The 2018-19 school year was supposed to end May 21, but due to the number of school closures as a result of inclement weather the students finished the year May 22.
Yet, in talking with school administrators, the overarching sentiment was that it hardly seemed possible that the school year was already done.
“Today does not seem like the last day of school,” said Rick Jorgenson, RVHS principal, who surmised that the reason he felt that way was due to the fact that the year was such a successful one.
Rick Ellingworth, Redwood Area School District superintendent, echoed that sentiment, adding the overall culture of the district has been extremely positive.
That, agreed Jorgenson, Ellingworth, Paul van der Hagen, Reede Gray Elementary School principal, and Amanda Pederson, Redwood Valley Middle School principal, is because of the outstanding leadership of the staff and students in the district.
While Jorgenson credited this year’s senior class for the leadership it demonstrated at the high school, van der Hagen and Pederson also spoke highly of the students at the fourth-grade and eighth-grade levels for the way they conducted themselves and helped to set the tone at their sites.
While the fourth graders and the eighth graders are not leaving the district, they are making the transition to the next level, and van der Hagen and Pederson said that leadership will be missed next year.
Pederson said the eighth graders led the way academically, as was evident in the fact that 33 of the students finished with a grade point average of 3.5 or higher during their time at RVMS.
Among the highlights for the 2018-19 school year was the opening of the Estebo Career Development and Training Center. Ellingworth said it was impressive to recognize the fact that ground was broken for that facility May 24, 2018, and by January students were utilizing the space.
The aforementioned school closings led the administration to implement a new concept this school year known as e-learning, which allowed students to do their school work via the Internet at home during those days when school was not in session. Ellingworth considered the implementation of that program a success, adding he credits the principals and staff for the outstanding effort that was made on very short notice to put it in place.
The administrators recognized the significant impact of the staff, with Pederson, van der Hagen and Ellingworth adding it is bittersweet to see teachers like Sue Baldwin, Laurel Hartfiel and Jane Sanchez retire from their roles as educators. Between them more than 100 years of teaching left when the year ended.
Students are going to have an extended summer, as the decision was made to start the 2019-20 school year after Labor Day.
However, before you know it September will be here.