THE May rains continue with more than a half-inch so far this month and a bit more forecasted for the coming week. The long Memorial Weekend looks sunny as crowds pick up, including a few hundred for Saturday’s third annual Valley Bottom Rio Trio Adventure Race along the Rio Grande. Here’s more to get the week started:
1. ‘Always be appreciative of moisture’
State Sen. Cleave Simpson popped into the podcast studio over the weekend to talk about the just-completed state legislative session; the summer ahead; and what 2024 may look like for him when he is up for re-election. We opened the conversation with water and the May rains:
“I just came to the realization many decades ago, when you live in the San Luis Valley, the driest place in Colorado, you should always be appreciative of moisture. It’s not always perfect, but every time we get moisture, it may set you back in some places, but I promise there are advantages. We had fields planted in advance of this that you couldn’t ask for a better scenario. I still have some to plant, so it kind of puts you behind a little bit. Again it’s just a bit of a tradeoff.
“Still seeing snowpack in the mountains. It feels like it’s going to be a year like we haven’t had in 20 years.”
The full conversation on The Valley Pod streams this week. Subscribe and listen in.
2. Academic leadership changes at Adams State
Kent Buchanan, hired in March of 2020 to serve as vice president of academic affairs under then-President Cheryl Lovell, has left the university. Adams State named Margaret Doell, a veteran of the campus, to serve in an acting role in announcing Buchanan’s resignation. It’s been a swinging door in the academic affairs office at Adams State ever since the school was placed on probation in 2016. Doell, a key administrator in the office throughout the turnover, was instrumental in resolving the issues the Higher Learning Commission had in placing Adams State on academic probation, which it no longer is on. The question will be whether President David Tandberg keeps her in the job, which serves as the chief academic officer of the school. Here’s more.
3. Moose bring down the curtain on 2022-23
What a year it’s been for Alamosa High School, which along with other Valley schools holds its graduation ceremonies on Saturday. The girls track and field team powered its way to Class 3A state track and field championships over the weekend at JeffCo Stadium in Lakewood. The track title follows a state academic title when Alamosa’s Knowledge Bowl team won the Rocky Mountain Quiz Kids television show title. The Knowledge Bowl team success followed another successful team, the Alamosa girls cross country team, which won the Class 3A state cross country title. There’s a lot for the Maroons and all the Valley schools to celebrate as the school year comes to a close.
4. Four-Day school week is just ahead
When Alamosa shuts down the school year this week it also means the end of five-day school weeks in the San Luis Valley. Like the rest of the Valley’s school districts, Alamosa Schools will shift to a four-day school week in 2023-24. Having Alamosa, with its more than 2,000 students, shift to four days will have a different effect on the Valley’s overall lifestyle than when smaller school districts made the shift. There will be a lot of summer planning going on to figure out what Fridays look and feel like in and around Alamosa and the San Luis Valley come fall 2023.
5. Monte Vista Flag Project
On a final school note, the Monte Vista High School FFA chapter has stepped up to keep a flag tradition alive in Monte Vista. The local FFA group will take on the task of setting out flags around the community on key holidays and special events, a tradition that goes back to the early 1980s when the now-defunct Monte Vista Jaycees performed the duty. It’s a duty that’s been passed along to various civic groups through the decades and now with the Monte Vista FFA stepping up, it’s a tradition that remains alive.
6. Memorial Weekend ahead
The Rio Trio Adventure Race; high school graduations; Larry Mortensen’s Gym Rat Jam at Centauri High; Adams State competing in the NCAA DII Outdoor Track & Field Championships; family picnics and barbecues. The start to summer is here and Memorial Weekend is looking full. Check out what’s coming up, and send us your event, at The Valley Calendar.
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