FALCON FLASH 2016-2017


Falcon Flash
May 23, 2017
Haylea Perrino
Bernardino Espinoza
Sofia Crosson

On May 18th the 5th and 6th grade class went to Camp Jackson in Rye, Colorado and returned home on May 19th. During our trip we learned how to work together as a team and do teamwork activities. We played many games that would only succeed if the whole team participated. The activities were very hard and mind working but we got through them in a fun way and succeeded. We all enjoyed playing and working together as a team.

We all were separated into two groups. Both groups learned the same things just at different times. In those times we learned a lot. Most of us did not know the things we were taught. We all learned how to build fire in the wild, we learned how to use compasses,and how to make shelter and have it be secure and safe. We learned really cool facts about nature when we went on several hikes. One fact is that the Ponderosa Pine tree smells like vanilla or butterscotch. On the hikes we all conversated and had a good time, we met this dog named Chloe and she was an awesome tracker. One of the favorites was Archery, it was really fun they taught us how to knock an arrow and aim. Last but not least we all took this night adventure and we learned interesting things about our eyes and how they work in the daylight and in dark which based on Cones and Rods.

When it was time for the meals we all gathered into the Dining Hall to eat. We all got the opportunity to mingle and meet new people. All of us met a lot of students that attended North Mesa and The Swallows in Pueblo, Colorado. In order to eat without running we had to be mannerful, if someone put their elbows on the table while they were eating they had to run around the Dining Hall while the rest of us were singing the song to go with it.

At the end of the night all the schools including us gathered around a campfire and made S’mores. We all joined in on the songs and danced. We went to bed after the night adventure and we slept in the Jackson Lodge, the other schools were in cabins, We just got lucky with the heated Lodge and inside bathrooms. Thank You councelors for giving this opportunity! We all had a great time at Camp Jackson.

Falcon Flash

April 20, 2017

How joyous it is to have the kids too young for PARCC testing to be the best cheerleaders. Spelling out “S.M.A.R.T.I.E.  their chant was:
 Stay Focused, Mark the Right Choice, Always do your best, Recheck your work, Take your time, I know you can do it, Expect the best! Some kids have let their teachers know that they have loved the reading selections. All students are doing their best.
Seventh and eighth graders are engaged in lots of reading activities. Book projects are due each month and this month the students wrote summaries and made dioramas of a part in the book. Amplify, the adopted program, had a selection of Romeo and Juliet and the class has taken on the book. In social studies, they are studying Africa and they are reading The Time for Running. It is about two brothers fleeing the wreckage of their village in Zimbabwe and finding safety in South Africa.
Track season is in full swing. Most of the middle school students joined. Last Thursday Mitchell Christan took second place in the 100-yard dash.
Today, Thursday, April 20th Gardner School will be hosting a family math/science/literacy evening with lots of fun events.
by Brianna Pacheco

Falcon Flash April 11

Music is resonating throughout the halls of the Gardner School. This semester we have 16 students learning the harp, 12 taking guitar lessons, and a handful playing piano.

In October, ten students started Celtic harp lessons with Kim McKee. After their performance at the Winter Program, several more students signed up for lessons. On April 26th the second-grade harpers will accompany their classmates singing “Dipping Donuts” at the PTSA meeting. Sixth grader, Nicky Serra, says “I love the harp. It makes me feel happy when I play. I am in peace.”

In January, guitar and piano lessons were added to the music program. Johnnye Mullen has both students and teachers in her piano classes and is pleased with their progress. Haylea Perrino, a sixth grader, commented “I like to experience what it’s like to be a musician. I’ve always wanted to play piano and I’m glad I joined. I really enjoy it.”

Ricky Gonzales, like all Gardner Staff, wears many hats. In addition to his regular job, he is teaching guitar to a dozen students. Sofia Crosson, a fifth grader, says “I enjoy music class and getting to learn to play guitar. I also like that it is a free place to be yourself. I am excited to play.”

In addition to the largesse of the Gardner School Foundation, who funded the music and art classes this year, we have been very fortunate to have additional support from the community in terms of both instruments and time. Most recently, a part-time resident who is involved with the Castle Rock Rotary Club spearheaded a campaign to get us student guitars. Our thanks go out to them for we now have eight new guitars complete with cases, music stands, tuners, and books.
Research shows how important music is to the developing brain and we hope to be able to continue and expand the musical opportunities for the students at Gardner School.

Flash—March 20

Destination Imagination (DI) is one of the most wonderful project-based ways for children to learn. The benefits are huge including how to work together respectfully, how to think outside the box, and how to create solutions to open-ended challenges. There’s critical thinking, problem-solving, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and, Math (STEAM). and students love participating. Gardner School has not had a sponsor in several years but this year we had two coaches, Erin Hall and Charles Mandamaker. Roberta Rivera, a teacher at Peakview School has coached DI for several years and the Falcons congratulate their teams. Both Peakview teams will be going to the state competition next month. 

The two Gardner School teams competed in the regional Destination Imagination competition. Both elementary and middle school teams began their day with an instant challenge. The challenge remains a secret until after the Global Finals in Knoxville. The only information we can tell you is that the middle school’s instant challenge boosted their score to make them state qualifiers. During Improvisation 3-PEAT. the middle school students were given three acts to perform. The piece that stood out the most was a courtroom drama. One funny scene was when a team member acted lost and wandered into the court asking where MacDonalds was. 

The Fireballs, Gardner Elementary Destination Imagination Team, represented well in the Technical Challenge- Show and Tech.  Team members Sofia Crosson, Monet Vialpando, Elyssa Allen and Noah McConnel wowed spectators with their undersea technical adventure.  The team placed in the middle of the pack and had a great time learning the creative process.
The state competition will be held in Denver on April 23. The teams are currently fund-raising to go to the competition. Best wishes to both Peakview and Gardner students at “state.” Evie Padilla

Flash – March 13
By Anthony Aldretti and Rebecca Younger

On Wednesday, Gardner School students enjoyed another great STEM project. This time they built a bridge at least 6 inches tall and 5 inches wide using only a limited number of Legos and a single sheet of paper. The bridge had to support weight measured in pennies. One team’s bridge help 170 pennies! That is good engineering.

The Gardner School wrestlers have been competing well. Wyatt Perrino has a 9-3 record having won two tournaments in Rocky Ford. Zander Ross has a 6-7 record. Zander has lost only once by pin and the rest by points at the end of the third period. Adam Pacheco is 5-8. Adam’s weight class is tough to compete at. Anthony Aldretti has a 12-1 record, only losing once in a tough-fought match. The last match before Regionals and State is the John Mall home tournament. The tournament will take place at John Mall High School on March 17. 2017.

The Gardner School Leadership group is having a school-wide “Buddy Week” this week. The purpose of Buddy Week is to build a friendlier school climate and positive connections between the younger and older students. Every student received a card with another student’s name on it. The students must observe their person during the week and then write positive comments and compliments on the card. The cards will be exchanged next Monday during a Friendship Circle.

Student-led conferences are being held today from 2:00-7:30. Spring conferences at Gardner School are a time when the teachers do very little talking. The students direct the conferences, informing their parents about their improvements, what their goals are going forward, they share their work, and they demonstrate skills they have learned. Conferences in the spring are a time of celebration.

Falcon Flash for the 6th of March 2017

 Dr. Seuss would have turned 110 on March 2. Children all over the country have been celebrating his birthday ever since the National Education Association designated his day in connection with Read Across America in 1998. Motivating children to read is an important factor in student achievement and creating lifelong successful readers. Research has shown that children who are motivated and spend more time reading do better in school.
Gardner School celebrates the day in different ways each year. Preschoolers and Kindergartners listen to the favorite, Green Eggs and Ham and then cook up a big batch.
Middle school students have book projects due each month. Most recently, dioramas from a scene in a novel were done at home and they now line the halls. The students are also required to give a book talk on their book of choice.
The Gardner School leadership group requested to revive “buddy readers” and coincidentally the program began this year on Dr. Seuss Day. The buddy reading program is one way for the “Big kids” to do something nice for the younger students. Each week the middle school students read a book chosen by the kinder, first, and second graders. It looks like they enjoy the program so much that some students may become future teachers!
Remember that this Friday the 10th is our annual carnival. It runs from 5:00pm-7:00 PM. Please come support the event. The seventh and eighth graders will be hosting the taco dinner (kids through HS $3.00, adults $6.00). Bingo, silent auction and a slew of games will happen from 5:30-7:00. Come on over for some great family fun.


Spring is approaching and that means the Annual Gardner School Carnival is just a week away. There will be a taco bar dinner beginning at 5:00. Bingo and games run from 5:30-7:00. A silent auction of gift baskets will also be part of the fund-raiser.

Another spring event is Destination Imagination. We are pleased to have two teams competing. One is the middle school group the other is an elementary group. The middle school group is presenting their improv skills to the judges at the regionals in Pueblo. Taking on a predetermined challenge, the elementary team is showing off their creativity as well as their intelligence by writing a screenplay and moving one of their teammates without being able to walk. We are all excited to see how the teams do in Pueblo on March 11th.
Gardner School has welcomed Sherry Pearson weekly from the Spanish Peaks Library to read and lead crafts with several classes at Gardner. Said Pearson,
“Doing my job as a librarian, I am traveling to Peakview, Gardner School, and Spanish Peaks Childcare as part of our reading outreach program.” Sherry is also working on a program for early-release days to keep kids occupied.  Sherry is a retired teacher and continues being passionate about reading by planning activities at the library and sometimes putting on a little concert just for them. She encourages everyone to stop by the library.
Our seventh and eighth Grades are learning about the great continent of Africa in Social Studies. They had the privilege to have Mrs. Roz McCain share her experience.  She recently took a safari  through many cultures which Africa has to offer. Taking us through a slide show of majestic pictures of animals and scenery while sharing a few stories that had the students entranced in the dream that is Africa. We are looking forward to what this unit on the continent of Africa has to offer.
The Falcons would like to congratulate the John Mall wrestlers who came home with medals from the state meet. We are especially proud of Gardner School alumni, Marshall Ross. We have some future Panther champions right here at the Gardner School. Adam Pacheco, Zander Ross, Anthony Aldretti, and Wyatt Perrino are on the Middle School wrestling team
Photo courtesy of Adam Pacheco Article written by Ciera Padilla


December 15

It is an exciting time of year at Gardner School! Between studies, basketball, and preparation for the annual winter program, students and staff alike have been extremely busy.

Last weekend, the Falcon girls and boys basketball teams had the opportunity to participate in their first tournament of the season. Both teams did a wonderful job and played their hearts out. The boys worked exceptionally hard to earn a trophy for second place in the tournament! While we are proud of the basketball teams for their performance on the court, we are equally as proud of them for their behavior off of the court. The coaches received compliments on the manners and behavior of our student-athletes while the group was out and about during the tournament. They represented our school in a way that makes all of us proud to be Falcons! Great job kids!

The halls of the school are alive and buzzing in anticipation of the Christmas program that is coming up next week. Under the instruction of Johnnye Mullen, each class has been working hard to perfect the musical acts that they will be performing. The program is sure to inspire “oohs”, “ahhs”, and laughter! We would like to extend an open invitation for all members of the community to witness the students’ hard work first hand. The show, “Once Upon a Christmas,” will be at 6:30 next Wednesday, December 21st, at Gardner School. We hope to see you there!


November 5, 2016

The first week back from Thanksgiving break was a busy one at Gardner School! Basketball practices resumed, the 3rd and 4th grade put on their PTSA program, and the Student Council started a food drive.

Falcon basketball is in full swing. The coaches and athletes alike have been working hard at practice, honing fundamental skills such as dribbling and shooting. They will be having their first basketball tournament of the season this Friday, December 9th. Good luck Falcons!

On Wednesday, November 30th, Mrs. Hall’s 3rd and 4th grade put on their PTSA program. The students presented a collaborative story about giving thanks that they had been working hard on. The Gardner School Foundation has been generous enough to donate funding for the story to be made into individual books for each student in the class. These books will be great keepsakes for the students for years to come!

Gardner’s Student Council is hosting a non-perishable food drive this holiday season. Students are encouraged to donate food to be collected and distributed by a community organization later this month. The food drive began last Wednesday, and will run through December 20th. If you are a community member and would like to donate, feel free to drop any non-perishable goods off at the school. We appreciate the support and generosity of all who are contributing to this great cause!

October 31,2016

Last week, Gardner School celebrated student achievement and work with an Open House/Family Math and Literacy night before the School Board meeting. Families and community members were welcomed into our school to view student work, visit with Gardner School staff, and participate in fun math and literacy related games in the main hallway. The attendance was great! We had so many people come out to show their support for our wonderful school! We would like to say a big “Thank you!” to all of our guests.

Following Open House, the School Board met. At the beginning of the meeting, five students of varying grade levels were recognized for their achievement and outstanding citizenship within the walls of our school. Congratulations to the following students for all of their hard work: Mason Montoya (1st Grade), Elyssa Allen (3rd Grade), Haylea Perrino (6th Grade), Rebecca Younger (7th Grade), and Anthony Aldretti (8th Grade). We are so proud of these students, and we appreciate their hard work and the great example that they set for their peers! Our dear secretary, Ana Choin, was also recognized at the meeting for going above and beyond the call of duty. Ana is irreplaceable at Gardner School. Her hard work and dedication help make our Falcon community stronger. Thank you Ana for all that you do!

For our second quarter of school, we welcome Ms. Johnnye Mullen to our school. Johnnye will be teaching music and choir, and coordinating the holiday show for Gardner School. We look forward to hearing the great music the students will be making!

Signing off from Gardner School. We hope everyone has a fantastic week!

October 19, 2017

As the first quarter of the school year wrapped up at Gardner School, the students stayed busy with many things going on. One of these events was S.T.E.M. We had a S.T.E.M (Science Technology Engineering and Math) activity on Wednesday, October 12th. All groups had to solve a mystery string tube. The students watched a teacher-created video in which a toilet paper tube was displayed with strings coming out of it. The students had to figure out where and how the strings inside the toilet paper roll were connected in order to move in a specific pattern. The students came up with tons of great ideas! 7th grader, Kelsie Aguirre had something to say about the project: “I solved the mystery by looking at a 1st grader’s plan sheet in my group!” Trey Medina also had a comment about his favorite part, “My favorite part was watching the video.”

The Student Council has decided that this week will be Spirit Week. Spirit Week has four funny activities we’re going to be doing each day of the week. Monday, October 17th is crazy hat/hair day, Tuesday is Backward Day, Wednesday is 80’s day, and last but not least, Thursday is Falcon/Panther pride day! Let’s get ready to have a fantastic week!

Student Writer: Harmonee Valdez

October 12, 2016

Last Wednesday, we hosted our Back-to-School night. Many parents, students, and community members came out to enjoy live music, eat a delicious dinner, and get to know this school year’s teachers. This evening was by all accounts a success. We want to send a heartfelt “Thank You!” to everyone who attended! Your support does not go unnoticed! There are several upcoming events that we are looking forward to in the near future. Away from school, several classes will be partaking in field trips coming up. Aside from the nearly annual trip to the Sand Dunes in two weeks, classes will also be taking individual trips to Mission Wolf and Western Heritage Day at the State Fair! At school, we also have some exciting things coming up. First and foremost, we are pleased to announce that students will be starting art classes soon, which will be great enrichment! The whole school will also be participating in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) activities beginning on our first early-release Wednesday of the school year. We look forward to reporting back to you throughout the school year. The Falcons greatly appreciate your support of our outstanding, unique school!



Last week was fun-filled and busy week at Gardner School! The Falcons participated in Spirit Week for Homecoming, attended a wonderful “Jump for Life,” assembly, and celebrated the students who earned Honor Roll and Perfect Attendance recognition for the first quarter!

Spirit Week consisted of four different “dress up” days for students and staff alike. The percentage of participation was high, and we enjoyed sharing in laughter and school spirit on Crazy Hair Day, Backwards Day, 80’s Day, and Falcon/Panther Pride Day! On Friday, many Gardner students showed up in 50’s attire to the Homecoming parade in Walsenburg in order to ride the school’s “Shake, Rattle, and Roll!” themed float.

On Thursday, the entire school had the opportunity to watch “Jump for Life,” an assembly which focused on the merits of hard work, practice, and perseverance. Students and staff roared with laughter as the presenter, Ms. April, told of her personal experiences and taught student volunteers how to juggle and do basic jump roping tricks. At the end of the assembly, the audience was treated to a real show as Ms. April performed an amazing acrobatic hoop routine! This assembly was one of the best that Gardner School has ever had the privilege of viewing!

We are extremely proud of the students who achieved Honor Roll and Perfect Attendance for the first quarter of school. The lists of students to reach each accomplishment are as follows:


Honor Roll: Tre Gile, Sofia Crosson, Trey Medina, Carmen Hernandez, Callie Hall, Kimmy Padilla, Haylea Perrino, Rebecca Younger, Evelyn Padilla, Ciera Padilla, Anthony Aldretti.

Perfect Attendance: Mabon Salas, Keiano Gallegos, Mahkenna Allen, Ethan Younger, Harlow Vialpando, Sage Bobian, Mason Montoya, Hunter Perez, Tye Robison, Payton Salas, Raiden Salazar, Taylah Allen, Noah Hall-McConnel, Kaelye Aguirre, Tayten Medina, Dalton Robison, David Bobian, Giovanni Aldretti, Nino Cisneros, Sofia Crosson, Tre Gile, Trey Medina, Callie Hall, Rebecca Younger, Anthony Aldretti, Quintin Medina, Isabella Rivera, Adam Pacheco.




The school year is moving right along at Gardner School. Two big events from the past couple of weeks were the Preschool through 2nd grade “Apple Day,” and the volleyball tournament.

On “Apple Day,” the preschoolers through 2nd graders went to head teacher Pam’s house to pick apples and make various apple treats with a handful of generous volunteers! These cooking projects were a first-time experience for many of the students. The weather was perfect, and students and adults alike enjoyed their day! Upon their return to Gardner School, some of the students created writing pieces based on their experiences. One student wrote, “It was fun, and I loved making juice and applesauce, too.” Another student write, “I loved it. It was fun and I learned a lot about apples.” Overall, it was a productive and exciting learning experience!



Several events took place at Gardner School last week. One of these events was the bike rodeo. This event took place on Tuesday. All students from Kindergarten to 5th grade were invited to participate. Each student received a helmet of their own. The kids also really enjoyed riding bikes on the school track. When asked, several students said their favorite part of the day was getting a helmet. The teachers enjoyed watching the children ride their bikes.

Finally, four teachers, Pam Levie, Katie Campbell, Charlies Mandemaker, and Johnnye Mullen, took four students for a morning of music and pampering at harp lessons with Ms. Victoria, the harp teacher. They learned the scale and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” In addition, a few harps have been generously loaned to Gardner School in order to continue the journey of learning to play.

We are looking forward to discovering what adventures this coming week will hold!

Student Writers: Taylor Vigil and Adam Pacheco


The volleyball tournament was also a great experience for the Falcon student-athletes. We interviewed a few of the volleyball players. Student and Gardner Falcon, Wyatt Perrino, shared that he had a blast at the tournament even though it was nerve wracking. Another player stated, “The game was amazing and a good experience!” We are so proud of the hard work our team has been putting in both on and off of the court this year.

We look forward to sharing more Gardner School experiences with you next week!


Student Writers: Garrett Defreese & Domnick Gonzales


This week was a busy one at Gardner School! Monday, September 12, was the Kindergarten through Eighth Grade field trip to the Sand Dunes. We rode on two separate buses up to the Mosca Trailhead, and then first through eighth grades were dropped off. The Kindergarten drove around to the Sand Dunes while the first through eighth graders enjoyed a 3.5-mile hike to the Dunes. When we got to the Sand Dunes, we ate lunch and walked over to the dunes to play in the sand, roll down the hills, walk through the warm sand, or dip our feet in the freezing water. We got about an hour and a half to enjoy the dunes. Once it was time to leave, all of the kids tried to remove as much sand as possible from their clothing. It was surprising how much sand was in everyone’s shoes! We had a great time on our whole-school field trip! On Wednesday, the school had an early release day, so that means the children get to participate in S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). For this S.T.E.M. day, our challenge was to design a hat that could hold an apple while running in a relay race. Students were able to use any school supplies found in their classroom, except for staples and glue. There were many different designs that the kids made. Once the challenge was over, each S.T.E.M. team participated in a relay race while wearing their hats. Most of the hats did a great job of holding the apples in place! Overall, it was a very exciting week at Gardner School! Student Writers: Rebecca Younger and Isabella Trujillo


The Gardner School Falcons have a lot of exciting things going on. Our playground garden is looking better than ever! It is sprouting up vegetables including squash, carrots (the Gardner School kids’ favorites!), green peppers, and beets. The main caretaker, Charles Mandemaker, has been a wonderful help throughout the weeks. Many children have been helping as well in the garden. By watering and checking on the plants at least two times a week, we will always know if even one plant is in bad condition. Gardner’s green thumb is brighter than ever! Gardner School has a lot of fun things coming up, such as picture day, the 3rd and 4th-grade field trip, a volleyball tournament, and lastly, the EARSS program is back with Ms. Tobin. Art is also back and everyone is happier than ever to have Mrs. Cathy Cordova in the building one day a week! To sum everything up, Gardner School students have a lot going on, but they still have their priorities straight – work before play! -Student Writers: Jaiden Pino & Bella Rivera


The third week of the school year at Gardner School flew by just as the others have. With this week came the first field trip of the school year for several of our students.

Last Saturday, August 27th, was the day of the motorcycle rally and lemonade stand fundraiser at the community center in Gardner. Several community members came out to show their support, and a few of our students volunteered their time to help with the lemonade operation. We would like to extend our gratitude to everyone involved in helping and showing their support for our school.

On Wednesday, 5th-8th grades went on a field trip to Western Heritage Day at the Colorado State Fair. At this event, small groups traveled around to different stations to learn about different aspects of our heritage, both past, and present. These informative stations included a lesson about water use, various lessons about farming and agriculture, and two stations about cowboy ethics and gear. Many of the stations were interactive, and the students enjoyed trying new things, such as milking dairy cows! The students were well behaved and made Gardner School proud on this outing.

There are many generous donors that we would like to thank for helping our students get off to a great start this school year. First National Bank of Trinidad in Walsenburg, the Sheriff’s Department, and Volunteers for Community were all kind enough to donate school supplies. Nick Lombardi also donated a beautiful player piano for our school. A series of mostly anonymous donors funded three projects for our school through the website, Donor’s Choose. All of these donations have been greatly appreciated and have made a valuable difference to our school community. Thank you!

Next Monday the class will be hiking over Mosca Pass and visiting the Dunes. Make sure a permission slip is returned and your children come for the trip prepared.


The 2016-2017 school year is off to a great start at Gardner School! We have been joined by wonderful additions to the staff, smiling faces of new students, and excitement for upcoming events!

This year, Gardner School has three new teachers; Cait Coyle (Pre-K), Erin Hall (3rd/4th), and Megan Hanlon (5th/6th). All three ladies are already great assets to our school and community. We are also pleased to welcome Jeff Barela as our new cook!

Last Wednesday, we hosted our Back-to-School night. Many parents, students, and community members came out to enjoy live music, eat a delicious dinner, and get to know this school year’s teachers. This evening was by all accounts a success. We want to send a heartfelt “Thank You!” to everyone who attended! Your support does not go unnoticed!


There are several upcoming events that we are looking forward to in the near future. Away from school, several classes will be partaking in field trips coming up. Aside from the nearly annual trip to the Sand Dunes in two weeks, classes will also be taking individual trips to Mission Wolf and Western Heritage Day at the State Fair! At school, we also have some exciting things coming up. First and foremost, we are pleased to announce that students will be starting art classes soon, which will be great enrichment! The whole school will also be participating in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) activities beginning on our first early-release Wednesday of the school year.

We look forward to reporting back to you throughout the school year. The Falcons greatly appreciate your support of our outstanding, unique school!