Contact Information

403 Pitkin Street
P.O. Box 127
Saguache, CO 81149

Phone: 719-655-2578
Fax:  719-655-2875
M-Th 8:00am-4:00pm

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Mountain Valley School

Principal’s Corner Number 22

by Kathy Hill


Summer vacation has arrived for our families and students at MVS.  It was a hectic and eventful end to our fantastic 2016-2017 school year!  Our last weeks were filled with field trips, award ceremonies and of course graduation.  This year MVS celebrated 7 graduates who will make  difference in our world; Jacob Chavez, Alice Cross, Stephanie Gollihugh, Julian Miller, Francisco Perez, Brandon Stewart and Danny Rodriguez.  Each has something unique to offer our community and the society as a whole.  We are proud of these young graduates!  It was also amazing to see how much learning and creating our students did throughout the year.  We have Google classrooms that blend new technologies and best practices for student learning. Our teachers are becoming more and more innovative and are learning ways to better serve our 21st century children.  We have more movement in the classrooms, better nutrition and snacks, active learning stations, and project based learning strategies that our students will need to be successful learners and productive citizens. Our children are becoming global citizens and participating in activities that will help them become better communicators and be able to work together for the common good. I am so proud of the faculty and staff of Mountain Valley, and I want to thank all the staff for their efforts and willingness to try new challenges and believe in better things for the students of our school. Our staff members  are dedicated to learning new strategies and creating and cultivating positive relationships with families.  I learned so many new things this year as well.  I learned that being able and adjust and change is key to being successful.  I learned to juggle a lot of things at once and to realize that being positive and proactive are vital to getting things done.  I am excited for the possibility of a new and better school facility being built soon!  I feel exuberated that our families and community will have a beautiful new facility to share in the coming years. Saguache is a beautiful community and our children and families deserve a fantastic facility to learn and grow in.  I hope and pray all will have a relaxing and rejuvenating summer vacation and that everyone will continue to be learners all summer long.  Read much, laugh often, resolve to be a better person, and take care of yourself and your families.  Just think, school will be starting again in 12 short weeks!

Start a career in teaching this fall with Boettcher Teacher Residency. Whether you’ve always wanted to be a teacher or recently found your passion working with children, Boettcher Teacher Residency is the perfect option for you to enter the teaching profession.

Boettcher Teacher Residency is Colorado’s largest teacher residency and alternative licensure pathway. No prior teaching experience is required.

Minimum requirements include: Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university, an average 3.0 GPA and be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or legally able to work in the U.S.

Visit www.boettcherteachers.org to apply today!

For more info, contact Ashley Clark at 720-598-5042 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Save the Date!

“Donation” Yard Sale!

Saturday, June 17th, 2017

8:30 a.m.

Mountain Valley School Main Parking Lot

MVS will be designating many items as

“surplus” and available for the public.

 Donations for surplus items will be welcome and

all donations will be given back to the students at

MVS for activities and clubs.



Mountain Valley School

Principal’s Corner Number 20

by Kathy Hill


The last two weeks of school are upon us and we have many activities happening to finish out this exciting and productive year!    


Please join us for the 50th anniversary of the current Mountain Valley School building.  Alumni activities will take place on Friday, May 19th.  Senior graduation will be on Saturday, May 20th, beginning at 10:00 a.m.  MVS will be continuing with a tradition that started two years ago with the walk of “future graduates”.  Students from Pre-K-11th grade are invited to join us for graduation and walk across the stage in preparation for their future graduation.  Parents are invited to bring their child to school by 9:30 a.m. for the graduation line up.  Student’s names will be announced as they represent their class and imagine their future celebration!  

Congratulations to Belinda Garcia, art teacher, Martin McKee, music teacher, and Eileen Wilfong, concert director, for putting on a fabulous and spectacular art show and spring concert.  Students and families enjoyed a beautiful evening of singing and many enjoyed a relaxing walk to the Range Gallery on 4th street to view vivid and truly inspiring works of art.  Students did an awesome job and deserve a hearty congratulations and extra applause for a job well done!

From the Jared Polis foundation: “Every year the Jared Polis Foundation honors 10 Colorado teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week with the foundation's Teacher Recognition Awards (TRA).  In 2017, we are honoring 11 teachers from across Colorado; these highly effective, dedicated and hard working teachers make a positive impact in the lives of their students every day.  This year, one of these worthy honorees is Yvonne Morfitt, Science and Life Skills teacher, at Mountain Valley School.  Her AmeriCorp Vista colleague, Sara Novicki, wrote a comprehensive, thoughtful and powerful nomination on her behalf.  As a 2017 honoree, Yvonne will receive the following from JPF”:

1.  $1,000 discretionary award

2.  $500 technology award (JPF recommends the honoree purchase technology for herself with these award funds.)

3.  $1,000 teacher-directed school grant

4.  JPF's crystal apple award

Congratulations, Mrs.Yvonne Morfitt, for being selected and receiving this prestigious award!


Mountain Valley School

Principal’s Corner Number 19

by Kathy Hill


Learners come in all sizes, shapes, and ages.  At MVS learning is our priority.  Not just for students but for all who enter our doors. This last year has been a huge learning experience for me.  The learning process and change hasn’t been easy or smooth all the time.  Learning sometimes means we fail. We have to realize, though, that the failure is learning. I can say that I have definitely learned something new about myself or about someone or about something. I am continually trying to be a learner who reflects and makes changes for the better. I have learned not only about intellectual activities and the concrete world around us, but about emotional learning opportunities.  I am learning what works and doesn’t work when it comes to disciplining students.   I am learning about all the details that need to happen during a school day, and I am learning to communicate better and more authentically.  I also know that as a learner, I have to make an effort to be informed, educated and knowledgeable.  I have to seek out information and make the effort to know what’s happening around me and in my community.  Teaching students to seek out information and be informed is challenging.  Society has had a way of making it “OK” for us to NOT know and to not take responsibility for learning and being informed.  Then we can simply say, “It’s not my fault.  I didn’t know about it.”   The trick is to teach and impart knowledge so that all will be empowered to learn more and strive to be learners. We are making it a priority to teach students to look for information and learn to to be self reliant.  Are you a learner?  Do you simply impart knowledge to your children or do you show them that learning is a natural part of everyday your life.  Learn something new every day and share that learning with your children or with the world.


Congratulations to Mrs. Lucille Gomez for being chosen as the MVS Educational Support Personnel of the Year.  Mrs. Gomez is a member of our custodial staff.  She is continually striving to keep our school healthy, clean, and an enjoyable safe place to be.  Lucille always has a friendly smile and a warm hello.  She works tirelessly for our school community, and we a proud to have her represent MVS!


Finally, I would like to thank all the volunteers and folks who donate items to our school.  A special thank you to Michael and Juliette Briley for all the school supplies donated throughout the year.


Upcoming events at Mountain Valley:

  • May 5th and 6th: Middle School and High School Track

  • Thursday, May 11th: High School to visit the National Archives, Kindergarten Buddy Day, and MVS Spring Concert

  • Tuesday, May 16th: 6:00 p.m. Mountain Valley/Moffat/Crestone Athletic Banquet

  • Wednesday. May 17th: PreK- Field trip to Dinosaur Experience

  • Thursday. May 18th: Middle School To Penitente Canyon

  • Thursday. May 18th: Last Day for Seniors

  • Thursday, May 18th: 6:00 p.m. MVS Middle and High Academic Awards Banquet

  • Friday, May 19th: School in Session

  • Saturday, May 20th: Graduation

  • Wednesday, May 24th: Last day of school Elementary

  • Thursday, May 25th: Last Day of School


MVS Athletic and Academic Awards Banquets

Join us at 6:00 p.m. each evening


Tuesday, May 16th: Combined Mountain Valley/Moffat/Crestone Charter

Athletic Awards Banquet

Main dish provided by Mountain Valley School.

Please bring a side dish or dessert and table service




Thursday, May 18th: MVS Middle and High School Academic Awards Banquet

Main dish provided by Mountain Valley School.

Please bring a side dish or dessert and table service


Mountain Valley School

Principal’s Corner Number 18

by Kathy Hill


As we finish up our last six weeks of this school year, the MVS faculty have been working diligently planning for our next school year.  We are already looking forward to implementing new and innovative ideas across our K-12 school.  Teachers are working collaboratively across content areas so that all student needs will be met.  Many are already updating and reviewing curriculum to implement in their classes.  Mountain Valley is always looking for ways to become innovative and proactive with the education it provides.  We are living in a new era of digital awareness and connectivity.  Students are digitally minded and need to be able to connect, share and work with others.  The faculty at MVS is planning for the future.  


Colorado is implementing new graduation guidelines starting with next year’s freshman class (the class of 2021).  Mountain Valley will begin implementing the revised graduation requirements that include providing a list of options that students use to demonstrate their readiness for college and careers.  This list of options will be unique to Mountain Valley and there are many possibilities for students to  show proficiency as they prepare to graduate.   Mountain Valley is actively seeking to incorporate Capstone Projects into its option list. These portfolios of learning will include projects that are a culminating exhibition of student projects and a demonstration of academic and intellectual learning.  Students will have the opportunity to use the knowledge and skills they learned throughout school to prepare a project that reflects them as a learner.  They will choose what interests them and delve deeply into their subject.  The projects will demonstrate career and technical competencies, workforce readiness skills, and college readiness skills.  A student’s portfolio will include ICAP proficiency.  ICAP stands for Individual Career and Academic Plans. With the support of adults, students develop the awareness, knowledge, and skills to create their own meaningful and powerful pathways to be career and college ready.  


We at Mountain Valley are always looking forward to the potential opportunities we can afford our students. Change and innovation are inevitable and necessary for us to grow and provide 21st century skills and opportunities for our students, families and community.


Upcoming events at Mountain Valley:

  • Thursday, April 20th: Family Math Night 5:00-7:00 p.m.

  • Tuesday, April 25th: Trinchera Ranch Leadership Summit

  • April 25th, 26th and 27th: Envirothon and Native Indigenous Studies Class Trip

  • Thursday, April 27th: K-2 Field Trip to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, 3rd Grade Safety Day in Monte Vista, 4th Grade Rendezvous in Fort Garland, and another FREE Community Dinner 5:00-6:30 p.m.


As always, call the school or please visitwww.mountainvalleyschool.org for more information on events and happenings! Like us on Facebook @MVSPEAK where great things are happening!


Mountain Valley School

FREE Community Dinner

and Take Home Garden Night

Thursday, April 26th, 5:00-6:30 p.m.

Join us for a delicious FREE meal and tour

the Geodesic Dome Greenhouse at MVS

Mountain Valley School

Principal’s Corner Number 17

by Kathy Hill

I am always amazed by all the things that get accomplished at our school.  We have so many support professionals that work diligently to provide safe and productive atmosphere at Mountain Valley.  Everyone has a stake in your child’s well being and overall education.


We know that hungry children have a more difficult time learning. Our cafeteria support personnel, Cindy Archuleta, Leslie Hammel and Barbara Vigil, provide healthy, tasty, and a free breakfast and lunch for every student at MVS.  These ladies work hard to bring breakfast to the classrooms so students can get started with their day and enjoy a nutritious breakfast.  MVS also provides a fresh vegetable and fruit bar with every lunch.  Creating a meal plan that is nutritious, healthy, and tastes good is sometimes a challenge.  Federal and state guidelines only allow for so many carbohydrates, sugars, and fats for each meal and they are totaled for the week.  Serving and providing breakfast and lunch for 140 students can be a difficult task, but our cafeteria workers strive for the best each day.  


Mountain Valley is a large facility. We have three buildings that require a lot of maintenance and upkeep.  Our custodial staff which includes, Mark Hammel, Lucille Gomez and Fred Maez do an awesome job at keeping the classrooms, gym, and grounds clean and safe.  They are constantly disinfecting restrooms and classrooms and maintaining our facilities.  Many hours go into the cleaning and upkeep of the buildings at MVS.  


Mark Hammel has a dual role this year as maintenance director and transportation director.  Along with full time bus route drivers, Ed Johnson and Lisa Jaminet, Mark and all the drivers are continuously updating their skills and providing safe travel for all our students and staff.  We are so thankful for their efforts!


Finally, we have three very important and vital staff members that keep our office running smoothly and effortlessly.  I am so thankful for Travis Weis, our technology coordinator.  He keeps our web page up and running and provides support to teachers and staff with technology issues. Renee Hazard, the district secretary, and Patty Williams our front office secretary, are so reliable, helpful and pleasant to work with.  Each has an important role in our offices.  Renee works out of the superintendent’s office and is the secretary for the board of education.  She handles most of the day to day financial happenings.  Renee keeps our paperwork and finances streamlined and makes sure numbers are accurate and clear.  Ms. Patty, as the kids like to call her, is our main office secretary.  Patty is pleasant, efficient and keeps our office humming along.   She wears many hats as the secretary and  always has a great smile for you and a hearty welcome to our school.


I am very thankful to be working with staff members who care so much about the children and families that attend Mountain Valley.  Next time you are at an event or visit our school, please think about all the people it takes to make our school great!

Upcoming events at Mountain Valley:

  • Friday, April 7th: Teacher Professional Development

  • April 10- April 20: PARCC and CMAS state testing

  • April 13-14: College Visits

  • April 15th: PROM

  • April 19th: State FBLA competition

  • April 20th: Family Math Night


As always, call the school or please visitwww.mountainvalleyschool.org for more information on events and happenings! Like us on Facebook @MVSPEAK where great things are happening!

Mountain Valley School

Principal’s Corner Number 16

by Kathy Hill

March has arrived and “blown” in quickly!  So much has been happening here at MVS. Students celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday with a read-a-thon and team building/collaboration “breakout” sessions.  We just finished our 100th day of school and elementary students celebrated by counting ten groups of ten items, like stamps, pennies, paper clips, etc.  Others took pictures and digitally changed them to see what they may look like at 100 years old!  Everyone had a great time, and we are amazed that 100 days of school is already complete! The elementary classes have worked hard on writing and publishing their own books. Each child chose a story that they had previously written. They edited the books, had partners read it, typed it up themselves, and then created their own illustrations. Students in Beth Shimamoto’s math classes are progressing by learning all things fractions, and I was amazed to see their progress in understanding measurement, area, and volume.  Grades 4 and 5 will soon be taking an overnight trip to Colorado Springs and were able to raise all the money to pay for the trip!

Did you know that glasses are tasty?  Most lenses are made of glass, butmiddle school students at MVS learned that Jello works too.  By shining lasers through round dishes of Jello, they visualized the path of rays of light as they bend and converge on their path through aconvex lens.Students have also used pennies to light an “LED” bulb.  Ask a middle schooler to explain!  Middle school students in Geneva Mixon’s enrichment class have had walking field trips to enjoy nature and write poetry.

Leo Glenn, 9th grader, and Tristan Helmick, 5th grader, both garnered awards at the SLV Regional Science Fair. Way to go!  The Native Indigenous Studies class had a presentation and discussion at The Range Gallery.  Students are learning about the importance of culture and diversity. Basketball season has ended but middle school and pee-wee wrestling are in full swing.  High school track has been running smoothly and middle school track season is not far behind.  Art students are creating 3-D art representations of legendary icons, the yearbook will soon be completed, science club students just spent a week in Iceland and the National Parks Club is gearing up for a trip to Carlsbad Caverns.

Our preschool program, led by director Lacy Reed and lead teacher Peggy Williams, just received a prestigious rating of a 4 (out of 5) from the Colorado Shines, the leading program overseeing preschool programs in Colorado!  This is an amazing feat as we have gone from a rating of 1 to a 4 in a matter of 6 months!  Our program is providing so much for our youngest 3, 4, and 5 year olds.  We have one of the best learning and growing environments for our kids in Northern Saguache County!  Thank you and congratulations Peggy and Lacy!

Finally, congratulations to Mrs. Jody Abeyta for receiving Mountain Valley School’s Teacher of the Year!  Jody is a 1997 graduate of MVS and has been a teacher for 9 years with the last 4½ years at MVS.  She has a degree in science with an elementary teaching endorsement.  Jody loves family, hiking, camping, the great outdoors and living life here in Saguache.  She is a distinguished and respected teacher that emphasizes that students be responsible and proactive learners.  Jody provides opportunities for students to be self-directed and she places emphasis on students doing their best and having a growth mindset.  Her classroom is well organized and each moment of the day is an opportunity to learn and develop new skills.  Jody teaches grades 3, 4, and 5 science and her passion for science and nature is passed on to her students through science experiments and activities.  Jody will be honored at the SLV Educator’s Banquet in April where she will be recognized along with other San Luis Valley School recipients.

These are just a few of the great things that have been happening at MVS.  We are proud of our school, our teachers, our staff and students.  We will continue each and every day to strive for excellence and provide the best for all!  Don’t Forget! Spring Break is next week March 20th- March 26th No School!  Enjoy and have a restful break!

Upcoming events at Mountain Valley:

·  Thursday, March 16th: FREE Community Dinner 5:00 p.m. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

·  Friday, March 17th: Spring Pictures courtesy of Kristen Hansen. Contact Kristen at the   

          school for scheduling and pricing.

·  March 20th- March 26th: Spring Break! NO SCHOOL!

·  April 10th: CMAS/PARCC Testing.  Details out soon!

As always, call the school or please visitwww.mountainvalleyschool.org for more information on events and happenings! Like us on Facebook @MVSPEAK where great things are happening!


Mountain Valley School

Principal’s Corner Number 15

by Kathy Hill


We have lots of great things happening at MVS.  This coming Friday, March 3rd, ten students will be representing Mountain Valley at the annual SLV Regional Science Fair competition.  From March 4th - March 9th, three students, Sal Vigil, Laura Morfitt, and McKensie Innes, will be traveling with parents and their teacher, Yvonne Morfitt, to Iceland for a once in a lifetime adventure.  These students raised funds for the past three years and are testament that hard work and perseverance do pay off!  We also had another give away during parent teacher conferences.  Congratulations to Jeff Miller, Elvira Lucero, and Jamie and Michael McGee for being the winners of the Amazon Fire Tablets and for attending parent/teacher conferences.  Many thanks to ALL parents and family that spoke with teachers and gained insight into their child’s educations.

In my last two columns I wrote about our elementary. middle, and high school teaching staff.  While they make up the core classes for the students there are several staff members and our specials teaching staff that need to be recognized as well.  By specials I mean, music, art, physical education, counseling, foreign language, and our special services department.  

First, Joel Johnson, our middle school social studies teacher, takes on a dual role of teaching our elementary PE or “gym” class, as it used to be called.  This is not the same old “gym” class as when I was a kid.  We use a program called SPARK; Sports Play and Active Recreation for Kids.  Mr. Johnson uses the program to provide well rounded classes that encompass activities that engage all students and promotes healthy physical activity.  Joel has been on the high school football coaching staff for the past three years as well, and has put in many hours working with students in our weight lifting enrichment class.  Our art teacher, Mrs. Belinda Garcia, brings many years of experience and a great knowledge to the art classroom.  Students follow the Colorado Academic Standards and learn about many artists and types of art.  Any given day you can see students engaged in cultural activities such as making sugar skulls during the Dias de los Muertos celebration. Mrs. Garcia is also bilingual and teaches the conversational Spanish class.  It takes lots of preparation and work to provide for so many different classes and activities.  Martin McKee is a special education paraprofessional this year and is providing music classes for grades K-5.  Mr. Mckee has a diverse background in music and choir and he has a fantastic voice.  Music is not his only forte.  Mr. McKee loves all things robotics and rocketry and shares his skills with our middle and high school enrichment classes. Our counselor is Amanda Burgess.  A counselor’s role is varied and diverse.  Ms. Burgess is responsible for scheduling students in classes, printing grades, providing guidance on scholarships and college visits.  Amanda also works in the middle and primary grades to provide classes on health and social skills.  Finally, we have some unsung heroes at MVS.  Lisa Mott head up our special services department that provide so much support for our students.  Lisa has experience in the higher education field and brings a wealth of knowledge to our school.  In her department are paraprofessionals Melissa Boyles, Martin Mckee, Hunter Good, and Shawn Vigil.  Mrs. Boyles has been with our district for 9 years now working in a variety of capacities.  She is now working toward completing her professional teaching license, and we are so appreciative of all hard work.  Hunter Good was an Americorp volunteer last year. He loved the kids and what he was doing so much that he decided to earn his teaching license through the prestigious Boettcher Scholarship program.  Hunter is a student teacher in residence and part of the paraprofessional team providing support for elementary and middle school students.  And finally, Shawn Vigil, a graduate of Mountain Valley with a degree in Biochemistry has returned to MVS and is working right now as a paraprofessional.  Shawn brings a great science background and well as the “homegrown” aspect to working with kids.  I am so thankful to be working with all these professionals that bring so much knowledge and diverse backgrounds to benefit our students.

Upcoming events at Mountain Valley:

  • High School Track begins this week in Moffat.

  • Pee-Wee wrestling practice each Tuesday and Wednesday

  • Friday, March 3rd: Skiing at Wolf Creek

  • Saturday, March 4th: Middle school wrestling at Pagosa

  • Saturday, March 11th: Parenting with Love and Logic parent conference. Contact the school for more information.

  • Thursday, March 16th: FREE Community Dinner

  • Friday, March 17th: Spring Pictures

  • March 20th- March 26th: Spring Break!


Please visit www.mountainvalleyschool.org for more information or like us on facebook @MVSPEAK where great things are happening!  


Mountain Valley School

Principal’s Corner Number 14

by Kathy Hill


During my years of teaching, I never taught any high school classes.  This year I have gained an interesting perspective with high school students and classes.  I realize what a tremendous job high school core teachers sometimes face as these young minds are developing into young adults with ideas, opinions, and perspectives that are all their own.  As you take a tour down the high school hall you will meet teachers such a Yvonne Morfitt covering our science and life skills classes.   Mrs. Morfitt is a veteran teacher who also coordinates the use of our greenhouse and has written many, many grants for the benefit of our children.  Yvonne is the Science Club sponsor and has put together a trip to Iceland this year. She supports students and families in need and advocates for wellness and health throughout the community.  Further down the hall last year’s teacher of the year, Andrew Virdin,  teaches English and will be engaged with students in a lively discussion of a current novel study.  Mr.Virdin is the knowledge bowl sponsor and provides the opportunity for our students to experience ski trips to Wolf Creek. His film studies class traveled to Telluride last year and were able to meet world renowned directors and actors. He himself is a world traveler and readily shares those experiences with students.  Next door is Kristen Hansen our social studies/ physical education teacher and student council sponsor.  Our beautiful individual student and class pictures are the handiwork of Mrs. Hansen.  She is a photography and art enthusiast and has a wealth of knowledge and a love of horses.  Kristen sponsors the high school student council members and coordinates our peer mediation program.  New to our high school staff is Kait Hazard.  Kait is a graduate of our school and has returned to share her experiences and knowledge as the high school/middle school business teacher.  Kait encourages students and sponsors the future Business Leaders of America chapter at MVS.  Erica Ortega, a junior, has earned a spot at the state level competition of FBLA. Ms. Hazard also coordinates and guides students on the development of our yearbook.  Finally, teaching all math subjects and coordinating our weekly video newsletter, is Mrs. Amy Garoutte.  Mrs. Garoutte is a certified Google Classroom Educator and has provided staff development to use new and innovative technology techniques in the classroom and beyond.  Amy serves as the district assessment coordinator and compiles school data.  Mrs. Garoutte is a National Park Club sponsor along with Yvonne Morfitt.  All of our core high school teaching staff bring unique talents and perspectives to the teaching profession and each is driven to provide the best well rounded education for our students!  I am ever grateful and appreciative of our core high school teachers.  They have so much to offer our students and are so willing to work together for the advancement of our school and community.

Upcoming events at Mountain Valley:

  • NO SCHOOL: February 16th and 20th

  • Board of Education meeting: Tuesday, February 21st

  • High School Envirothon Workshop:  Wednesday, February 22nd

  • Knowledge Bowl: Thursday, February 23rd

  • FREE Community Dinner: Thursday, February 23rd 5:00 p.m.

  • Teacher Professional Development: Friday, February 24th


Please visit www.mountainvalleyschool.org for more information or like us on facebook @MVSPEAK where great things are happening!  

Mountain Valley School

Principal’s Corner Number 13

by Kathy Hill


February is already upon us and we are two weeks into the 2nd semester of school.  Lots of great things are happening at MVS, and I am so thankful for our teachers!  This week I would like to share some things about our elementary and middle schools.

Starting with our elementary school we are striving to build up our students at the very youngest ages.   Our preschool teachers Peggy Williams and director Lacy Reed have worked tirelessly to update policy, upgrade equipment and hone their own skills to provide the best innovative and caring classroom for our youngest recipients.  Our preschool rating went from a 1 to a 2 in a few months and we are now striving for a top Colorado Shines rating of 5.  Our youngest three, four, and five year olds are getting the best foundations to be successful and thriving children ready for school and learning.  Kindergarten, first and second grade teachers, Eileen Wilfong and Amy Coleman, are balancing work and play.  These three pivotal grades ensure that students are building reading, writing and math skills to be successful in the upper elementary.  Foundational skills for reading are started at these grade levels.  It is vital for students to learn the letter sound connections and put it all together for reading.  Unlike speaking and language, which come naturally, reading skills must be explicitly taught with rigorous content.  It takes lots of repetition and practice for students to become excellent readers.  The teaching of reading takes skill and specific training especially for those students that find it difficult to read. As students enter the third, fourth and fifth grades they are now reading and writing to learn.  Those basic fluency and decoding skills in the early grades are the precursors to content learning that becomes part of the upper elementary.  In grades 3, 4 and 5 we have a departmentalized program with Jody Abeyta, teaching science for all three grades, Amber Johnson, teaching social studies and Beth Shimamoto teaching math.  This departmentalizing allows the teachers to build a strong rigorous program year after year and teachers know students strengths to build upon.  The intermediate team is also responsible for reading and language arts skills.  Students now must hone their skills with writing and be able to be proficient communicators. Our middle school is also departmentalized with James Chiang teaching math and hands-on science, Geneva Mixon as the reading and language arts specialist, and Joel Johnson taking on our social studies program.  The students are grouped into teams with a mix of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade classmates.  Students have a chance to communicate with peers and get to know all students within the middle school.  Different mixes of students allow them to share ideas, do projects, and confer with many other students. Teachers can then build curriculum to individualize learning and build upon student strengths.  All three middle school teachers are also required to integrate the teaching of reading and writing in their content areas.

I am very proud of our elementary and middle school core teaching staff at MVS.  As a 30 year veteran teacher, I know the challenges that come with teaching.  I also know the joys and successes of seeing students light up as they progress towards their goals.  Our teachers not only work on curriculum, but we all work together to build a strong supportive community. I am proud of our teachers and all the outstanding work they do each day!

Upcoming events at Mountain Valley:

  • Friday, February 3rd: Skiing at Wolf Creek, middle school girls basketball and high basketball.

  • Saturday, February 4th: High school wrestling

  • Tuesday, February 6th: FBLA District competition and middle school girls basketball begins tournament play

  • Wednesday, February 8th: An oral health educator will present to students during the morning and beginning at 5:00 p.m. the next BEST Grant Master Facilities planning meeting will take place.

Please visit www.mountainvalleyschool.org for more information or like us on facebook @MVSPEAK where great things are happening!  

Mountain Valley School

Principal’s Corner Number 12

by Kathy Hill

We recently had a staff meeting and honored four members of our Mountain Valley family with our prestigious traveling staff awards.  Each month someone at Mountain Valley is honored by a colleague and presented with one of four awards.  The “Above and Beyond” award was given to Mrs. Geneva Mixon, our middle school English teacher.  The “Attitude” award was presented to Mr. Travis Weis, our technology coordinator. Our  “I Love Kids” award was passed to one of our Americorp volunteer members, Mr. Alex Willard.  And finally, the “Creativity” trophy was awarded to Mrs. Jody Abeyta, 3rd grade teacher.  All of our family at Mountain Valley are dedicated to doing the best job for students.  We know that each of us is a vital part of the team and that each has a huge responsibility to keep our students safe, happy, healthy, and engaged in learning.  I know that our transportation department is highly trained and that each person who drives a bus or vehicle always has the safety of children as the top priority.  Our cafeteria ladies provide healthy meals that must follow stringent rules and regulations from the department of education and provide for the diverse dietary needs of our student population. The custodial staff is ever vigilant to make sure the school is a clean, safe and comfortable place for students and adults to learn. All of our office personnel must abide by state rules and regulations, and procedures and policies are in place to make the day to day operations flow smoothly.  Finally, all of our teaching staff and volunteers have the best intentions to do whatever it takes to teach and help students learn.  We want them to be great and do great things!  I appreciate ALL employees and members of the Mountain Valley family.  Each of us is a necessary and integral part of our school community.

Upcoming events at Mountain Valley:

As we enter these last weeks of January our students are taking the NWEA winter testing battery.  NWEA stands for Northwest Evaluation Association.  These assessments are used in over 7,400 districts and school across the county.  This research-based, computerized assessment program helps educators answer crucial questions about student learning.  Information about every student’s learning allows teachers the opportunity to adjust curriculum and provide lessons to help students grow.  Testing data and assessment are key components to help drive instruction.  If we know a student’s learning level, instruction can be tailored to fit that child’s need.  At Mountain Valley we are dedicated to providing the best overall education for our children, and we use many strategies and methods to increase student learning and help our children have success.  Have an awesome week!

  • SCIENCE FAIR: Thursday, January 19th

  • Ski trip to Wolf Creek: Friday, January 20th.

  • Cooking Matters Class: Monday evenings until February 13th-FREE- 5:30 p.m.

  • Middle school girl’s basketball: Tuesday, Jan. 24th and Wednesday, Jan 25th.

  • Envirothon competition: Wednesday, Jan. 25th

  • High school basketball: Thursday, Jan. 26th and Friday, Jan. 27th

  • High school wrestling: Saturday, Jan. 28th


Mountain Valley School

Principal’s Corner Number 11

by Kathy Hill

Happy New Year and Welcome to 2017!  It is a brand new calendar year, and we are almost halfway through our school year!  Seventeen weeks are now complete, and Mountain Valley School is gearing up to make the last half of this school year successful and extremely productive!  Our school has a vision to make sure all students are successful and that vision involves parents and community.  The research is clear, consistent, and convincing; Parent, family, and community involvement in education correlates with higher academic performance and school improvement. When schools, parents, families, and communities work together to support learning, students tend to earn higher grades, attend school more regularly, stay in school longer, and enroll in higher level programs. Researchers cite parent-family- community involvement as a key to addressing the school dropouts and note that strong school-family-community partnerships foster higher educational aspirations and more motivated students. The evidence holds true for all kids regardless of the parent’s education, family income, or background. We at Mountain Valley are dedicated to joining together all stakeholders to benefit our kids.  Teachers and schools need to communicate and provide transparent, up-to-date, and pertinent information and parents and families need be proactive and informed.  I would like to encourage parents to contact teachers when questions about school work or activities come up.  Be postive and research information by going to the source.  Call teachers and set up an appointment to visit about concerns or to find out what things you as a parent can do to encourage your child to do their best.  All of us have an important role in a child’s  education.  Let’s work together to improve our school, strengthen families, build community support, and increase student achievement and success!  

Upcoming events at Mountain Valley:

  • Master Facilities Plan and FREE community dinner; Thursday, January 12th

  • End of the second quarter and 1st semester of school: Thursday, January 12th.

  • Elementary staff Professional Learning Community on Friday, January 13th.

  • Middle School girl’s basketball games: January 10 and January 12

  • High school basketball: Home game (at Moffat school) Saturday, January 14th.

  • NWEA testing begins Monday, January 16th.

  • Science Fair: Thursday, January 19th

  • Ski trip to Wolf Creek: Friday, January 20th.


Mountain Valley School

Principal’s Corner Number 10

by Kathy Hill

    The year 2017 will soon be upon us and if you are like me it doesn’t seem possible that time can go so fast.  As I look forward to the year ahead, I continue each day to look at the potential in our school and in our students.  The word potential is defined as “existing in possibility but not in actuality; powerful but not in use.” Having potential doesn’t necessarily mean that it is absolutely going to happen.  It just means that it can happen if we add the other right “ingredients” along with it. We have lots of things in our cupboards to make cookies.  But unless we put those ingredients together and mix them in the right way we won’t have any cookies.  It is the same for students.  At our school every student has potential, but we have to find ways to unlock the potential for students to be successful.  At Mountain Valley we pride ourselves on individually helping each student foster his or her potential. Teachers try to find the right “mix” of ingredients to help students be successful and learn.  We have online classes, innovative differentiated instruction, and student groupings to help each other learn, and we know and care about each student who enters our building.  It takes a lot of things to unlock potential including effort and drive on the part of the student.  If I am making cookies it doesn’t matter how many great ingredients I use.   If I don’t put effort into mixing them and baking them, I will not get cookies.  The same thing happens for kids. We have to instill in them that they have a destiny and that they can press forward to doing something great.  We want our students to take action and take every opportunity provided them.  You as parents can help us foster that potential and growth as well.  Let your children know they have greatness in them and that it takes hard work to be successful. I hope everyone looks to their “potential” and strives to do great things everyday. As we approach our winter/holiday break I want to wish all parents, families, and community members a happy and safe winter holiday season. We have EARLY DISMISSAL Thursday, December 22nd, at 2:00 p.m. The school year resumes on MONDAY, January 9, 2017!

Upcoming events at Mountain Valley:

  • Middle School girl’s basketball games begin January 10th.  Times/Places TBD

  • Pee-Wee Co-Ed grades K-2 basketball at Mountain Valley January 10th.

  • Master Facilities Plan and FREE community dinner; Thursday, January 12th

  • Elementary Staff Professional Learning Community on Friday, January 13th.

  • SPARKS training for teachers at Mountain Valley

  • High school basketball: Home game (at Moffat school) Saturday, January 14th.

  • Ski trip to Wolf Creek on Friday, January 20th.

  • As always, visit mountainvalleyschool.org for updates or contact the school.


Mountain Valley School

Principal’s Corner Number 7

by Kathy Hill



In this new position as principal at Mountain Valley I have had so many opportunities to visit classrooms and see all the great things happening here at our school.  Each morning when students arrive we greet and welcome them to school.  We want every student to feel they are a part of our family and to know that we care about them.  We provide a free nutritious breakfast for every student.  Our lunch program is free as well, and we offer a fantastic salad and fruit bar with every lunch. We have classes that are paperless.  Student’s turn in work through email and shared Google documents.  Students are learning about Native Indigenous Peoples, and we have an enrichment class about gender studies.  Our social media class is producing the weekly video newsletter which can be viewed on the school web page or by simply searching for Mountain Valley School on Youtube.com.  Our knowledge bowl team is having great success and this past weekend and juniors and seniors traveled to Grand Junction and Gunnison to visit colleges in those communities.  We continue to display our powerful works of art at The Range gallery on 4th Street. We have had fresh vegetables produced in the greenhouse all summer, and we plan to have it operate year round even in our coldest months. Primary students are studying all things dinosaur and will be traveling to the Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience, and our intermediate grades are earning PEAK bucks for following their social contracts. The preschool program has gone from a 1-star rating to a 2-star Qualistar rating from the Colorado Shines Early Quality Learning programs!  This is a huge jump and great for our kiddos! Great job for getting our rating up, Peggy Williams and Lacy Reed.  Everywhere you turn great things are happening at Mountain Valley School.  


Here’s this week’s events:  Middle school boy’s basketball plays on Tuesday and Thursday; several high school science students will be attending an envirothon workshop on forestry on Wednesday; Our AAI Americorp volunteers are sponsoring a chess club and knitting club on Mondays and Wednesdays and the Booster Club FREE community dinner is Thursday evening from 5:00-7:00 p.m.  Thanksgiving vacation will be the week of November 21-24.  Please continue to support your school and have a spectacular week! 


Mountain Valley School

Principal’s Corner Number 6

by Kathy Hill

It is amazing that students have finished one quarter  of the 2016-2017 school year.  Time passes quickly so we need to take advantage of every moment and make all experiences great learning experiences.  But how do we do that?  Our school provides a safe environment conducive for learning and meeting the needs of the whole child. Teachers do their best to create engaging, eventful, and purposeful lessons.  Parents make sure their children are ready for school by providing safe comfortable homes and by emphasizing the importance of school attendance and participation. We also know that to learn new things and get better at something takes effort and the development of strategies for learning.  We have tons of research that shows that the brain is malleable and changeable.  Brains can grow and learn new things all of our lives.  But it takes a “growth mindset.”   A growth mindset is the ability to believe that intelligence can be developed.  Students can use many strategies and programs to “grow their brains.” We as a school and parents and families can perpetuate that growth mindset by praising not only efforts of children, but by praising the dedication and motivation that drives a child to learn. We give children the tools to learn and grow.  We must allow them to use those tools and find the strategies that best help them learn.  Sometimes it means failing at a task but being sure to know that even that failure leads to learning. All of us have a vital and important role in a child’s development and growth.  Guide them through difficult tasks, praise their dedication to a task, allow children to make mistakes, and take all experiences as learning and growing experiences.

On that note, I want to take a moment and apologize for leaving out of my last article some key players that provided information and presentations at the last free School/Community dinner.  My apologizes, and I realize my brain is still growing and changing and I need to be better at informing the public.  Presenting that night was Mrs. Geneva Mixon, our  middle school English teacher. She shared many reading strategies and techniques to help parents boost reading fluency and comprehension at home.  The Alpine Achievers Initiative provided information about out of school programming.  You can sign up your child anytime for this helpful and enjoyable program.  Amanda Burgess, school counselor, was available to sign up parents for the school grading system called Powerschool.  You can still sign up to log in and check your child’s grades. Finally, Mountain Valley Activities and Booster Club provided information about upcoming events and activities.  Be a part of your school community and join the Booster Club!

Be sure to mark your calendars for Thursday, November 10th.  This is the date of our next FREE School/Community Dinner.


Here’s what’s happening this upcoming week at Mountain Valley:

Los Dias De Los Muertos, an art show by Mountain Valley art classes, will have a special showing on the 28th of October from 6:00-8:00 p.m.  Mrs. Belinda Garcia’s art classes will be showcasing their works at the The Range gallery at 307 4th Street. Middle school boys basketball beings their season on Tuesday, November  1st, and high school basketball practice begins the second week of November.  All basketball practices and home games will now be played in Moffat.  Pee Wee basketball is in full swing. Stop by the school or contact Amber Johnson for practice and game schedules.  Finally, please remember to notify the main office at 655-2578 when your child is absent from school. Remember school starts promptly at 7:50 a.m. and ends at 4:00 p.m.  Please don’t hesitate to call the school or check out our web page at mountainvalleyschool.org for information about events and happenings at Mountain Valley. Have a great week!


Mountain Valley School

Principal’s Corner Number 5

by Kathy Hill

We are now entering our eighth week of school here at Mountain Valley.  Students and staff are accomplishing many great things as we approach the end of the first quarter of our school year.  Students, teachers, and staff are putting in many hours to make this year great!  This past week the faculty and staff awards were passed to new deserving winners.  Leslie Hammel received the “Above and Beyond” award for always being extra helpful.  Martin McKee received our “Creativity” award for always finding ways to encourage students to think beyond the basics. The “I Love Kids” trophy was passed to Eileen Wilfong for her true and caring nature to help students be successful, and  Travis Garoutte was awarded the “Great Attitude” award for his positive presence in our school and community.

The high school student council sponsored the first Free Community Dinner.  Fun food, like mummy dogs, was prepared and enjoyed by all.  In addition to the dinner, community members were encouraged to attend some activities provided by staff.  Andrew Virdin and Amy Garoutte presented activities on “How to Encourage a Growth Mindset.”  Yvonne Morfitt showed kids how to dissect owl pellets, and Travis Garoutte presented information about school finances. Thank you Kristen Hansen and Amber Johnson for your work and efforts to make this a successful event.  

I am so appreciative for the many parents that work so hard for their children.  Parents and guardians set the tone for their children each and every day.  Your positive outlook towards education and learning provides the groundwork to help your child succeed and grow.  You are the models that inspire and show children how to take charge of their own learning.  Through guidance and reminders, parents help children become organized, choose good habits, and be responsible.  Parents that help encourage children to learn new things are learners themselves.  Learning something new is a great way to model the learning process.  Value being a learner by taking classes yourself or learning a new craft.  Read together with your children and take the time to share new things.  I would like to encourage all parents to visit our school and meet with your child’s teacher(s).  Be informed of work that is being done and activities your child is involved in.  Parents and teachers need to work together to provide the best education for our children.  

Here’s what’s happening at Mountain Valley: Friday, October 14, will be the final home games for volleyball and football.  Middle school football begins at 10:30 a.m., high school volleyball is at 11:00 a.m., and high school football starts at 1:00 p.m.  Creede Repertory Theatre has a special presentation for the elementary classes on Monday, October 17 and the end of the first quarter is Thursday, October 20. That day is Walk to School Day and all of October is walk to school month across Colorado.  If possible, encourage your child to walk to school and just walk for good exercise and to develop healthy habits. Parent/Teacher conferences will be on the evenings of Tuesday, October 25 and Wednesday, October 26.  Parents of elementary students will schedule conference appointments and middle and high school parents are encouraged to visit with teachers from 4:00-7:00 p.m each evening.  In addition, parents attending conferences will have an opportunity to win a tablet computer!  More details out soon!

Finally, please remember to notify the main office at 655-2578 when your child is absent from school. And remember, school starts promptly at 7:50 a.m. and ends at 4:00 p.m.  Please don’t hesitate to call the school or check out our web page at mountainvalleyschool.org for information about events and happenings at Mountain Valley.  Have a great week!



Mountain Valley School

Principal’s Corner Number 4

by Kathy Hill


Another great homecoming week filled with activities and events has now been completed.  Students and staff worked hard to build and complete homecoming floats for our traditional parade.  Excitement and fun was had by all! Our sports teams put in their best efforts and new learning experiences always occur with every new game.  Thanks to all parents, community members, students and staff for your efforts to make homecoming week enjoyable!

As many of you know, I was a teacher for many years before I took on this position as PreK-8 principal here at Mountain Valley.  I have always prided myself in knowing that I put forth my best effort to help children learn and grow.  Teachers work hard. Sometimes the work is in planning,  sometimes the hard work is instruction, and sometimes it is just trying to figure out what works best for our students.  Teachers spend many hours going over textbooks and assignments trying to plan engaging, exciting and most importantly beneficial lessons.  Teachers must meet and plan lessons as dictated by the Colorado Content Standards and must provide children with 21st century skills.   Teachers also work hard trying to be their best for every student.  They set high expectations and teach students to reach beyond simple memorization and regurgitation of facts.  We all have unique talents and gifts that we share with students.  We all have our children’s best interests in mind, just like parents and guardians do. I am very proud of our teaching staff here at Mountain Valley. They are hard working dedicated individuals who only want the best for our community and families.  Thank you, teachers, for all you do every day!

Upcoming events at Mountain Valley: The National Park Club will be heading to Arches National Park, in Moab, Utah this coming weekend. Middle school volleyball travels to Alamosa on Tuesday the 27th and to La Jara the 29th. High school volleyball plays at home on Thursday the 29th against Sangre De Cristo.  Then volleyball and football teams travel to Aguilar on the 30th. October 4th and 5th will be school picture days.  Elementary pictures to be taken on Tuesday, October 4 and middle and high school pictures taken on Wednesday, October 5.  For more information, please visit our school web page at mountainvalleyschool.org.  Also check out our weekly video newsletter put together by the Social Media enrichment class at Mountain Valley.  Videos can be found on youtube.com.  Have a great week.  And as I tell the students, “Be your best!  Be awesome!”