Bijou School leader says farewell
       I want to thank the Westside Pioneer for its continuing support and coverage of the Bijou School and especially for the generous story on my impending retirement (April 29 issue). As pointed out in the article, I have been involved in alternative education in Colorado Springs for 21 years and have been a lifelong resident of the Westside - graduating from Coronado High School in 1972. I want to thank District 11 for recognizing the need for an alternative method of educating our youth and supporting alternative education for the past 40 years. This support has been echoed by the Colorado Springs community at large and in particular the Westside (where D-11's original EOP alternative school was located). I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to work with an incredibly dedicated group of professionals my entire career, and I know that many students would not have had the opportunity to graduate had it not been for their dedication, commitment and love.
       After 21 years of working with this wonderfully diverse population of students, I have chosen to retire and move on to the next chapter in my life - whatever that may be. I would like to invite everyone I had the pleasure of working with -staff, students, parents and community members - to join us for our Spring Luau (as we have every year for the past 15 years) Friday, May 21 from 11 a.m. to noon at “the Bijou School at Whittier,” located at 2904 W. Kiowa St. If you feel like you would like to “re-live” the true Bijou luau experience, please feel free to bring a dish to share. Thanks again to the Westside Pioneer and the Westside for supporting Bijou in its mission to provide a viable educational option to our community's most valuable resource - our children.

Wayne Hutchison
Principal, the Bijou School