Senior Edition: 2015
Stutzman an Eagle Scout


Taylor Tuggle

T. Tuggle

Kaleb Stutzman, sophomore at Kings High School, and former student at J.F. Burns Elementary, created an outdoor classroom at J.F. Burns on an eagle scout mission. The outdoor classroom includes a pathway, several benches, and a growing garden. The staff at J.F. Burns continue to add to it.

LeAnne Stutzman, J.F. Burns 3rd grade teacher and Kaleb’s mother, has worked diligently for a very long time help him to uphold his original vision. The idea started in the 5th grade, and he’s been working towards it ever since. 

In hopes of becoming an Eagle Scout, Stutzman must go through a rigorous process to prove the value of his work to the community. First he must finalize his project report. Then he will have an eagle board review. This is crucial to the increase in his ranking; the board’s decisions will make or break his growth in this area of his life.

Adult leaders from his troop, along with other Boy Scout of America members, will review his project and report and read his letters of recommendation in the board review. All of this information will be used in determining whether or not Stutzman becomes an Eagle Scout. Said board of review will take place this summer.

The main goal here was not only to change the environment that the kids work in, but to better the community.LeAnne Stutzman explained what the project meant to the kids in her class, “As a teacher, I see my students benefitting from the outdoor ecology center. They are growing and learning so much. Students are eager to get outdoors and learn.”

LeAnne’s coworker, another 3rd grade teacher at J.F. Burns, Emily Roewer, was involved in the project as well.

“I got involved after talking to Shannon Russell (J.F. Burns PTO mom and teacher at Granny’s Garden in Loveland) about the outdoor education programs in Loveland.”

The teachers were not only looking forward to the academic aspects of the facility, however. Roewer says she’s impressed with the life lessons the kids are learning, “Students have already learned a great deal about commitment to a project, giving back to the community, respecting nature, and working as a team through their time in the outdoor classroom.”

Approximately 600 kids helped plant flowers on the opening day. Roewer says that participating in the creation of the outdoor classroom meant something really special for the kids, and gave them “a sense of ownership.”
“He spoke to the kids at their level and kept several hundred children engaged in his speech outside on a sunny Friday afternoon-not an easy task!”

Cheryl Montag, Principal of J.F. Burns Elementary, also has a lot to do with the inner workings of the project, and will help in maintaining the facility in the future.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about the project is watching part of the Kings community rally around one of its members. Roewer, Stutzman, and Montag plan to keep his vision alive in future years, as Roewer put it, “Kaleb has laid the groundwork for many amazing possibilities. Now it is up to the J.F. Burns community to maintain and build upon what he has created.”

As for the future, as LeAnne sees it, things are looking up, “The future is bright for this new learning space. Mrs.Montag, Mrs.Roewer, and I plan to write many grants to get money to further our outdoor education program here at J.F. Burns. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

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