EDITOR'S DESK: School surprises

       A lot of education news this issue. I didn't realize it until we were getting near layout, and it seemed as if every other story was school-related. Of course, it stands to reason, this week being the start of the school year in District 11. But there were also a couple of nifty surprises. One of them was a candidate for the funniest moment I've had in the Pioneer's 3 1/2 years. Knowing that staff was back at Buena Vista, I dropped by the office and stuck my head into the principal's office to see if Brenda Smith had any news. I saw the principal's chair roll back and there was... Alan Rasmussen! The same Alan Rasmussen who had been Buena Vista principal's for 17 years before retiring in 2005 - back now, it turns out, as an interim replacement for Smith, who had departed in mid-summer for a job in Steamboat Springs. All this I learned after asking a few questions, but the initial shock was quirky - like inadvertently being thrust into a time machine. In any case, it's a lucky break for District 11, which would have been hard-pressed to find someone who could so readily take the reins of a transitional Montessori school in a traditional Westside neighborhood.
       The other school surprise was enjoyable in a different way. That was the discovery that James Logan would be teaching again this year at West Middle School. You might recall the send-off the school gave him in March 2006 when he was being deployed with his National Guard unit to Iraq. Numerous students and staff were openly crying. And even he almost broke down after telling the assemblage, "I'm a West Warrior now and I will be when I come back."
       So anyway, it was good seeing him, safe and sound, proud of his service and cherishing the opportunity to teach again. Somehow I feel it's going to be a good school year.

- K.J.