Niwot High School
BY LORI WAIDLER
New School Year
The first day of school for incoming freshmen was Aug. 16, with the upper classmen starting on Aug. 17. Lots of fun activities were planned to help the freshmen find their classrooms, unlock their lockers, and get to the lunchroom on time.
Enrollment was projected at 1278 students, but the actual enrollment was estimated to be a bit higher. Classroom student-teacher ratios were slated to be 28:1. That is a significant increase from previous years, and was required because the state reduced funding by $600 per student. Based on enrollment and state funding, Niwot High School lost 2.83 teachers.
There were also some noteworthy retirements: Gayle McDonald, special education, retired after 33 years; Keith Ellison, orchestra, retired after 32 years.
Recent hires included Longmont graduate Megan McFarland who will teach math, and Catherine Carter, who will also teach math. She comes from the Poudre School District.
Ann Root will continue to teach at Niwot High as the A.P. computer science teacher. Joseph Kear will teach special education; he comes to the school from Kansas.
The new orchestra teacher will be Christine Coniway. Amy Smits will be teaching Spanish part time. She was recently a student teacher at Erie.
According to Principal Dennis Daly, there is some news to celebrate in academic achievement. TCAP (formerly known as CSAP) showed an increase over last year’s scores in six of the seven areas tested.
ACT scores continue to be very high, and there were great I.B. and A.P. test scores as well. Niwot High received nationwide recognition for these scores in Newsweek and The Washington Post.
Band kicked off at the beginning of August with band camp. The Cougar Marching Band performs at all home football games, two exhibitions and several parades in Longmont and Niwot under the direction of Kati Sainz.