Central Services Facility

Pineview’s sense of community goes way back
12.17.2008

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By Jennifer Schultes

Pineview Elementary School’s own little “community” is what Principal Chris Carruth said makes the school truly special. The school serves about 280 students in preschool through fifth grade and in Gifted & Talented up to grade six. Pineview is home to kids from every demographic in Casper, Carruth said, as well as to veteran and new staff, which adds to the community.

This sense of community hasn’t just been a concept in the two years Carruth has been principal; it goes back more than half a century.

According to a May 21, 1954, Casper Tribune-Herald article, Pine View Meadows School (the original name), which opened in 1953, was housed in four small cottages, just to the south of the present-day building. This type of educational setting was experimental, the article noted, with the thought that children learn better in homier, more open areas. At the time of the article, 116 students attended school in the cottages, which also hosted gatherings such as Brownie and PTA meetings. Students also entertained their mothers in these home-like settings, although the article did not describe for what.

In 1954, another cottage was added, and in 1957, the current structure was completed. Some of the cottages were still used up until the 1980s or ’90s for storage or offices, and one was sold for a home. The area now serves the school’s parking lot.
Fast-forward to present day, Pineview still has this community value, providing a welcoming atmosphere for staff, students and their families.

An important part of the community building, Carruth said, is developing relationships. This is why every Thursday, fifth-graders work with Kelly Walsh High School students to train for an Iron Kids (www.ironkids.com) triathlon competition, to be held in the spring.

It’s more than students learning how to swim, run and ride bikes, Carruth said. The point of it really is to build relationships with others, developing and nurturing that sense of community.

“Brad [Diller] and I talked about how to get the kids who aren’t in high school yet motivated to want to be there someday,” she said.

Then, thanks to health and wellness ideas and the Fresh Fruits and Veggies Grant, this idea came to fruition.

Carruth said every fifth-grader looks forward to Thursdays.

“It’s really fun!” agreed fifth-graders Daysha Dunn and Jordan Gazdik, who both were out of breath after playing dodgeball with their classmates and the KW students.

“I like having older friends,” Dunn said. “It doesn’t matter what age you are, as long as you have fun!”
Sean Lipes, fellow fifth-grader, loves sharing Thursday PE with his older comrades.

“They’re easier to hit in dodgeball, because they’re bigger,” he said matter-of-factly.

The older kids value the time they share, too, and see it as very important for the elementary students.

“It’s important to build relationships at a young age,” senior Bryan Wolfe said. “And to find good role models and the right influences, instead of going out and doing bad things.”