Friday, December 27, 2013

News and Announcements: Students at Cedar Ridge Academy International Private Therapeutic Boarding School Participate in Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child was a civic service project that packed shoe boxes filled with toys and sent them to third world countries. The project wouldn’t have been a success without the generous donations and participation of the parents of Cedar Ridge Academy International Private Therapeutic Boarding School students. During the October seminar, parents donated 3 big boxes full of random toys, accessories and school supplies. As the Christmas season approached, many of us don’t think about how fortunate we are to be receiving gifts every Christmas. This sadly isn’t the reality of many young children living in developing countries. Through the Operation Christmas Child humanitarian organization, the boys and girls here were able to bring some of the joy that we get on Christmas, to other not as fortunate children around the world.
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Thank you for the generous toy donations!
After talking with some of the parents and students who donated, many of them said they had an enjoyable time when they went out to buy toys. I know for me personally, it brought back a lot of childhood memories as I was in the store and buying Hot Wheels and yo-yos. I still vividly remember my childhood was filled with toy cars and toy soldiers and all the countless hours I spent on Saturday morning playing with them. It was a humbling experience as well because I knew that I was going to be bringing smiles to other people who were not as fortunate.

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We packed so many boxes!
Back at Cedar Ridge, a few of the students began on the journey of deciding what to pack for the shoe boxes. We tore open all the packaging around the newly bought toys and set on the journey of thinking about what a boy or girl in a certain age group would enjoy playing with. It definitely surprised me with the volume of donations that we received. At first, I was worried that we were only going to be able to pack 3-4 boxes. At the end, we packed a fabulous amount of 14 boxes. 1 box we mainly filled with school supplies and donated it to the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots foundation. The other 13 shoe boxes, we donated it to the local Roosevelt Baptist Church and they were all dropped off at an Operation Christmas Child pick-up location. The service project truly was an amazing experience for everybody who participated in it. I believe that the organization is wonderful in being able to share some of the joy and love that we receive on Christmas to fellow children around the world.

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Showing off our boxes!

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Thank you Operation Christmas Child for this great opportunity
To learn more about this organization: http://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/



Friday, December 13, 2013

A New Guidance Counselor at Cedar Ridge Academy Private International Boarding School

This summer, Cedar Ridge Academy Private International Boarding School welcomed a new guidance counselor, Holland Olsen.  For the fall issue of Cedar Spectrum newsletter, one of our students interviewed him.  We have reprinted this article here for you and welcome Holland to our Cedar Ridge family.

What does your job entail?
My job entails helping students progress academically and to make sure the school is meeting its academic needs.

What is your favorite part of your job?
I would say the favorite part of my job is the interaction with students.

Where did you go to college?
I got my undergraduate degree from Dixie State College and my Master’s degree from Ottawa University.

What do you do in your free time?
I like to play basketball, snowboard, any type of sport really. I also like to spend time with my wife; enjoying the time since we don’t have kids.

What's your favorite part of living in Utah?
Probably being able to be close to family.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a small town in Gunnison, Utah.

What is your favorite color?
Green.

Why did you want to become a school counselor?
I wanted to be able to help students realize their potential. I also feel students sometimes need a guy with my personality to help them out.

How does your school day go?
I get up, I get ready for work, I drive 20 minutes to work, I then have the pleasure of waking up the Redwood boys. Once  I'm at school I address the situations from most important to less pressing. After work I usually exercise, eat, and then hangout with my wife.

When did you start working at Cedar Ridge?
I started working at Cedar Ridge on June 24, 2013.

Did you have a nickname when growing up?
I had a lot of nicknames growing up a sample of what they were; the obvious one is Dutch. My freshman basketball coach nicknamed me Sasha Dabradavich, the Russian dancing bear because of my work down in the low post during basketball. My best friends called me W for no apparent reason.

Do you help out with the boys basketball team?
Occasionally, when asked.

 Holland pauses for a quick picture during his workday

Friday, December 6, 2013

Cedar Ridge Academy Private International Boarding School Welcomes a New English Teacher

This summer, Cedar Ridge Academy Private International Boarding School added a new English teacher to the staff, Kristi Wall.  One of our students interviewed her for the fall issue of Cedar Spectrum newsletter.  We have reprinted this spotlight here for you and welcome Kristi to our Cedar Ridge family.

What made you motivated to be an English teacher?
It started in high school-my English teacher was so dynamic! She got me so much more interested in words-made them fun, actually. I have loved to read and write for as long as I can remember. I also love teenagers, so it is easy for me to teach them.

What made you want to come teach and be a staff at Cedar Ridge?
After working in public schools for 14 years, I realized I enjoy teaching one on one instead of teaching about 30 students at a time.  After teaching over 150 students, I also realized that a smaller environment would suit me better. I have a strong belief that people can and should reach their potential, so seeing that happen at Cedar Ridge is a perfect reinforcement for me.

How long have you been teaching English?
I started teaching in 1998, so it has been about 15 years.

If you had not gone into English for your career, what would have been your second choice for a career?
When I was little, I really wanted to be an astronaut, but that is obviously out of the question. I am actually really interested in medicine and working with people-you know, helping people. If I had not liked working with teenagers so much, I think I would have gone into a medical field of some sort.

Where did you grow up and how did you end up coming to Utah?
I was actually born in Vernal, Utah, and I have lived in Utah my entire life. I just moved around the state for college, etc. I have always enjoyed living in smaller towns, so I have enjoyed staying in the state.

What are your family dynamics and what is your family like?
I have four siblings, and I am the oldest. Actually, my youngest sister and I are almost 18 years apart! My dad is a retired elementary teacher, and my mom is a manager at a post office. I have been married for almost 10 years, and my husband is an accountant. My husband and I adopted our only child about two years ago, when he was six months old.

If you could change one thing about your job here, what would it be and why?
You know, honestly, I wish I could spend more time here! I am so torn between spending more time with my family and spending more time with you guys because I enjoy being around you guys; you are a lot of fun! 

What is your favorite part of being a staff and teaching at Cedar Ridge?
I think my favorite part of being a staff and teaching here is definitely the students. I have never met so many intellectual teenagers, really! You guys understand so much, and you are so well-rounded, it is just so awesome to see. I cannot wait to see how you will all turn out. I get closer to all of you every day. It is so much easier to get along with people when I get to know them, especially teenagers! I was a lot like the kids here, so I see myself in a lot of you, and I just love to see you succeed!

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Kristi takes a break from helping students

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