Aspen goes back to school |

Aspen goes back to school

Erica Robbie
The Aspen Times
Aspen High School dance team kicked off Tuesday's pep rally in the skierdome for the start of the 2016-17 school year.
Anna Stonehouse/The Aspen Times |

Aspen School District ‘Back-to-school’ nights:

-Aspen Middle School: Monday, Aug. 29

-Aspen High School: Wednesday, Aug. 31

-Aspen Elementary School: Wednesday, Sept. 14

The yellow school buses are loaded, the playgrounds are packed and the back-to-school photos have been shared on social media.

Aspen School District is in full swing with school back in session for all grades this week.

The 2016-17 academic year commenced Monday for the high school and middle school students in grades seven and eight. Elementary schoolers and fifth- and sixth-grade students scored four more days of summer, returning to the campus Thursday.

Aspen Elementary School kindergarten assistant Skye Solheim said Friday that the transition back to school has been “one of the smoothest” yet in her 10 years working in the school district.

Solheim said both the elementary school staff members and children seem “very pleased” with their principal, Chris Basten.

Basten, a former principal at Madison Elementary School in Skokie, Illinois, took the helm following Doreen Goldyn’s retirement in June. Basten reported Friday that the school year has gotten “off to a great start,” and he’s excited to have children and parents back in the building.

“We’ve been working on building classroom communities, and as a faculty we’ve been focusing on team-building,” he said.

At a Board of Education meeting Monday, Basten said he is delighted to be in Aspen and that it is “quickly beginning to feel like home.”

Also at Monday’s board meeting, middle and high school Principals Craig Rogers and Tharyn Mulberry, respectively, shared positive feedback following the first day of school.

Rogers commended middle school Assistant Principal Molly Tiernan for single-handedly going through every students’ schedule to be sure that all was well with the school’s new master schedule.

“It’s really cool to see that much thought put into the support that we’re providing,” he said.

Mulberry also acknowledged the hard work of the high school’s new assistant principal, Sarah Strassburger, whom he said “had a summer’s worth of work to do in about a week and a half.”

Strassburger, who taught English at the high school for 15 years, accepted the position in late July after Grant Safranek resigned one week into the job.

“Sarah immediately fit into the team,” Mulberry said. “It’s been an absolutely amazing opening in all areas.”

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