, assess, grade papers, heal social and emotional wounds, connect with children, parents and the community, and do this while being a wife and mother.
I am a teacher … it is not only my job to teach, but it is also to do so while knowing that the public is unaware that I perform this task with less money than 48 other states. Despite three years of budget cuts, Jefferson County Public Schools (through its teachers) have outperformed the state averages on standardized tests. In any other venue this would be viewed as success.
I am a teacher … it is my job to teach, but more than that, it is my job to inspire; to help children realize their potential, dream big, set goals to achieve them, and then work hard to realize them. It is my job to help them realize they can do anything they set their minds on.
I am a proud Jefferson County teacher … but an even prouder mother of two children who have gone through Jeffco schools and are now productive, hard-working, successful adults.
I teach, I love, I learn, I connect, I assess, I interpret, I heal, I model, I lead, I expect, I demand, and I inspire because I am a teacher..
In a world all too willing to find fault in teachers and in the public school system, it seems easy to believe that there is a simple fix to our budget crisis, or that the problems are not real. But the problems are real. Without your “yes” votes on 3A and 3B, Jefferson County Public Schools (and our children) will feel the undeserved impacts of budget cuts for years to come. Teacher-librarians, coaches, Outdoor Lab, and instrumental music will be eliminated. In addition, each school in the district will be required to eliminate two teachers, causing class sizes to increase to 38 to 40 students (a daunting number for even the most educated and experienced teacher).
I am a teacher … I’m fine with knowing that I work harder than most. I strive to be the best I can be, not only for me but for the kids who depend on my abilities. As I look around the piles of books and papers that fill my home, I realize that my Sunday is not yet over. I have tests to grade, volunteers to contact and lessons to prepare.
I am a teacher … I am asking you to be the change in the lives of our children and our future and vote “yes” on 3A and 3B.
Meg Eckert
fifth-grade teacher
Bergen Valley Elementary School