Steamboat Springs There was no time for homework or lectures this week at Yampa Valley High School.
The school's 24 students had a large Thanksgiving feast and a company of high-profile guests to prepare for.
“We consider ourselves a family,” teacher Sarah Reed said Tuesday as her students finished setting out the pies, casseroles and three large turkeys they prepared for the school's inaugural Thanksgiving lunch.
The meal was attended by district dignitaries that included Steamboat Springs Superintendent Brad Meeks, Curriculum Director Marty Lamansky and Pascal Ginesta, the district's director of maintenance operations and transportation.
While the administrators enjoyed the meal, the students, who came to school dressed up for the occasion, reflected on how much fun it was to cook.
“Maybe it makes us closer,” Austin Johnson said about his experience prepping and seasoning a turkey Monday. “It's fun because we all know each other pretty well.”
The school paid for the meal with funding it received this year from the Craig-Scheckman Family Foundation.
Chuck Rosemond, a social studies and language arts teacher at the campus, said the feast showcases the school's small family atmosphere and allows the students to bond further.
He also was eager to dispel what he called misconceptions about the alternative education school that primarily serves students who were at risk of dropping out of Steamboat Springs High School.
“We're not the school for expelled kids,” he said. “The students who come here just want a smaller learning environment. Our academic program is comparable to what's going on at the high school.”
As he gestured to his students who were socializing during the lunch, Rosemond added the small class sizes help the school create a family-like atmosphere.
“And just like a family, we're dysfunctional at times and functional at others,” he said.
Rosemond predicted the lunch would become a school tradition.
Joining the other guests in the dessert line, Lamansky said he hopes it does, too.
“It's a great celebration of what the school is about,” Lamansky said.
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com