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The Student News Site of Fossil Ridge High School

Etched in Stone

The Student News Site of Fossil Ridge High School

Etched in Stone


Fossil Ridge High School experiences a change in staff

With a new school year comes new administration, this 2023-2024 school year we see some changed roles with Sonja Gedde and Mark Barry, and a new addition to the East wing, Melissa Stapleton.

Most students remember our welcoming and kind Principal, Julie Chaplain. She has been promoted to Assistant Superintendent, working her way up Poudre School District. Her role has been filled by Barry, now Interim Principal, who was Assistant Principal for the past seven years, previously a social studies teacher at Fossil Ridge High School since 2005. 

Barry works very hard at whatever task he is given, living by the famous Abraham Lincoln quote “Whatever you are, be a good one”. (Sophie Webb)

“I’ve shared a door with the principal for seven years, and there’s a lot of things that go on in this office that I didn’t even know existed,” Barry explains. Although the titles are similar, there is a significant change from Assistant to Interim Principal. 

Barry has been navigating the ins and outs of Principal life, moving from meeting to meeting and understanding how to lead Fossil, which includes around 2,000 students and 180 staff members. 

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“When I was pumping gas at a gas station or washing dishes, I wanted to be good at it. I want to be good at being principal, and I don’t want to miss anything important,” Barry emphasizes. 

Barry wishes to attend school events, activities, and get involved in classrooms in hopes of being better acquainted with students. “I will be at a lot of events cheering on our athletes, cheering on our actors and actresses, and all the programs: marching band, choirs, all the club’s things. I will be at so many events,” Barry states. 

If Barry finds his place within Fossil as Principal he plans to apply for the permanent title of Principal for Fossil’s coming years. 

We see another administrative position being filled by Gedde. Although this is only Gedde’s second year at Fossil, she is popular among students who recognize her as the Dean of students. Yet through her excellent work efforts, Gedde was asked by new Principal Barry to fill the position of Assistant Principal.

Assistant Principal is Gedde’s dream job and with that she gets to know the kids better as students, working and supporting teachers, and even mentor those in her previous position. (Sophie Webb)

“I just feel really energized and inspired and challenged because I know that [Barry and I] get to work together to help… in making the school the best place it can be,” Gedde says. 

Similar to Barry, Gedde’s role as Assistant Principal is Interim, meaning their roles will be up by the end of the year and they must go through a formal process to continue their roles. “I think [Barry and I] have a hope and a goal that we can stay in these positions,” Gedde affirms.

The transition of roles has its differences, there is a lot of negative work that comes with the position of a Dean, dealing with drama and trauma for students. “What I’ll miss is that when you do get kind of a win, it feels great to know because you’re usually helping someone who’s in a pretty rough place,” Gedde explains. 

Gedde will be missed as Dean, yet we see a new staff member making her mark on the student body at Fossil. Stapleton has rejoined a school community, seeing as her previous position was District Social Worker at Weld R-4 Windsor/Severance.

Stapleton would love to stay in her position future years, continuing her journey with Fossil. (Sophie Webb)

“I’m excited to see kids enjoying their activities and excelling and being able to work with families and kids long-term,” Stapleton emphasizes.

Her professional background is in counseling and therapy, and although that can be applied to her new position, Stapleton has to learn how to navigate the new environment. “So far it’s been fun. It’s been a lot of new learning because this again is a totally new role for me,” Stapleton says.

Ryan Wulff, another Dean, has been a mentor for Stapleton to shadow, making it easier for her to meet students and learn various procedures. “I would like to finish the year having a really good understanding of the organization and this role specifically, I want to be good and effective at the position,” Stapleton states. 

Barry, Gedde, and Stapleton wish to do their part to benefit our school community, now being seen at events and around the school, making these opportunities a positive one. 

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About the Contributor
Sophie Webb, Co-Editor in Chief

Sophie Webb (Co-Editor in Chief) a journalism enthusiast is completing her final year at Fossil Ridge High School and Etched in Stone, however, her writing career doesn't end here, Webb is planning to further study journalism in college. Etched in Stone has allowed Webb to find a new passion; photography, something she wasn’t interested in until joining journalism.

In Webb’s personal life, she enjoys writing various novels, her favorite genre being dystopian. She would love to publish her own works and therefore hopes to take classes in college to further her knowledge and understanding to then become a published author. 

This year Webb is looking forward to sharing her passion for journalism, her goals being that Etched in Stone wins multiple badges on a journalistic website called SNO, personally Webb would like to win Best of SNO, an award given to best student journalism publications. 

After finishing her senior year at Fossil, Webb would love to go to college out of state, her top choice being Syracuse University.

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    Dr. GeddeSep 14, 2023 at 9:33 am

    Excellent work, Sophie!