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Pages of the Past: Teachers don’t strike, but students stage walkout

Locations: News Published

From the archives of the Roaring Fork Valley Journal, compiled by Will Grandbois

May 12, 1977

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The Garfield County commissioners decided to require more information from the developers of a proposed 80-acre limestone quarry on the Flat Tops. The Colorado Speleological Society, in particular, had raised concerns about the project due to its proximity to some of the largest caves in the state.

In other news… Roaring Fork Memorial Field was officially christened in honor of students who had died while attending RFHS.

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May 14, 1987

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After two months of debate, the Carbondale Board of Trustees passed an ordinance restricting public smoking. It turned out to be something of a compromise by banning it in public buildings, grocery stores and theatres but leaving other business owners the right to define things for themselves.

In other news… Longtime teacher and community leader Mary Ferguson turned 81, declaring that “the first 80 years were the hardest.”

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May 15, 1997

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The Roaring Fork School District school board drew criticism from teachers when it opted for a $900 pay raise instead of the $1000 to $1500 figure many believed it could afford. The decision came on the heels of an unexpected decline in student enrollment which resulted in the removal of several teaching positions. Despite the “double slap in the face”, however, a spokesperson said a strike wasn’t feasible.

In other news… The Carbondale Police Department got its first drug sniffing dog named Raven.

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May 10, 2007

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Students at Roaring Fork High School staged a walkout in response to what they viewed as the forced resignation of longtime teacher Jill Knaus — part of a broader trend of teacher turnover. “Our school has lost its meaning — it is education,” said senior Jay Engstrom. “A lot of… the most important teachers in our school are being pushed away when we need them.”

Principal Dale Parker contented that enrollment numbers didn’t justify a full time position for Knaus without her taking on another class. (The enrollment issue was apparently resolved, and Knaus still teaches at RFHS.)

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In other news… Casual Culture celebrated a year in business with an expansion of its location in the Carbondale Plaza.