Craig students knock off summer rust for first day of school |

Craig students knock off summer rust for first day of school

Siblings Khyler, 6, left, and Shae Fross, 9, wait for their first day of school at Sandrock Elementary Monday, Aug. 26.
Clay Thorp/Staff

Some were excited. Some were nervous.

But after 26 first days of school over some 26 years as an educator in Moffat County, Sandrock Elementary School Principal Kamisha Siminoe was ready to welcome all her young students on their first day back to school.

“Every year is different depending on the circumstances — who the staff is and who the students are,” Siminoe said Monday.

Among her new students were fourth-grader Shae Fross, 9, who helped her young, 6-year-old brother, Khyler, to school early Monday.

“My sister’s gonna help me find my grade!” Khyler exclaimed.

“You mean your class?” Shae said.

“Oh,” Khyler said. “Yeah, my class.”

Shae rolled her eyes apologetically.

“He’s so annoying,” Shae said of her little brother.

Khyler was visibly excited as he recalled his summer fun.

“I got to go somewhere fun,” Khyler said as he described a trampoline park in Grand Junction. “There were lots of trampolines.”

His sister said she did plenty of reading this summer.

“I’ve read a lot of books,” Shae said.

7-year-old Colton Dedrickson, a new second-grader at Sandrock Elementary, said he read two of his favorite books this summer.

Second-grader Colton Dedrickson, 7, gets some help on the first day of school at Sandrock Elementary from his mom, Chelsie Dedrickson Monday, Aug. 26.
Clay Thorp/Staff

“I read a couple books I have,” Dedrickson said. “A ‘Paw Patrol’ book and a ‘Veggie Tale.’”

Colton said he also got his fill of barbecue and swimming pools this summer and has developed a love for attending church with his grandpa.

“I went swimming,” Colton said. “I also went to church with my Pawpaw.”

As she directed teachers and staff Monday amid the hustle and bustle of parents and students finding their new teachers and classrooms, 9-year-old fourth-grader, Koda More, nervously approached Siminoe.

“What if I get bullied?” More asked as she stared up at Siminoe.

Koda More is comforted by Principal Kamisha Siminoe on her first day of school Monday, Aug. 26.
Clay Thorp/Staff

“You know what to do when that happens,” Siminoe said, as she held the young girl by both hands and counseled the young More to not say anything and go find a teacher.

This brought some confidence to More, who said she’s an art lover who makes dolls out of everyday items.

“I don’t like painting that much, but I do like making old things into doll things,” said the burgeoning artist More. “Because I have a bunch of dolls and dolls that need fixing.” 

Moffat County School District Superintendent David Ulrich said bullying has no place in Moffat County schools.

“Bullying and harassment are unacceptable in our schools,” Ulrich said in an email. “Parents, please help your student understand that they are their best advocate. Principals have many ways to stop harassing and bullying behavior, but they can only act if they are aware. Tell a teacher or other trusted adult about the behavior and be specific. Students can also use the Safe-2-Tell hotline to report inappropriate behavior.”

Dianna Ferrales, left, escorts her daughter, Donna, 9, into her new fourth-grade class Monday, Aug. 26.
Clay Thorp/Staff

Ulrich had some advice for new and returning students this year.

“We are so glad you are here and we look forward to helping you learn and grow throughout the school year,” Ulrich said. “My advice for the first week: Get off to a great start by attending every day and keeping up with your work. We have multiple levels of support to ensure you are successful.  Don’t be afraid to reach out when you need extra help.”

After more than 20 years serving students in Moffat County, Siminoe had similar advice for students in their first week of school.

“Have fun. Learn a lot,” Siminoe said. “Make new friends.”

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