Empowering learners and leaders who are kind, respectful, and determined.

May 2022 Newsletter

Dear Dutch Creek Community,

I can’t believe this is the last Principal’s Pen for the 2021-2022 school year! It seems like we just opened the doors in August and then I blinked and here we are in the last month of school. This has been an amazing year full of connections, learning, and resiliency. I am proud of our students and staff for their focus and commitment to getting “school” back to what it was before COVID. I’m sure this is not a surprise to many of you, but this did not come easy. Our CREW spent countless hours collaborating, thinking “outside the box”, problem-solving, and ultimately bringing a sense of normalcy to a very unusual year.

As we head into this month full of celebrations and traditions, I encourage you to be in communication with your child(rens) teacher to see how you can support and be involved. In the last two years, we were unable to invite volunteers and families to events such as Field Day, Continuation, and Awards Ceremonies. We are eager to get back to welcoming the families that make these events so special.

As we close out this school year, we are saying goodbye to two very special teachers. Lorrie Tyner and Deb McGarvey are retiring after many years of making a positive impact on literally hundreds of children. I have had the opportunity to work alongside both of these incredible teachers for over 18 years.

Mrs. McGarvey and I taught 4th and 5th grade for over a decade together, and we were referred to as the dynamic duo. Mrs. McGarvey cares deeply about students and their families and goes above and beyond to make sure that her students reach their highest potential. Her passion for history breathes life into Social Studies units and her love and skill for writing makes her an exemplary literacy teacher. Mrs. McGarvey is a committed teacher who puts Dutch Creek staff and students first, often working well into the night to ensure that her lessons are just right. One of her most amazing contributions to Dutch Creek was the creation of our Drama Club. Mrs. McGarvey and Mrs. Beers run a year-long, free acting program for 2nd through 5th-grade students that culminates with a school and community performance. At times there were 60+ students participating in this after school club! The final performance incorporates music, dance, custom-made costumes, makeup, professional backdrops, and lighting. Stories such as Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and The Jungle Book were beautifully told by Dutch Creek Drama Club participants, and Mrs. McGarvey ensured that these plays were the absolute best. School is about so much more than just academics. Through Drama Club, Mrs. McGarvey helped students find their voice, have confidence on stage, and represent themselves in a positive way in front of our community. I have learned so much from Mrs. McGarvey and while retirement is a celebration, we sure will miss her!

Mrs. Tyner has taught 2nd-5th grade at Dutch Creek since 2001. Over the years, Mrs. Tyner and I have been co-crew members, partner teachers, and we even completed our Master’s Degree program together at Regis University. Students describe Mrs. Tyner as loving, caring, and “the best teacher ever”. Her focus on CREW creates a safe and welcoming environment for all students and she builds lasting relationships with her students and their families. You will often see her with high school volunteers who are in a program at Columbine for future teachers. What you may not know is that each of these students went to Dutch Creek, and when given the opportunity to work for and learn from any of the amazing teachers in this school, they often pick Mrs. Tyner. In addition to guiding high school students interested in teaching, she has opened her classroom as a model for professionals to learn from. While teaching 2nd-grade, Mrs. Kirwin and Mrs. Tyner started “Labs” and brought meaningful, productive play to students. This was such a successful and powerful opportunity for primary students, that the school district came to Dutch Creek to observe and made a professional video for others to learn from. Mrs. Tyner brings her love for the outdoors and nature into the classroom, making learning active and fun. Every year 6th-graders at Outdoor Lab could count on Mrs. Tyner visiting, volunteering, and even participating in activities. Mrs. Tyner lives our values of CREW, presuming the best in everyone and contributing to a better world. She brings her experiences of volunteering in African schools to our students, ensuring they understand the power of helping those in need. Mrs. Tyner has made a lasting impact on Dutch Creek and we are excited for her many adventures she will undoubtedly have in her retirement.

When you see these teachers, I encourage you to share memories and thank them for their amazing work at Dutch Creek. We will announce staffing additions and changes for next year in late July. Until then, I hope you enjoy this last month of school and make the most of your Summer Break.

Sara Oliver

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