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Instead of a walkout, a walk-in rally at Loveland charter schools

Parents, students greet teachers with cheers, doughnuts
By Paul Albani-Burgio
Reporter-Herald Staff Writer

Loveland Classical Schools teacher Florian Hild smiles as he is surprised by students and parents cheering him and other teachers on Friday as he arrives to school at Loveland Classical Schools upper school campus in Loveland. (Jenny Sparks / Loveland Reporter-Herald)

Public schools in Loveland and across Colorado were closed Friday as teachers descended on the state Capitol in Denver to demand greater funding for education. But not the Loveland Classical Schools charter schools, which remained open and played host to a rally of a different sort as parents and students arrived before the start of the school day to show support for the schools teachers as they entered the school.

As each teacher showed up for the day at the LCS Upper School campus on West 29th Street, they were greeted by a crowd of cheering students and parents, many of whom were wielding colorful signs extolling the importance of teachers and thanking them for their service.

A table was also set up near the entrance to the school with coffee and doughnuts for each of the teachers. A similar rally took place at the school’s elementary campus on 14th Street.

Loveland Classical Schools student, Jessica Vannorsdel, 14, holds a sign in support of her teachers Friday, April 27, 2018, as they arrive to school at Loveland Classical Schools upper school campus in Loveland. (Photo by Jenny Sparks.)

“This is a nice surprise,” special ed paraprofessional Trent Baker said as he picked up his doughnut and coffee. “It’s definitely a good way to start the day.”

Parent Melissa Tychsen, who was at the rally with her two children who are students at the school, said she felt it was important the teachers felt supported.

“They work hard and it’s not always easy,” she said.

Sixth-grade students Kellen Englehardt and Zac Gomez were also glad to be able to thank their teachers.

“They need to appreciated,” Gomez said. “They are affecting how we are going to turn out [in life] and helping lead us.”

Future Loveland Classical Schools student, Sierra Link, 3, holds a sign in support of teachers Friday, April 27, 2018, as they arrive to school at Loveland Classical Schools upper school campus in Loveland. (Photo by Jenny Sparks.)

Jed Link, who is a parent of students at the school and helped organized the rally, said he felt it was particularly important to show appreciation for the school’s teachers as they were making the choice to uphold the school’s unofficial motto that “class time is sacred.” LCS Executive Director Ian Stout said LCS supports teachers in seeking additional funding for education in Colorado but was appreciative that the school’s teachers were not doing so at the expense of students’ learning.

Baker said the decision not to participate in the events at the Capitol was not a difficult one for him.

Loveland Classical Schools students Levi Marr, 12, left, Zac Gomez, 12, center, and Kellen Engelhardt, 12, right, cheer on their teachers on Friday, April 27, 2018, as they arrive to school at Loveland Classical Schools upper school campus in Loveland. (Photo by Jenny Sparks.)

“Our administration does a great job taking care of us all and anything we ever need and is very responsive and very on top of everything,” he said. “It’s a great school, and I really enjoy it.”

Still, LCS teacher Bethany Smith said she appreciated the extra encouragement.

“It feels really good to be encouraged and appreciated when the climate for teachers is very challenging,” she said. “And it was nice that it was a surprise.”

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