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Roaring Fork High School students stage ‘waffle-in’

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By Will Grandbois
Sopris Sun Staff Writer

Students, staff and volunteers pushed Roaring Fork High School’s electrical system to its limits as nearly 1500 waffles were served up on April 4.

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The event was organized in part as a show of support for Vice Principal Keslie Goodman, who was passed over to fill the role of principal in favor of Brett Stringer — a decision which goes before the school board on April 12.

Senior Wes Engstrom initially considered a walkout or other form of protest, but took to the “waffle-in” when it was proposed.

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“I never imagined that Roaring Fork High School would put such a twist on it,” he said. “It’s such a great way to show support for the amazing individuals that make up this school. No matter what, RFHS is a strong community and we’ll always succeed.”

The idea came in part from fellow student Reed Featherstone.

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“Waffles are just happy, sugary, dopamine inducing meals,” he said. “I’m excited to have the school engaged and together. It might become a tradition if we’re lucky.”

The students relied on collaboration and community support to arrange the event and Goodman issued an invitation to the public in a letter. The end result was something broader than a demonstration.

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“For the past four years, I have fallen in love with Ms. Goodman… She is one of the most amazing women at Roaring Fork and I think we can all agree,” Jennifer Rios told the crowd in one of several student speeches. “But this isn’t just about her. This is about RFHS and how amazing we are. We have to keep the love going.”

Superintendent Rob Stein, who made the principal selection, was among the attendees.

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“I think the kids are really showing that they’re rising to the occasion,” he said. “It went from a student protest to a student celebration, and I think both iterations were appropriate. It’s like a study in democracy.”

As for Goodman, she plans to stay on in her current role.

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“I’m here,” she said. “I’m not leaving this job of vice principal. It’s the best job I’ve ever had.”

In that sense, the school gets to have its cake (or, well, waffle) and eat it, too.

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Published in The Sopris Sun on April 6, 2017.