Temporary COVID-19 Virus Changes
We are joining the effort to slow the COVID-19 coronavirus by holding videoconference meetings on Tuesday mornings at 8:00 AM.  Our in-person morning and evening meetings are temporarily suspended.  Visitors please join us, email us at rotaryclub@rotaryconifer.org and we will send you the information you need for the videoconference.  Club members, check your email for online meeting details from our President.
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Rotary Conifer News
Announcements/Business:
 
  • Mask Up-date:  Leonor reports that 4432 masks have been sewn, donation valued at over $40,000.  They are making masks for the schools (2500); they need more fun fabrics and lining materials as well (old sheets work well).  The group could use more helpers---cutters, especially, contact Leonor, she’ll send the pattern.
  • Janine reports that Don Payton continues his recovery and is doing well.
  • There was a wonderful article by Cliff Bowron in the May Serenity Magazine about the Conifer Rotary.  Also, the Canyon Courier and Flume had articles about our scholarship programs; six students received $1000 each.
  • Wes is planning a Google-meet meeting Thursday to plan a potential summer fund-raiser, he sent the link.  Please join.
  • Carol Carper reports from Kenya-Sasa Harambee that 533 families will receive food on Friday, for farmers and people living with disabilities.  They had a recent flood, which destroyed many homes and crops.  Consider that there are five members in each family. That means about 2665 people will benefit.  They would like to do a low level of staples for flood victims for 6 mos. while they recover from the disaster.  The food is being funded by American donations. Please help by sending donations to Sasa Harambee, 225 Union Blvd. #105, Lakewood CO, 80228.  Thank you all.
    Platte Canyon is having a graduation gathering in a field off County Road 43 in their cars on Wednesday nights for their Graduation Celebration. 
  • Angela reports that Nolan Farms will NOT be able to provide peaches for our Rotary summer fund-raiser because they cannot find workers to pick peaches.  Dean has suggested we try to support Nolan Farms by going and picking up our own peaches.  Angela will call them back right away to see if this could work.  More to come. 
 
Program:  Jim Forester, from Iraq to Platte Canyon
 
Jim left the military to become a teacher after completing 20 years of Army service.  He did his student teaching at Platte Canyon High School and now has his teaching license; he will be teaching 6th grade social studies at Fitzsimmons Middle School in Bailey.
 
His dad was a Rotarian in Fayette, GA; Rotary kept their town alive when many of the mills closed.  He holds Rotary in high regard!
 
Jim became an Army officer by getting his college degree through ROTC.  His first tour was in Kuwait.  Back home he received more training at Fort Sill.  Then it was back into the fray in Iraq in 2004.  He left Active Duty and joined the Colorado National Guard.  Jim's better half was also in the Army Guard and when their second child came along he decided to retire from the service after 20 years.  If both of them were to be called to overseas duty there would be no one to take care of their children.
 
Why teaching?  Jim enjoys the contact with students.  Teaching is like being a trainer from his military days, a natural fit for him.  He first looked at project management as a career, a logical follow-on for many military retirees.  For Jim, that didn't work---sitting at a desk and staring at a computer.  He used his post-911 GI bill benefits in the "Troops for Teachers" program to get a Master's Degree from Regis University last year. 
 
He ended up in Platte Canyon in 2018 when he became licensed as a substitute teacher, as part of the Regis program.  From there he had an opportunity to cover a Social Studies class for two weeks.  Jim found that students have respect for a former military member who begins their teaching experience with 20 years of life experience beyond college.
 
Jim shared his thoughts on the appropriateness of current curricula.  He has concerns that students see negative perspectives about our country.  He tries to put history into perspective as evolutionary.
 
There were many questions and thoughts about the on-line learning required by COVID-19 and how education may evolve going forward. 
 
He suggests that young people need to know fundamentals; technology is great but it can fail.  For instance - to know how to find your way with a compass when GPS doesn't work.
 
Students are not “entitled” and need to hold themselves accountable.  He believes that it is important for some students whose interests draw them to the trades, to have that opportunity.  College isn't for everyone.  Students should have occupation options. 
 
 
Guests:  Amanda Weedman