CHS freshmen start their high school journey

School's enrollment anticipated at 730 for 2012
By: Nancy Hagman, Colfax Record Correspondent
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A new chapter in life has begun for 162 Colfax High School incoming first-year students. In preparation for start of the fall semester on Aug. 15, the high school provided an extensive freshman orientation Tuesday. The afternoon program, coordinated by teacher Wade Wolff, included a tour of the grounds, special interactive sessions, and students going to each of their classrooms to meet their teachers and classmates. The day ended with the screening of a video – made that same day – of their achievements. This was designed to set a stage for a pro-active year of accomplishments, as is the Falcon tradition. Wolff, a graduate of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, has been teaching at CHS for 20 years. He believes the school, its students, faculty and staff have a natural work ethic and commitment that is both unique and diverse. “We have big school facilities – thanks to the community – with a special small school continuity,” Wolff said. New at the school this year is “Frosh Connections,” which involves 40 upper-classmen donating their time to mentor incoming students. Junior Cailey Wight, of Colfax, is volunteering because she “likes getting involved and I know it will be good to help partner with one or two freshmen – to get them through the year.” The main purpose of the orientation program was to give each student a leg up before school actually began on Wednesday. Incoming freshman Tessa Davey, of Alta, has made the Falcons cheerleading squad. When asked about the new school year, she simply replied, “I’m excited.” Enrollment for the new school year is anticipated to be 730, a small drop from the previous year, said Kristen Nave, assistant to the principal. Enrollment has been steadily declining for the last few years; there were 874 students in 2009, 850 in 2021, and 781 in 2011. New to the teaching staff will be Amanda Bratton, a graduate of California State, San Luis Obispo. She will be teaching Chemistry and Advanced Placement Environmental Science. The latter means successful students can get up to three units of college credit upon completion of the course work. Bratton is a Nevada Union High School graduate and taught there for two years before coming to CHS. She said she believes Colfax has an amazing staff and as to the start of school, on Tuesday she said, “The anticipation is killing me!” Being offered for the first time is Engineering II, taught by Jonathan Schwartz. This is a continuation of the Engineering I class, the hands-on mechanical fabrication and computer design course. This class focuses on computer integrated manufacturing – also known as CAD, computer aided design ¬¬– a much-demanded skill in the work force. According to Rachel Dalton, CHS counselor, this new program is a part of the “STEM” educational focus of the curriculum. It stands for science, technology, engineering and math, areas that have been targeted for educational improvement. Meanwhile, next door at Colfax Elementary School, enrollment has increased slightly to 352, from last year’s 342 students. Classes began today at the Ben Taylor Road campus. Newly added to the CES staff is Debbie Ramey. Originally from Newport Beach, Ramey has been in this area for 30 years. She attended Nevada Union and went to college at Sacramento State University. Her 17-year teaching career has included Union Hill, Foresthill and Williams Ranch. She has taught at all the elementary levels. Ramey said she loves the family atmosphere of the foothills and its sporting opportunities. She is an avid cyclist. Ramey said she came to Colfax for the opportunity to teach at her favorite level, first grade, because, she said, “I love teaching reading and at that age all the children love to laugh and have a good time.”