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El Paso County Colorado District 49

Good grades honored at dessert reception

The Falcon Education Foundation and Falcon School District 49 Board of Education partnered to host a dessert reception for Sand Creek and Falcon high schools’ graduating seniors. Students who maintained a 3.75 GPA throughout high school – 52 from SCHS and 34 from FHS – and their families were invited to celebrate their hard work.”Both the foundation and school board were pleased to recognize these students for their high academic achievements,” said Amy Matisek, FEF president. “It was an honor to witness many proud parents and educators in attendance to celebrate.”The Falcon Education Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fundraising efforts that support D 49 students and teachers. Claudia Gatti, FEF board member, said last year the organization awarded $22,000 in mini grants to D 49 teachers and five $500-scholarships to students.The dessert reception featured music from the SCHS Jazz Band and presentations from D 49 board members and administrators. Place cards at tables and a cheesecake buffet added to the tastefully done event.Annisija Wallin, a student from FHS, said she liked the extra touches. “It wasn’t just thrown together, it was really nice,” she said.As part of the program, each student honored a teacher who most influenced him or her. Wallin said she chose Dave Kranz, her AP (Advanced Placement) U.S. history teacher.”His class was the first class I had to work hard in, and he taught me how to manage my time,” Wallin said.She took Kranz’s class her junior year and said she continues to seek his advice. She said he recommends books, PBS history specials and helps her work on the New York Times crossword puzzle.Kranz has taught social studies at FHS for eight years. He said he was honored by Wallin’s nomination. “To me, this is the highlight for me as a teacher,” he said. “This is how a coach feels after winning a championship game.”Students who maintain high grades are dedicated and take academic risks when they enroll in upper-level classes, Kranz said. “They have a lot of intrinsic motivation to want to do well. We have so many gifted students at FHS who are pushed to the limit by the faculty,” he said. “We as teachers ask a lot of our students; but, in return, I know that they ask a lot of us.””For me, it’s more than the good grades,” Wallin said. “It’s about achieving a goal and the sense of accomplishment that comes with it. It’s about knowing more coming out of a class than going in.”

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