Buena Vista hires permanent principal

       Buena Vista Elementary will have a new principal, starting Monday, Oct. 1. Dr. Judy (Jade) Amick-Fulgenzi, whose contract was approved by the District 11 Board of Education Sept. 26, will replace Alan Rasmussen.
       Amick was most recently the principal of Global Village Academy, an international public charter school for grades K-8 that she helped found in the Denver area last year. Overall, her resume shows more than 30 years experience in Montessori education
       Buena Vista started transitioning into a Montessori school three years ago.
       Rasmussen, who had been Buena Vista principal for 17 years until retiring in 2005, had stepped in as interim principal when the former head, Brenda Smith, left for another job in mid-summer. A national search has been underway for a permanent principal.
       “I'm fine with it,” Rasmussen said of the fairly sudden hiring. “I knew going in it was just temporary. If the district needs me again, I'll be glad to step in.” He said he will also be available to help Amick with any questions in her initial days at Buena Vista.
       Backyard Project
       A sketch showing an expanded playground was on display at the Buena Vista open house Sept. 20. Based on ideas developed last year by parents, staff and students, the plans for the “Backyard Project” suggest additional playground equipment, a football/soccer field, an interactive garden, a climbing hill and a peace pole.
       Fundraising is continuing for the project, according to Jen Estes, a mother of two children at Buena Vista. She is one of the parents who helped make Buena Vista the first Montessori school in District 11 three years ago.
       So far, $2,700 has been raised from selling flower bulbs, she said.
       No development schedule has been established as yet. The backyard committtee has gotten estimates that it will cost $8,000 to prepare the 42-by-40-foot playground-equipment area with the necessary fill material, plus another $35,000 to obtain the equipment itself.
       The “ballpark” cost for all the recommended items in the plan is $100,000, Estes said.
       The Buena Vista PTA is applying for a grant from “My Hometown Helper,” a nationwide initiative through Hamburger Helper that helps local groups make a difference in their own community.
       The interactive gardens idea was especially supported by the students. One of the suggestions was to use it to grow food, she said.
       An international concept, peace poles date back to 1955. According to the peacepole.org website, such a pole carries the message “May peace prevail on earth” and marks “a meeting place of the heart bringing together people of all faiths, backgrounds and culture to embrace the Oneness of our planetary family.”
       Count day
       Buena Vista students will participate in hands-on music, art, and movement classes during “count day,” Monday, Oct. 1.
       Representatives from several area art, music and dance organizations have been invited to spend time with the students at the school that day.

Westside Pioneer/press release