Sargent Elementary breaks its record in donations for the American Heart Association


Courtesy photos A banner signed by Sargent Elementary School students shows the amount of money that was raised for the American Heart Association. Sargent Elementary School P.E. teacher Sami Cotton is slimed by students who raised more than $100 in donations for the American Heart Association.

MONTE VISTA — Sargent Elementary Physical Education teacher Sami Cotten is proud of her students.

“Our kids had a heart challenge with the American Heart Association," Cotten said. "The association used to be Jump Rope for Heart but changed their name. We had a goal of raising $5,000 for the association, well the kids surpassed this goal in like a week or so. We ended up beating our 2001 school record. In 2001, our school raised $6,940, and the kids now ended up raising $12,688.30. They almost doubled the amount! I am extremely proud of these students. These kids just blew this out of the water. The kids worked really hard for this, and they are already talking about beating the record for next year. This is great.” 

Cotten is a 2015 Sargent High School graduate. She attended college in Grand Junction and taught first grade in Grand Junction for almost 4 years. Cotten and her husband moved back to the San Luis Valley when her husband obtained a job with an Adams State University basketball team. Cotten then applied for and received the job as the Physical Education teacher for the elementary school at Sargent. Cotten is also a volleyball coach for Sargent High School. 

Cotten explained how with this record-breaking goal, Sargent is now a ranked school in Colorado. Cotten said that there are usually about 10 schools that rank in Colorado, and Sargent is among the 10. Cotten said that many of the other schools are finishing their challenges in March, so she doesn’t think many of the numbers are finalized yet, but she was proud that the students at Sargent, made it to the top 10 to be ranked.

“For a school as small as ours, with as big as a lot of the other schools are, for us to be ranked, we are very proud of that," Cotten said. 

Cotten said that for the month of February, the kids learned a lot about heart health. Cotten said that the kids were excited about the challenge because they were told if they raised over $100 in donations, they would get to throw slime at her.

“We ended up having over 60 kids that raised $100 or more. So, we had this big cool slime party last Thursday. We had 60 kids that got to dump some cups of slime on me,” Cotten said with a chuckle. The top three kids that raised the most got to use 5-gallon buckets of slime. "The kids really loved that. It was a lot of fun and a good reward for them.”

Cotten said one of her favorite things about being a P.E. teacher is that she gets to see all the kids at the school.

“I have really enjoyed P.E. I did first grade in the past, so this has been a really big change, but a good change. It’s really cool getting to see every single kid in the school every single day, that’s very special to me,” she said.

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