Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Passing of a Dear Friend at Cedar Ridge Academy Co-ed Therapeutic Boarding School

Today at Cedar Ridge Academy Co-ed Therapeutic Boarding School, we have experienced a great loss.  This past October a member of our staff, Kim Kimbel was diagnosed with leukemia.  Kim fought very hard to keep her strength up and stay healthy enough for the chemotherapy.  Both the boys and girls gave her a huge outpouring of love and support.  This afternoon, we lost our dear friend Kim.  She will be missed by all, staff and students.

In her element, Kim was always keeping tabs on the world
Kim started at Cedar Ridge Academy about ten and a half years ago as a staff in the residential homes.  Less than a year after she started she transitioned to work in the kitchen where she found her calling.  The students loved the food that she made and the energy that she brought to the kitchen.  She was always willing to help out.  Almost all of the cakes that have been baked on-campus to celebrate birthdays and graduations have been artistically created by her.

One of the many cakes that she made
Since her diagnosis, the students have been writing cards to her to help keep her spirits up.  Kim had adopted a motto of “Forever Rely On God” or FROG.  Her hospital room in Salt Lake City was full of frogs and she was giving away little rubber frogs to anyone that was a part of her support team.  In her memory, the students all received a frog today.  In addition, this year’s charity Christmas tree for the annual Festival of Trees was dedicated in Kim’s honor.  The Festival of Trees will be held this weekend and will be a bittersweet tribute to a life well lived.

Festival_of_Trees_Cedar_Ridge_Academy_Therapeutic_Boarding _School
Cedar Ridge Academy's entry in the Festival of Trees
Kim is survived by her husband, five children, two step-children, and two grandchildren as well as numerous friends here at the school. In her free time she enjoyed spending time with her family and providing a happy home for them.   She was known to say, “Work is where I am happy.”  She truly loved being here and helping the students to grow and mature.  Her supervisor Barbie has often said, “We could never ask for a better employee.”  She truly tried to live life the right way and had amazing integrity. Kim brightened the lives of many that passed through our doors and we will miss her so much. We love you Kim!

Kim Kimbel

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day at Cedar Ridge Academy Co-ed Therapeutic Boarding School

Today, Cedar Ridge Academy Co-ed Therapeutic Boarding School students celebrated Election Day by having a mock vote in the 2012 Presidential Election. The purpose of the mock election was to reinforce the academics that the boys and girls have been learning about the last few weeks. With their certified Social Studies teacher, Kimberly Hawks, the students in Social Studies classes have been learning about the Electoral College and how the system of voting for the president works.   

Each unit that is covered in a supplemental instruction has a skill that the students practice as a class.  During this unit, students have been exercising their “Conversational Moves.”  Opinions about politics can often be heated, as a result, the students practiced their abilities to have productive class discussions.  We had conversations about the effectiveness of the Electoral College.  Students discussed whether or not the Electoral College still has the same purpose that it had when the Founding Fathers created the Constitution, possible alternatives to the Electoral College, and whether the current system was fair to all.  Students brought their knowledge of the 2000 Election into the discussion, and the importance of swing states to this election.  With the way that this discussion has gone, Kimberly felt that it would be important to have our own mock election here on campus.

Today, students entered the “polling place” (Kimberly’s classroom), and signed in on the master roll, just as they would have if entering a real polling place.  To separate the students into different states, each homeroom became their own state.  To help with the counting, the ballot that each student received was a different color depending on their “state residency.”

Cedar Ridge Academy Therapeutic Boarding School Election Sign-in
A student signs in on the master roll
When the student received the ballot, he/she would head to the polling stations that were created on a desk in the classroom.  Each student would fill in the bubble next to the candidate to mark the selection and then fold up the ballot to put it in the box.

Cedar Ridge Academy Therapeutic Boarding School Voting
A student fills out his ballot
The students came into the polling place throughout the day.  All students and some of the staff exercised their right to choose whether to vote.  Of the 37 members of the school, 20 members voted which gave us a 56% turnout.  So who did Cedar Ridge Academy vote for?

Cedar Ridge Academy Therapeutic Boarding School Election Ballot Submission
A student casts his ballot into the box
By Electoral College and popular vote: President Barack Obama won!

The Electoral College vote breakdown was two votes for Obama and one vote for Romney.  The popular vote breakdown was nine votes for Obama, eight votes for Romney, one vote for Anderson, one vote for Goode, and one vote for Johnson.

Students gained a lot from the experience and enjoyed participating in their own election, even though they are not old enough to vote.  If you haven't already, take an opportunity to go vote just as the students did today!

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