Opening the doors to education

A crowd of parents and eager students gather in the newly opened Ignacio Elementary School during a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, Feb. 24.
Karl Herr (right), holds the ribbon ready to be cut. The cutting of the ribbon signals the official opening of the Ignacio Elementary School.
Rocco Fuschetto, superintendent of the Ignacio School District, gives a warm welcome to students of the new school while thanking the workers and staff involved in making it ready.
Alex S. Cloud of the Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council gives a smile as he enters a Kindergarten classroom through a small door meant to be easier for young students to open.
Representatives of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe observe as students get a first look at their new classroom in the school on La Plata County Road 320.
Dozens of Ignacio Elementary School students line up in the new school’s gym to cut the red ribbon during an opening celebration on Tuesday, Feb. 4.
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Ace Stryker | Southern Ute Drum
Ace Stryker | Southern Ute Drum
Ace Stryker | Southern Ute Drum

The Ignacio School District celebrated the opening of its new Ignacio Elementary School Building on La Plata County Road 320 on Tuesday, Feb. 4 with a pair of ribbon-cutting ceremonies, one for students and one for the community.

In a student assembly at noon, Ignacio School Board President Toby Roderick welcomed a group of excited students in Kindergarten through fifth grade to the new school’s gymnasium.

“We look forward to watching you grow up here,” he said.

District Superintendent Rocco Fuschetto also greeted the students, reminding them that the proposal to renovate the old Ignacio Intermediate School into the new elementary – along with renovating the high school and constructing a new middle school across the street from the elementary – won approval from Ignacio voters by a margin of one vote.

The $50 million bond measure passed by the narrowest possible margin, 524-523, in November 2011.

“Remember to vote,” he urged the children to keep in mind as they get older.

Principal Karl Herr then led the students in the ribbon cutting. Because of snowy weather, the big moment took place in the gym, with a red ribbon stretched from one end to the other. Dozens of students armed with scissors crowded around and snipped simultaneously.

School staffers will collect the pieces and ensure each student has one to take home, Herr said.

Teachers then led their classes to their new rooms, all brightly lit spaces with colorful desks. A few vestiges of unfinished construction remained here and there, but it didn’t seem to bother the kids.

Representing the tribe at the student opening were Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council members Howard D. Richards Sr. and Alex S. Cloud. They received a personal tour from Fuschetto.

With the old elementary school’s downtown Ignacio location now vacated, the district will move Ignacio High School students in. That will allow contractors to accelerate remodeling work at the high school.

Like it? Share it!