Queen For A Day

Mike Moore photo
Firefighter Daerrian Laird stocks up on cookies and a doughnut for Mitchell and her classmates at Super Foods.

By Mary Stewart mary@glenrockind.com


It was a chilly Monday morning and most students in Glenrock were going about their morning routine. Getting dressed, making sure their homework was finished, having breakfast and trying not to miss the bus.
For one sixth grade student at Glenrock Intermediate School, this morning was anything but normal.
As her ride to school arrived at her home, her whole family followed her outside with smiles and smart phones in hand capturing the moment as the bright red – not yellow – vehicle slowly pulled away.
“I didn’t know what was going on,” sixth-grade student OakLeigh Mitchell said while laughing. “I was a little nervous when I saw the fire truck outside and I didn’t know I was getting a ride that morning.”
It was a morning that she will likely never forget.
OakLeigh was delivered to school that morning by the Glenrock Volunteer Fire Department. It was a special event for a special girl that accomplished a terrific challenge.
She is the first student to achieve reading one million words this school year in the Reading Counts program. An accomplishment that many adults, let alone children, will not achieve in the same amount of months as OakLeigh. Because of this, the firefighters were more than happy to make her day a special one.
“We challenge all the kids in the intermediate school to read one million words with the program,” GIS Principal David Sunday said.
Students track their progress online, making the arduous task of tracking progress a little easier to manage.
With family trips taken during the summer, OakLeigh spent a lot of time reading in the car.
“I read the Warrior Cat series, which I really like,” she said. “It’s a fantasy series about cats that live in the wild and have adventures trying to survive.”
OakLeigh was the first student to reach that milestone this school year and the local volunteer fire department was more than happy to take part in the celebration.
“It was fantastic,” GVFD firefighter Daerrian Laird said. “I love being asked to do this stuff in the community. It’s why I joined the department.”
As OakLeigh climbed up into the tall fire truck, her face was lit up with joy.
The first stop that she made with the firefighters was Superfoods where she picked out a single doughnut and packages of cookies to share with her classmates that day.
After a quick stop at the store, she was in charge of the route and was driven all over the town as her parents and siblings followed behind in their vehicle.
“We tried going to Town Park but the truck was too tall for the bridge,” she said. “We ended up having to turn around and the truck even got off the road.”
The fire truck drove around town while OakLeigh hung her head out of the window enjoying the view for nearly half an hour.
“A million words is quite an achievement,” Laird said. “We love to help and encourage kids to work hard.”
As the big red truck pulled up in front of the intermediate school on Third Street, OakLeigh was greeted by all of her classmates as they waved their arms in the air, jumped up and down and took pictures with their phones.
“It was kind of cool because they turned all the lights and sirens on,” she said.
As she climbed down the stairs of the truck she was soon surrounded by her peers before being reminded everyone still had a full day of class to attend.
“These kids are our future of the community,” firefighter Jeff Nelson said. “Whatever we can do to help them, the better the future will be.”


Glenrock Independent

Physical Address:506 W. Birch, Glenrock, WY 82637 Mailing Address: PO Box 109, Douglas, WY 82633 Phone: (307) 436-2211

The Glenrock Independent is located in the Bronco Building

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