News briefs: Aspen High teachers win Schenck Award, receive $10,000 |

News briefs: Aspen High teachers win Schenck Award, receive $10,000

Aspen High School teachers Jennifer Morandi Benson and Sara Benson (no relation) were the first two teachers to received the 2018 Kellie Schenck Award for their work and dedication in the classroom.

Benson has taught for 18 years at Aspen High and also coaches the eighth-grade volleyball team. She previously won the award when it was the Distinguished Teacher Awards.

Morandi Benson has been teaching social studies for the past 15 years, including the past three at Aspen, and is a coach of the high school ski team.

They each received $10,000 from a fund created by Aspen businessman Dick Butera in honor of Kellie Schenck, who was a teacher at the middle school for 20 years before dying of cancer in 2015 at age 46.

A total of 10 district teachers and professionals are honored each year. Award winners will be announced at assemblies today for the elementary school and Friday for the middle school.

Castle Creek Bridge construction ahead of schedule

Phase three construction and detours for the Castle Creek Bridge and Hallam Street Improvement Project have been pushed back from Aug. 13 to Aug. 20.

Phase two construction and detours, including the outbound Power Plant Road detour, will remain in effect through June 12. From June 13 through Aug. 19, traffic will return to the normal S-curve configuration and project construction activities will stop except for work that has no traffic impacts to the corridor.

Officials are reminding pedestrians and cyclists that the detour around the bridge via Marolt Open Space remains in effect. The Castle Creek Bridge and the Hallam Street corridor, including Eighth and Seventh streets, are part of an active construction site including heavy machinery and open welding. Officials warn that it is not safe to cross the project site.

For more information, log onto or by contacting the project information team via call or text at 970-618-5379, or email

Free parent workshop on teens and pot

The Aspen School District is hosting a session on how parents and adults can talk with their children and teens about marijuana use, its impact and the law.

The free, two-hour training called “Be the One” will start at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Aspen Middle School and includes dinner. The session will address methods of use and impact of pot on young people and how parents or anyone who works with teens can start a conversation about teen use.

Sponsors of the event also include Aspen Family Connections, the YouthZone and the Valley Marijuana Council.

For more information or to RSVP, go to the district’s website at