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School Crossing

By Guy Nahmiach

The idea of bartending was always one my “dream jobs.” We all have them. As kids, most of us started out wanting to be firefighters or stuntmen. We then transformed our hopes and aspirations, mirroring those in front of us that take the time to make us better and smarter, like teachers , police officers and sometimes even law breakers. They made a deeper and lasting impression on our lives.

Until life sets in and we develop passions based on needs and reality. The need to eat and pay rent, maybe support a family, adult choices included wearing lab coats, a welding mask or sitting in an office in the corporate world. These choices tend to be way off the path we intended to walk. Except for the scientists and professional athletes who apparently knew what they wanted to do since they were 5.

Last Tuesday was the start of living out one of my dreams. Bartending. I asked my friends at Right Coast Pizza to let me be their bartender the first Tuesday of every month. And while they don’t pay me, I donate all my tips to one of our Wheat Ridge classrooms.

To call the evening a success would be an understatement. With friends, clients and members of the community coming out in huge numbers to support a good cause and probably a little bit of entertainment as I fumbled my way through a Moscow mule. I did managed to raise $400 that I donated to Kamie Siddoway and her first grade classroom right here at Kullerstrand Elementary. You can see the amazing Ms. Siddoway in the spring and fall time, walking her class up and down 38th Avenue. The expeditionary model before it was all the rage. I’ll be donating the next event’s tips to another classroom right here in our town.

Congratulations to Wheat Ridge High School who just opened their CNA program. The Certified Nursing Assistant program was a long time in the making.  The long process of getting state approval, funding and professional direction were all achieved by the usual heroes over at WRHS. Jane Johnson and Toni Budoff. Two teachers that are part of this engine that keeps this school going in the right direction. Ms. Johnson who has been instrumental in running and developing the Career Explorer program that allows students to graduate with a life skill and ready to hit the job market. Construction, hotel skills and healthcare. If you or your student is interested in learning about these programs, please feel free to call WRHS Principal Josh Cooley at 303-982-7695.

Speaking of which, this was a message sent to me by Stevens Elementary first grade teacher Telissa Ishida: “The seniors in Mr. Slatter's Honor English Class at Wheat Ridge High School are mentoring first graders at Stevens Elementary, once a month.  The high school mentors are helping the first graders with their learning of core instruction, community service skills, communication skills, habits of character, and JEFFCO Generation skills.  Some of the projects that the high school mentors and the first graders have worked on were: building solar ovens to further their learning of the sun and its heat, learning the different phases of the moon through Oreos, making dog biscuits to provide treats for the Foothills Animal Shelter as part of a community service project, carving pumpkins so they could learn about the parts of a pumpkin.”

With the enrollment process coming to an end, it was interesting to watch a brand new system pushed through such a large population. Off to a slow start but quickly caught up and moved everyone through their choices. It’ll be interesting to see the numbers at our schools. With free and reduced numbers dropping in Wheat Ridge schools overall, you have to wonder where are these families moving to. We’ll have some data to share next month as well an update on the Jeffco Nutrition task force and its attempt to provide fresh and tasty meals to our students.

Hope to see you at my next bartending fundraiser on April 2 at Right Coast Pizza.

As always, thanks for reading.

Contact Guy@NostalgicHomes.Com or 303-999-5789.