CCSD news: CSI and staff awards

Students in Kirsten Ritchie’s Special Topics class investigated multiple crime scenes around campus.

Students in Kirsten Ritchie’s Special Topics class investigated multiple crime scenes around campus.
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Churchill County High School

Students in Kirsten Ritchie’s Special Topics class used their observation and evidence-collection skills to investigate multiple crime scenes around campus. Ritchie started the day with an all-staff email stating, “Our campus had a lot of crime occur last night, and our teachers are stressed. No need to fear, our student forensics team is on it.”

Students wore official badges and were required to examine each crime scene, find trace evidence for further analysis, interview witnesses around campus, and use proper crime scene protocol.

“For students to fully understand and learn the concepts of this lesson, I wanted to apply as many real-life applications to this assignment as possible,” Ritchie said.

Students and staff throughout campus had a great day trying to solve each crime.

“It is always so fun when our teachers do lessons that are not only hands-on for their students but get other staff and students involved as well,” said Vice Principal Reema Pulsifer.

Churchill County Middle School

Last year, CCMS started a new tradition to recognize their staff — Gerka Staff of the Week.

Students and staff nominate a staff member who demonstrates school-wide expectations. It is finally back for the 2023-24 school year.

At the beginning of each week, a Google form is sent out to students and staff to nominate someone deserving. Last week, Julie Dolan was nominated by the staff. One of the staff members shared in their nomination that, "She is always here early and goes home late and she always has excellent activities with the kiddos."

Courtney Aguilera was nominated by the students. One student who nominated her said, “She makes learning fun and she is a really great teacher.”

Each week new staff members will be nominated and the roving Gerkas' will be passed to the next recipients.


Students in Trudy Mills’ and Lisa Solinski's fifth-grade classes learned how shadows change throughout the day. They traced and measured their shadows and used a sun tracker to see how shadows changed direction and length in one day.

“We are using these activities to help students understand the movement of the sun across the sky and the Earth's rotation,” Mills said.

E.C. Best

Students in Melissa Humphrey’s class learned about Constitution Day. They colored a picture of George Washington and made a book about the Constitution.

On Sept. 17, 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the last time to sign the document they had created. Every year on Sept. 17, Americans observe this important day in our nation's history.

“I feel like it is essential for us as teachers, to celebrate Constitution Day in our schools through activities so our young students, the future leaders of our nation, establish an appreciation for the United States of America and the freedoms our Founding Fathers secured for us,” Humphrey said.


Julleann Chappell’s first-grade class has talked about feelings, and the students have had to learn how to identify different feelings in the stories they read. This last week they read, “Corduroy Goes to School.”

“We have been focusing on identifying feelings because being aware of different emotions can help young students know how to talk about their feelings more openly and clearly,” Chappell said.

The characters in the books the class has read all experienced different feelings like hunger, sadness, fatigue, happiness, etc. In “Corduroy Goes to School” students discussed the different feelings they thought Corduroy experienced at school during the day.

“He had a lot of good feelings. Like being happy, comfortable, excited, and playful. A lot of the same feelings I have when I am at school too. We are similar,” said student Harper Ritchie.


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