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Students pay tribute to teachers

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By The Staff

The annual Teacher Appreciation Night was memorable not only because it was the 10th annual event of its kind — it was also the first time the event had to be postponed due to weather.

Heavy snow and poor driving conditions prompted organizers to cancel the dinner on Friday, April 17, and the event was rescheduled for May 3.

At Saturday’s dinner, 12 Chatfield Senior High teachers were honored by graduating seniors. Two other teachers, one from Bradford Intermediate School and one from Stony Creek Elementary School, were also honored.

Students paid tribute to their teachers in front of an audience that included teachers and their guests, along with parents and church leaders.

Chatfield student Brandon Gaines said his Spanish teacher, Rhonda Gunkel, always reaches out to people in need. “She is a great counselor and a voice of comfort,” Gaines said.

Danielle Coyne said her English teacher, Mary Horan, not only makes sure students understand the material, she also has been a mentor who has helped her cope with physical disabilities.

Eric Newson teaches world history and philosophy at Chatfield, and his student, Parker Thompson-Ortiz, said Newson has shown him many different ways to look at life’s challenges.

According to Chatfield student Peter Jensen, his fourth-grade teacher at Bradford Intermediate School, May Ferguson, taught him long division, and with that knowledge, Jensen said he knew he could make it through school.

Jessah Foster honored Doug Scott from Stony Creek Elementary, who first introduced her to competitive jump-rope, through which she has learned many life skills.

The evening was summed up by Keith Mead, principal of Chatfield, who will retire at the end of the school year. He said he has been fortunate to work with students, parents and teachers who strive to be the best. “They inspire me every day,” said Mead.

The event is hosted each year by the Columbine Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.