Elkhorn Valley's Parker Klein finished fifth in humorous at the Class D1 state speech meet on Friday.
Anna Currier of Bancroft-Rosalie won the event while Austin Choat of Plainview was second and Ryker Hoy of Falls City Sacred Heart was third. Jacob Morrow of Kenesaw was fourth and Samantha Roberts of Wausa was sixth.
The Elkhorn Valley speech team qualified two students for state after strong performances at the D1-2 district meet in Bancroft.
Parker Klein and Katy Fleetwood both qualified for state in humorous, placing second and third respectively, and Fleetwood also qualified for state in informative speaking, earning third place.
Elkhorn Valley qualified eight youth wrestlers for the state tournament this weekend in Grand Island.
Nathan Werner, 1st Place -- Weight Class 105, 3rd-4th
Wyatt Nierodzik, 2nd Place -- Weight Class 100, 5th-6th
Reed Bennett, 4th Place -- Weight Class 117, 7th-8th
Tristan Smith, 3rd Place -- Weight Class 95, 7th-8th
Ryder Werner, 3rd Place -- Weight Class 39-40, PreK-K
Trigg Bennett, 2nd Place -- Weight Class 42-46, PreK-K
Keaton Kuchar, 2nd Place -- Weight Class 56, 1st-2nd
Bentley Kuchar, 2nd Place -- Weight Class 42-44, PreK-K
Ashley Hale, a 2016 graduate of Elkhorn Valley School, recently won a silver award in the 2018 American Advertising Awards for her Nike ad.
Hale won a Nebraska ADDY in the category of Out-of-Home & Ambient Media. She is a student at The Creative Center, a college of art and design in Omaha.
Creative Center students won a total of eight awards at this year’s American Advertising Awards, sponsored by the American Advertising Federation. Students entered original creative projects into competitive categories which were judged by professionals in the field. The competition is tiered, with state winners advancing to one of 15 district competitions, and district winners advancing to the national level.
“Our student competition really mirrors the professional competition,” said American Advertising Federation President and CEO James Edmund Datri. “Other major competitions have a stripped-down version, or limit the students to a predetermined case. The American Advertising Awards offers students much more opportunity.”
The Creative Center is a college of art and design in Omaha, Nebraska offering a three-year Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design, and a two-year Associate of Occupational Studies degree in Graphic Design. Students attend class Monday through Friday from 8:30 – 3:30 and learn multiple aspects of graphic design. Every student receives a Mac laptop computer and software (to keep!) as a part of the tuition and fees, and gets plenty of chances to use it exploring as many of the computerized visual realms as possible, from branding to web design, from package design to multimedia, and from advertising to illustration.
2018 Nebraska ADDY Winners (8)
Madison Broesder – Sioux Falls New Technology HS (SD); 1 Gold
Monique Foupht – Omaha Concordia HS (NE); 2 Silver
Skye Grady – Sergeant Bluff-Luton HS (NE); 1 Silver
Ashley Hale – Elkhorn Valley Public School (NE); 1 Silver
Serena Hernandez – Conestoga Junior Senior HS (NE); 1 Silver
Zoe Welch – Arlington Public School (NE); 1 Silver
Tristan Winey – Denison HS (IA); 1 Gold
The Elkhorn Valley speech team earned five medals in the Niobrara Valley Conference Speech Meet in Neligh on Monday.
Parker Klein led the way with a first place finish in humorous prose. Other medalists were Rachal Hahne with sixth in serious prose; Angel Qualset fourth in poetry and second in informative; and Audrey Chvala sixth in persuasive.
In the team sweepstakes, Verdigre was first, followed by Clearwater-Orchard in second, Elgin Pope John third, Elgin Public fourth and Ewing fifth.
Oral Interpretation of Drama
1. Elgin Public - Ashton Evans, Hunter Reestman, Adam Dreger, Kira Widger and Lydia Behnk
2. Verdigre - Max Hollmann, Morgan Hrbek, Ashlyn Hamilton, Blake Bartling and Anthony Vakoc
3. Elgin Pope John - Sydney Kerkman, Taralyn Baum, Maddie Schrage and Lauren Seier
4. Ewing - Skylar Eacker, Emily Eacker, Sidney Stalbaum and Katie Hawk
5. Verdigre - Gunner Vargas, Allie Kotrous and Serina Babcock
6. Elgin Pope John - Simon Beacom, Skylar Reestman, Brynn Dilly and Alyssa Burenheide
1. Parker Klein - Elkhorn Valley
2. Isaac Cook - Verdigre
3. Cole Belitz - Neligh-Oakdale
4. Shelby Dohmen, Elgin Public
5. Alexis Hrbek, Verdigre
6. Kyra Nilson, Ewing
Oral Interpretation of Serious Prose
1. Stephanie Shakespeare, Verdigre
2. Emily Eacker, Ewing
3. Brianna Hupp, Elgin Pope John
4. Rachel Higgins, Neligh-Oakdale
5. Skylar Eacker, Ewing
6. Rachal Hahne, Elkhorn Valley
Oral Interpretation of Poetry
1. Stephanie Shakespeare, Verdigre
2. Brooke Swanson, Niobrara
3. Grace Maxwell, Ewing
4. Angel Qualset, Elkhorn Valley
5. Nalleli Zermeno, Clearwater-Orchard
6. Alexis Hrbek, Verdigre
1. Hunter Reestman and Kira Widger, Elgin Public
2. Sidney Stallbaum and Katie Hawk, Ewing
3. Allison Kerkman and Grace Rittscher, Clearwater-Orchard
4. Megan Cook and Isaac Cook, Verdigre
5. Kyra Nilson and Grace Maxwell, Ewing
6. Sydney Kerkman and Madison Dilly, Elgin Pope John
1. Lydia Behnk, Elgin Public
2. Grace Rittscher, Clearwater-Orchard
3. Megan Cook, Verdigre
4. Wenting Yu, Elgin Pope John
5. Jackie Olivan, Clearwater-Orchard
6. Abby Swanson, Niobrara
1. Travis Rudloff, Clearwater-Orchard
2. Angel Qualset, Elkhorn Valley
3. Morgan Hrbek, Verdigre
4. Lauren Seier, Elgin Pope John
5. Julia Thiele, Clearwater-Orchard
6. Allison Schrunk, Ewing
1. Andrew Steskal, Clearwater-Orchard
2. Max Hollman, Verdigre
3. Caleb Miller, Elgin Public
4. Julia Thiele, Clearwater-Orchard
5. Brea Carr, Elgin Public
1. Marie Meis, Elgin Pope John
2. Nickol Payne, Elgin Pope John
3. Erin Schwager, Clearwater-Orchard
4. Bailey Frank, Verdigre
5. Abbigail Holz, Niobrara
6. Audrey Chvala, Elkhorn Valley
Teachers at Elkhorn Valley are not just seeing double. They are also seeing triple and quadruple.
In preschool through 12th grade, the 395-student population has 12 sets of multiples--10 sets of twins, one set of triplets and one set of quadruplets.
That means 6.8 percent of the total student body consists of twins, triplets and quads. In fact, only five grade levels at Elkhorn Valley don’t have a set of multiples. And three sets of twins are in the first grade alone.
Paula Howard said she has been teaching for 17 years, but this year marks “a first” for the first grade teacher.
“Until this year, I have never had more than one set of twins in the classroom,” Howard said. “Now I have two sets. And there is another set of twins in the other first grade class.”
She teaches twin boys, Kohl and Davis Rutjens and Carson and Jason King. Howard said the Kings are fraternal twins, but the Rutjens’ twins are “very identical.”
“If they don’t have their hair cut short, I can’t tell them apart,” she said.
“Davis has a donut” is the helpful phrase she and other school staff members use to distinguish the Rutjens boys.
“Davis has a circular cowlick in front,” Howard said. “When his hair is cut, you can see it easier. When their hair is a little longer, I have to look for other differences. I noticed that Kohl has a tiny freckle on his upper lip. They even have similar personalities. I’ve had a difficult time telling them apart.”
However, she has no trouble distinguishing the King twins.
“They are easy to tell apart, but their personalities are different too,” Howard said.
Laura Parks, business and information technology teacher at Elkhorn Valley, said she is getting better at distinguishing most of the twins she teaches, but there are some she still has trouble with.
“The Eckert and Larsen twins, I can’t tell them apart unless they are in the seating chart,” she said.
In preschool, quadruplet boys Logan, Mason, Porter and Connor Negus, “look, talk and act a little different from each other,” according to their parents Lucas and Sabrina Negus. Three of the 5-year-olds are identical and one is fraternal. The boys said the best part of being a quadruplet is “having brothers to play with” (Porter); “having someone to go to school with” (Logan); “having someone to play with and sleep with at night” (Mason); and “having brothers to read books with” (Connor).
In first grade, Kohl and Davis Rutjens, the identical twin sons of David and Desiree Rutjens, are 7 years old, and have two more siblings, a sister Cameron, 9, and brother Andrew, 6. The fraternal twin sons of Ryan and Crystal King, Jason and Carson King are 6 years old and have two more brothers, Casey and Dylan. The final set of first grade twins are Keaton and Olivia Werner, 6-year-olds who are easily identifiable since one is a boy and one is a girl. They are the children of Marty and Lisa Werner and have two more brothers, Carter, 13, and Jarett, 10. Olivia and Keaton said they like being twins because they “always have a friend and someone to play with.”
Third graders Kamryn and Katelyn Kallhoff are fraternal twins. The 9-year-olds are the daughters of Mike and Cassey Kallhoff and have one brother Tristan, 11. The girls said their hair color is primarily what sets them apart. “Katelyn has dark hair and I have blonde hair,” Kamryn said. Katelyn said the best part of being a twin is “you always have someone.”
In fourth grade, there are two sets of fraternal twins, Allison and Owen Hahne and Ashlynn and Adam Dexter-Paustian. Both sets are one boy and one girl. Allison and Owen, 9, are the children of Darin and Carey Hahne, and they have a sister Rachal, 18, and Derek, 14. They said the best part of being a twin is “always having someone to play with.” Ten-year-olds Ashlynn and Adam are the children of Anne Dexter and Jeff Paustian, and they have a sister Aubrey, 12, and a brother Axton, 4. Ashlynn said she likes being a twin because they “stand up for each other,” and Adam said he likes it because they “always have each other.”
Fifth graders Isaac and Isaiah Eckert are the identical twin sons of Joe and Kylie Eckert. They have one sister, Haley, 18. The 11-year-olds know a couple ways to help people distinguish them. “I have a deeper voice than Isaac does,” Isaiah said. Issac said Isaiah “has a scar on his nose.” They like having a twin so they have someone to play with, and “You have someone you can be a jerk to and they get over it within 10 minutes,” Isaiah said.
In sixth grade, there is a set of fraternal triplets--Macy, Drew and Dawson Hansen, the children of Jason and Cori Hansen. They have one sister, Mariah, 14. The 11-year-olds said people rarely have trouble telling them apart since Macy is a girl, Dawson is the smaller boy and Drew is the bigger boy. They agreed that the best part of being a triplet is that they “stand up for each other and always stick together.”
Eighth graders Alisha and Alexis Larsen, 14, are the identical twin daughters of Jerad Larsen and Tiffany Pruitt. They have one younger brother, Kyle, 11. The girls are difficult to identify for most people, they said, but many use their height difference to tell them apart. Alexis said she is taller, but Alisha pointed out that she is older. They said one of the best parts of being a twin is “tricking people.”
The senior class has two sets of twins, boys Darren and Dillon Stewart, 18, and girls Karissa and Kirstyn Evans, 17. The boys are the sons of Todd and Julie Stewart and have one sister Elizabeth Hansen. When asked how people tell them apart, they both said, “I don’t know.” Their teacher Mrs. Parks said the boys “have completely different personalities.” “They just have to talk to you, and you know,” she said. Darren said “confusing people” is his favorite part of being a twin. Dillon said he likes being able to “wear each other’s cool clothes and shoes.” Karissa and Kirstyn are the daughters of Tanja Evans, and they have two brothers, Kendall, 21, and Brandon, 16. They said most people can identify them because Kirstyn wears glasses and Karissa does not. The shape of their face is slightly different as well. Both girls said the best part of being a twin is “sharing clothes.”
New 2 U, Tilden's community thrift store, is celebrating its first year in business, and volunteers are amazed what has been accomplished in just one year.
Volunteer Pat Magwire said the store has already given away $18,292 of its profits to area organizations and individuals in need. The communities of Tilden, Elgin, Neligh and Meadow Grove have all benefitted from this.
"We've given to fire and rescue, the legion, churches, and the food pantry," she said. "We've also given some individuals grocery cards and gas cards that have fallen on hard times. We participated in the backpack program at school and have paid for school lunches for those in need."
Magwire said it is amazing to think that they've been able to raise more than $18,000 when they are selling many items for 25 or 50 cents.
In addition to monetary donations, the thrift store is able to donate items to the Norfolk Rescue Mission and the Orphan Grain Train.
"We've given away more than 233 boxes of clothing to the Orphan Grain Train already," Magwire said.
Kathy Qualset said the thrift store has "anything from A to Z," offering everything from gently-used clothing to glassware, dishes, small appliances, jewelry and golf and fishing equipment.
"We ask for the clothing to be gently-used," Magwire said. "If it's not something we would put on our family, we don't put it on our shelves. And, our donors are great. We get some really nice items here. We are some of our own best customers."
Tilden's New 2 U Community Thrift Store, located at 113 E. 2nd St., opened for business on Feb. 1, 2017. The idea for the store came from Susan Fields and Pastor Theta Dame of Tilden Peace United Church of Christ.
"They were looking for a store to help give back to the community, and there was a "For Rent" sign," Magwire said.
In addition to Fields and Pastor Dame, board members are Pat Decker, Phyllis Murray and Kathy Qualset. The store is run solely by volunteers, with about 15 people who volunteer on a regular basis.
The thrift store is planning a one-year anniversary celebration with an open house on Friday, Feb. 2 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Birthday cake and coffee will be served, and there will be 50 percent off all men's and women's clothing.
Regular store hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.
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