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North Fork Kids Accomplish Amazing Things

April 1st, 2012 by Diana Matus

Filed under Crawford, Hotchkiss, Paonia

The kids here in the North Fork valley are far from couch potatoes. Judging from the list of activities they are involved in, they keep pretty darn busy in an amazing variety of ways.

At the Paonia elementary school, many of the girls in grades 3 – 6 are participating in the Girls on the Run program, a 10-week after-school program which encourages girls to make healthy choices for themselves and their community. The program will culminate in a 5K fun run during the first week of May.

The elementary kids also participated in (or endured, depending on whom you ask) two weeks of TCAP testing. The TCAP test (Transitional Colorado Assessment Program) aligns the old academic standards with the new standards, and will take the place of the old CSAP tests. The Paonia Parents Organization hosted its “Kiss the Pig” school fundraiser, and kids provided entertainment as well as soliciting donations.

A team of Paonia 7th and 8th graders placed 4th overall in the regional Destination Imagination tournament in Palisade on March 10. The team, consisting of Noah Haswell, Chelsea Meilner, Avery Austin, Alicia Wilmore, Haley Park, Brittney Thliveris, and Dominic Harman, also placed first in their challenge category and received a special award for “Spirit of Discovery and Imagination.” They will compete in the State tournament at the Auraria Campus in Denver April 14.

At Paonia High School, the girls basketball team wrapped up a successful season with a 4th place finish at the State tournament. The baseball, track, and tennis seasons are all underway. In addition, Paonia High students recently brought honor to the school in activities that demand an entirely different set of talents. Vela Bair and Kira Budinger represented PHS at the State speech competition and did very well.

Also in March, Nicholas Garver, Vela Bair, Kaitlyn Johnson, Jacob Helleckson, and Ethan Ferguson went to the all-state choir performance at the Denver Convention Center. The students are chosen through an audition process to sing with a prestigious choir of about 100 students. They worked with conductors from all over the world during the week, and the event culminated in a concert the final evening. The same group, along with Jason Sturgis and Lexi Johnson, auditioned for and were chosen to participate in a Western Slope choir at Western State College in Gunnison.

At Hotchkiss High, the Dance Team had their most successful Dance Home Show ever on March 16, with a standing-room only crowd. The theme for this year’s fundraiser was “Proud to be an American,” and the girls honored our veterans.

HHS students were once again very successful at the Western Slope Regional Science Fair in February. Braeden Horton, Brydie Mitchell, Beth Wood, Nikki Buhrdorf, and Vikash Hypio qualified for both the State Science Fair and the International Science Fair, which will be held in Pittsburgh, PA May 17 – 19.

Another group of HHS students qualified for the State History Competition at the University of Colorado on May 5. Keegan Palmer, David Oviedo, Teo Bradbury, Mason Oxford, Zack Taylor, Tye Bayles, Kurt Katzdorn, Travis Leger, Brydie Mitchell, Kati Evans, Brayden Wilson, Ciara Beegle, Connor Beard, Josh Hardin, Savannah Rocha, and Russ Evans researched historical topics relating to the theme, “Revolution, Reaction and Reform in History” and presented their findings at Colorado Mesa University on February 25. To go on to the State level, each had to place in the top three spots within their category.

Reed Hubbell of Hotchkiss was named a national Merit Scholarship Finalist, after competing with over 1.5 million entrants from throughout the United States.

Hubbel and Ben Smith were also national award winners for the Elks MVP Scholarship for 2012. They are among 500 national finalists who will advance to the next level of judging in hopes of receiving scholarships ranging from $1,000 – $15,000 per year.

Please continue to support our youth in all of their amazing endeavors as they head into the final months of the school year!

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