Beth Wendler, who was featured in the 2012 Locals section of Steamboat Living magazine, is this year's Steamboat Springs School District Friend of Education. The Steamboat Springs School Board will honor Wendler at Monday's meeting.

Photo by Scott Franz

Beth Wendler, who was featured in the 2012 Locals section of Steamboat Living magazine, is this year's Steamboat Springs School District Friend of Education. The Steamboat Springs School Board will honor Wendler at Monday's meeting.

Locals 2012: Beth Wendler


Are You a Local? Quiz

Take Steamboat Living’s simple quiz to help determine whether you’re a cheechako or a sourdough when it comes to your tenure in Steamboat.

1. White out is used to:
A. turn legs into jelly
B. correct mistakes on a term paper
C. warm up your legs on the first run
D. A and C

2. Three current postal clerks’ names are:
A. Don, Tom and Ron
B. Fred, Hank and Harriet
C. Julie, John and Norbert

3. Locals used to gather atop Thunderhead in the early morning for:
A. advice from Billy Kidd
B. free coffee/mimosas
C. rope drop

4. I try this ski parking sequence, in order:
A. tiny lot below Knoll Lot, Ski Time Square, Knoll Lot, Meadows Lot
B. Meadows Lot, Knoll Lot, Ski Time Square
C. rodeo grounds, City Market, Wildhorse Meadows

5. Drink out of the Lithium Spring and you may get:
A. the trots
B. a euphoric feeling
C. a ticket
D. algae in your teeth

6. The original name of the Yampa River was:
A. Bear River
B. Steamboat River
C. Anything Town USA River
D. Billy Kidd Brook

7. The original hospital in town now is:
A. a medical marijuana dispensary
B. Old Town Pub
C. Old Town Hot Springs
D. a tattoo parlor

8. The following people attended Perry-Mansfield:
A. Dustin Hoffman, Julie Harris and Lee Remick
B. Justin Bieber and Justin Timberlake
C. Marilyn Monroe

9. Touch the Buddy Werner statue atop Mount Werner and you’ll get:
A. arrested
B. good luck
C. cold fingers

10. The following Broadway musical resulted from Agnes de Mille square dancing in a schoolhouse in Hayden:
A. “Grease”
B. “Oklahoma”
C. “West Side Story”

11. The word “Yampa” comes from:
A. a flowering, edible root that grows along the river
B. the founder of town, Herbert B. Yampa
C. an Indian greeting

12. The real name of today’s Lighted Man is:
A. Tom Hanks
B. Jon Banks
C. Claudius Banks

13. The name of our local mountain range is:
A. Park B. Elk
C. Zirkels
D. Never Summer

14. These bands played at the Inferno:
A. Dave Matthews, Clarence Gatemouth Brown and Sonia Dada
B. Lynyrd Skynyrd, Taj Mahal and the Suburbs
C. Grateful Dead, Jethro Tull and Charlie Daniels

15. The original name of Steamboat Ski Area was:
A. Billy Kiddville
B. Storm Mountain
C. Grouse Creek
D. Wally World

16. The old Routt County license plates started with:

17. Lincoln Avenue is so wide because:
A. it was designed to fit Hummers and Lincoln Navigators
B. it was used to drive cattle to stockyards
C. high school tuba players needed more room at Winter Carnival

18. The train depot once was one of the largest:
A. cattle shipping centers in the West
B. facilities to host Cabaret
C. coal-transfer stations in Colorado

How did you score?
5 points for each correct answer (90 total)
80 to 90: veritable John Crawford
70 to 79: Billy Kidd
60 to 69: five-year ski bum
50 to 59: came for the winter, stayed for the summer
Below 50: just visiting

Teachers in Steamboat Springs are wondering how Beth Wendler finds time to do so much good.

After she and her husband, Todd, moved to the Yampa Valley from Denver in 2004 to raise their three kids, Beth found solace volunteering in classrooms and giving teachers a helping hand. Her dedication to students quickly caught the attention of local educators.

“I couldn’t imagine having a family and giving so much time outside of it to volunteer,” Steamboat Springs Middle School teacher Jennifer Spurlock says about Beth. “Her effort and energy is impressive.”

In 2009, Beth helped open a store in the atrium of the middle school that rewards students for good behavior with Nerf guns, jewelry, pizza and root beer floats.

“We have a whole bunch of stuff to reward students with,” she says.

Beth also spearheaded the effort to have local businesses donate prizes to the store. When it’s closed, the room is a dark space not much larger than an oversized closet. But when Beth gets behind the counter, the store is mobbed by crowds of kids anxious to cash in the tickets they earned for being good students. The store is part of the middle school’s Positive Behavior System.

Sitting in the school’s cafeteria in May, Beth predicts the store and its impact on students will only continue to grow next school year.

“This is not just a fun, neat idea,” she says. “It’s something that has proven to really work. I think the potential impact the store has on the school is important and profound. I love that it serves all kids, not just the ones who get accolades because they’re a jock or they play instruments in a band.”

Teachers report that since the store opened, referrals to the office for bad behavior have fallen.

When she’s not volunteering at area schools, Beth is leading music classes with families and their young children and infants. “It’s fun to see families have 45 minutes in their week to focus on their children and play music with them,” she says.

She adds that she’s not the only volunteer who deserves praise in Steamboat.

“Like so many of us who live and stay here, it was important for us to be in a place with a strong sense of community,” she says. “There are hundreds of amazing volunteers in this town.”


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