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Brainy students explain science fair projects in latest La Veta School Board meeting

by Melissa Ray 
LA VETA — After all the bad news concerning the recent school shootings, it is refreshing to report on excellence in education.  The La Veta school board meeting held on February 26th began with a report and question and answer session with each student from La Veta School district who participated in this year’s regional science fair.  At least six schools, plus home schooled students from the area, consisting of approximately 140 children in grades first through tenth, participated in the fair.
La Veta had ten students participate in the fair this year:  Tiberius Good received a first place ribbon in the Physics division for his project on Magnetic Levitation. For her project “Can Chickens Count”, Sydney Valdez received a second place ribbon.  Jade Adams received a Special Award in Biology and a first place ribbon in Zoology for her project researching paw preference in cats and dogs.  With his third year project “Finding an Inexpensive Way to Remove Chlorine From Water”, Tristan Musgrave earned a first place ribbon in the Environmental division and a Special Award from the Air Force.  He plans to continue his project next year.
The only group project from the La Veta School district was conducted by Lukas Ozzello and Miguel Rivera.  Their project was “Bean Growth in Different Types of Liquids and earned the pair a first place ribbon in Botany.  Christopher Bailey received a participation award from the La Veta School District for his project with video games.  Christopher said he enjoyed the project.
Thea Lessar earned a first place ribbon and an opportunity to participate in the State Science fair with her medicine and health project “Ultrasound Therapy and Its Ability to Diminish Pain”.  The school nurse, Vonnie Valdez, was credited with assisting Thea with her research.
Brecken Dobbs worked with local microbiologist Sherry Freese to research whether one could inhibit the growth of streptococcus pneumonia in staphylococcus areas using capsaicin.  (Yes, I did have to use the dictionary to spell most of that).  She earned a Special Award in Naval Science and a First Place ribbon in Microbiology.  The oldest participant from La Veta, Lexy Guadagnoli, has been to state the previous five years and was a little disappointed that she won’t be participating this year.  She chose to research a risky project on “GMO vs. Non-GMO”. She received a second place ribbon for her efforts.  Lexy ended her presentation to the school board with a heartfelt expression of pride in all of the students who participated in the science fair.
The board approved two out-of-state trips: The Junior-Senior Ag Tour to California Polytechnic Institute in San Luis Obispo, California;  and the Anatomy & Physiology students’ overnight trip to CU Medical School and Grand Tetons National Park, WY April 11 to 15.
• Approved Jean Dilisio, Kristen Moore, Patricia Paiz, and Shella Snider as teaching substitutes for year 2018.
• Approved pending background check Richard Cozzette and Rebecca Nix as teaching substitutes.
• Approved renewal of superintendent contract with Bree Lessar for fiscal years 2019- 2021.
• Approved Ron Ortivez and Lila Cordova as high school track coaches.
• Approved cancellation of regular meeting on March 26, 2018 as it is scheduled during spring break.
• There was a lengthy discussion carrying over from recent events on school safety and how to improve it. Many options and concerns were brought up.
• The Best Grant Application was delivered on Friday, February 23rd. Ms. Davis stated a copy of the 149 page Master Plan would be sent to Mr. Moore on Wednesday, February 27th.
• An invitation to a Tri-Board Social on Thursday, March 15, 2018 from Michael Moore, Superintendent of Huerfano RE-1 was received.
• The board continued discussing ideas for ways to communicate with the community.

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