Thu May 20th, 2021
Tags: Andrew Gallegos, ASP leader, COVID-19, Eagle's Nest, Education Department Director, Gerard Gallegos, Incident Management Team, Latitia Taylor, Remote On-Line Learning, Robin Duffy-Wirth, Southern Ute Indian Montessori Academy, Southern Ute Tribal Council, Stay at Home Order, SUIMA, SUIMA Guides, SUIMA Support Staff, Teachers, Thank You
What a year this has been!
Looking back to our first day, August 24, 2020, I can recall the fear, apprehension, excitement, wonder, and relief as the year began.
With every Eagle’s Nest article, I updated our community on what we were doing, how we were teaching, and the many awesome things that were happening at our school. I provided information on things to do at home as the parents were our co–guides and teachers.
As SUIMA delivered lessons through remote, on–line learning only, we were able to help keep our students safe from, and limited their exposure to, COVID–19. This helped the families continue to be healthy and safe.
When I reflect on this year, the first thank you goes to the parents. As we all followed the Stay–At–Home order, parents were thrust into becoming teachers overnight. Last school year was like your “intern” year, this year was your full–on, totally a teacher/guide year. It was amazing to see all that you did. With anxiousness, which turned into a drive to help your child, many of you reached out to the school for technical support. Some of you called to vent your frustration. Several of you called me with your worries. Together we all persevered and made it.
YOU – the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, and everyone in between – YOU WORKED WONDERS – THANK YOU!
After the parents I want to thank the SUIMA guides and teachers. None of you gave up. No one left when it got hard. Everyone stepped up and did what needed to be done – what we were able to do, what we got to do, and what we ended up creating. Your rooms were turned into assembly lines to make materials, put together binders, send home anything and everything the students needed to be successful – YOU, the guides and teachers of SUIMA – YOU MADE IT –THANK YOU!
To the SUIMA support staff — kitchen crew, specialists, education assistants, administration, ASP leader, and everyone in between – you were fantastic and were there each step of the way. Without you, this year could have looked a lot different – THANK YOU!
My appreciation and a huge thank you to all of these departments and staff:
The Southern Ute Tribal Council – you provided direction so that we knew what our year was going to look like. The health and safety of the students, staff, tribal membership, and community was in the forefront of the decisions you made;
the Incident Management Team – you ensured that we could give lessons from our classrooms as we followed the COVID–19 protocols and approved or denied any deviation requests that were submitted;
the Executive Officer – you gave guidance when I called or emailed for information;
LaTitia Taylor, our Education Department Director, – you supported the school by making sure every “T” was crossed and every “I” was dotted when it came to making sure the school was running safely, efficiently, and effectively. You listened to my worries and concerns and said, “It will be alright.”
Andrew Gallegos and his Grounds Maintenance crew – you never hesitated if there were issues that needed to be taken care considering the school grounds had been closed and knowing that grass still grows; Jess Baidwan and his Clean Team – you provided us with a cleaning device which ensured that the materials going home to the students were disinfected and sanitized.
Gerard Gallegos and his Building Maintenance crew – you began installing a plastic backer board on our walls for easy clean up and sanitizing in the event that the students would return; SUSS – you were at our beck and call as we worked with many online platforms.
Robin Duffy-Wirth and the SunUte staff – you provided training to the SUIMA staff to help them stay positive, energized, and focused; Rocco Fuschetto and the Ignacio School District – you provided hot spots, N95 masks, and technical support. Thank you to many others (the Parent Advisory Group, Dancing Spirit, Ignacio Community Library, SUIT Natural Resources, Warren Dixon, our school nurse, the Southern Ute Drum, and anyone else I may have missed) – you reached out to support the school in any way you could.
And last, but definitely not least, to the students. You worked hard on your lessons and never gave up. You joined your Zooms, you checked Google classroom, you spoke up when your computer wasn’t working well. You sent back your artwork, your classroom assignments, and your questions. With social distancing, you bounced into the office when your parents came to pick up your work just to show off your mask – YOU ARE AMAZING!!!
It was a long year, but you did it!!! Whether you are a year old or 12-years-old, you should be proud of yourself, because I sure am!