Clearwater and Ewing took a step toward a two-school merger last week and set a timeline for an early 2019 vote to consolidate.
Both boards unanimously passed a motion to hire Craig Pease and Bob Uhing to begin the two-school feasibility study with anticipation of receiving the study by Nov. 30. The timeline discussed included setting individual town hall meetings in December with a vote by the boards in January to set a special election for consolidation shortly after.
The Ewing and Clearwater boards of education met for about 80 minutes last Wednesday in the Ewing band room to discuss future school options. The meeting was two weeks after Ewing requested a similar meeting with Orchard.
Orchard's Advisory Board met about three hours prior to the meeting between Clearwater and Ewing and instructed Superintendent Dale Martin to tell both boards that Orchard was interested in joining the feasibility study. For more details on that meeting, click here.
After much discussion, Ewing Superintendent Ted Hillman told the boards he supported moving forward with the two schools.
“You need to do the two-school item to put the others involved, whoever they might be, on notice that you want to go ahead with something, and you are. They can determine if they want to join in later or not. They have decisions to be made, too,” Hillman said. “I guess you need to put your cards on the table.”
Clearwater Principal Mike Sanne agreed and said, “We can’t keep dragging this out. This has been going on for a long time, and we keep pushing it off because of this or that. There’s two groups here.”
Immediately following that statement, Ewing President Mark Ramold asked for a motion to move forward with a study. Pete Funk made the motion with Ed Nordby seconding. Ewing passed the motion unanimously. Clearwater President Amy Thiele then asked for the same motion. Regina Krebs made the motion with Tom Thiele as the second. It was also passed unanimously.
Early into the meeting between Ewing and Clearwater, Funk said the meeting was called to help Clearwater make an educated decision in March on whether they wanted to reunify with Orchard and Verdigre. Amy Thiele said while there had been talk of a three-school merger, it was suggested during that meeting with Orchard that Ewing wanted to pursue a two-school merger with Clearwater.
Sanne said Clearwater has made no secret of its interest in consolidation, especially with a reunification deadline looming. Ewing has repeatedly stated it’s not interested in joining the unification.
“I think you guys all are aware that back in August the Unified Board directed us to have a decision made by March,” Sanne said. “We’re looking to move forward with somebody. We’ve got different options we’re looking at. It’s been no secret our board told me to look at all the options, and basically that included looking at Ewing and looking at Elgin and we’re still talking about possibly reunifying. All options are out there for us, and we’re looking to find the best option for our kids 20 or 30 years down the road.”
Funk said his Plan A was a three-school merger between Ewing, Clearwater and Orchard, but “you go with maybe who’ll go with you.” Clearwater’s Joe Thiele asked, “So if Clearwater’s prepared to consolidate with you, you guys are prepared to do the same?”
Funk immediately said he was, and Ramold said Ewing would establish a timeline toward that. Joe Thiele asked if Ewing needed more information first, and Funk said yes, adding “it would be nice to know what the budget’s going look like. It would be a lot easier to have that information to sell it.”
Although the action taken included a study between only Ewing and Clearwater, much of the public participation in the meeting involved having Orchard in the mix. Dustin Wright spoke multiple times about wanting to include Orchard and told board members he was hosting a public forum on Sunday, Oct. 14, at 8 p.m. in the Ewing gym between patrons of the three districts.
He said if people were unable to attend, they could send letters to be read. Wright said a survey would be available at the conclusion of the meeting to give boards an indication of how those attending felt about a three-school merger.
While Sunday’s meeting is open to the public, it has not been publicly advertised as an official board meeting, meaning no more than two Advisory board members or three Original from each school can participate, per state statute § 84-1409.
“We’re hoping a couple board members from each place shows up. People kind of address their concerns, worries, what they’re thinking moving forward if anybody’s got the balls to stand up and say something,” Wright said.
Dawn Marie Heller, a 2001 graduate of Ewing Public Schools, graduated from Joseph’s College of Cosmetology on July 13, 2018.
Graduates of the college are required to complete 2,100 clock hours and 2,100 credits to graduate and become licensed in the state of Nebraska. While there, Heller became Shellac and Trissola certified.
Heller’s parents are Ruth and Monte Williams of Ewing. Her children are Kaelyn, Brayden and Ryker Heller.
Summerland wrapped up their Jr. Golf Camp on Friday after a week of golfing by area youth.
Congratulations to all the participants!
The 8th Annual Bubby's Race drew more than 200 people to Ewing on Sunday morning.
Cancer survivors were recognized with a Circle of Hope before the 5K run and 1-mile walk began at the Ewing football field. Runners and walkers of all ages followed the marked course throughout town. The race, which was started in memory of Beverly "Bubby" Thramer of Ewing, was held in conjunction with Ewing's Funfest celebration.
Collin Erickson (19-29 division) was the overall male winner with a time of 19:05, and Sadie Murren (19-29 division) crossed the finish line in 23:59 as the overall female winner.
Proceeds from the event will benefit cancer treatment at Antelope Memorial Hospital in Neligh and Avera St. Anthony's Hospital in O'Neill.
Race results for the runners:
1. Collin Erickson, 19:05, Overall Male & Male 19-29 Winner
2. Cody Thramer, 20:45
3. Cole Hilker, 21:04, Male 40-49 Winner
4. Ashton Higgins, 21:59, Male 0-18 Winner
5. Brent Schmidt, 22:02
6. Khobe Sommersted-Simmons, 22:03
7. Kevin Simmons, 22:07
8. Jake Krings, 23:12
9. Connor Napier, 23:51
10. Sadie Murren 23:59, Overall Female & 19-29 Winner
11. Phil Thramer, 24:19
12. Mandy Kumm, 24:23, Female 40-49 Winner
13. Jodi Loecker, 24:42
14. Layne Bullock, 24:51
15. Natalie Bitney, 25:34
16. Jacque Tagel, 26:01, Female 0-18 Winner
17. Laura Hynes, 26:47
18. Tad Fry, 26:51
19. Alexis Butterfield, 27:25
20. Shelby Myers, 27:57
21. Bob Musil, 28:00, Male 50+ Winner
22. Ashton Wachter, 28:20
23. John Higgins, 28:23
24. Rachel Higgins, 28:30
25. Janette Kerkman, 29:17, Female 50+ Winner
26. Bridget Krings, 29:20
27. Alex Wiese, 29:22
28. Marissa Beierman, 29:39
29. Kevin Rubeck, 29:41
30. Michell Tagel, 30:08
31. Ryan Keegan, 30:10, Male 30-39 Winner
32. Megan Biddlecome, 30:23
33. Nathan Howe, 30:25
34. Tina Butterfield, 30:28
35. Shaley Davis, 30:29
36. Erin Shepperd, 30:32
37. Peg Abels, 30:34
38. Grace Peed, 30:37
39. Sam Stoltz, 30:46, Female 30-39 Winner
40. Beth Hibbs, 31:12
41. Zelie Sorensen, 31:47
42. Sharon Bartak, 32:02
43. Jamie Schmidt, 33:34
44. Heather Bartak, 33:36
45. Laurel Miller, 33:56
46. Danielle Mortensen, 35:04
47. Gayle Carlson, 35:06
48. Darcy Shabram, 38:12
49. Marlene Grenier, 38:14
50. Alex Abels, 39:25
51. Noah Schmidt, 39:27
52. Terri Hergert, 40:18
53. Tenzlie Sorensen, 40:41
54. Jodie Sorensen, 40:44
55. Kayla Byars, 41:04
56. Amanda Benson, 41:28
57. Kathy Benson, 41:30
58. Barb Peitzmeier, 42:14
The Ewing Girl Scout's Troop #127 will be holding a stuffed animal and blanket drive to support "Aidan's Animals," a non-profit that provides comfort items to children and families in crisis.
The drive will be held May 26-27 during the Ewing Summer Funfest Activities. The troop is asking for brand new animals or blankets with tags. Smaller hand or lap-sized items work best.
The items collected will go to Avera St. Anthony's Hospital and Antelope Memorial Hospital to be distributed to children facing traumatic events.
To learn more about Aidan's Animals, go to www.supportaidansanimals.org or visit Aidan's Animals on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
If you were thinking about signing up for the 8th Annual Bubby's Race in Ewing, you still have time!
The deadline to register as a participant or be a sponsor has been extended to Saturday, May 5.
The 5k run and 1 mile walk will be held May 27, 2018 at the Ewing Football Field. Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. with the event to start at 9:00 a.m.
Register by May 1st to be guaranteed a shirt. You can register online at https://www.allsportcentral.com/EventInfo.cfm?EventID=65604 or obtain registration/sponsor form at www.kbrx.com. Registration is $15, participants six years and younger are free (no shirt provided).
Bubby's Race is in remembrance of Bev Thramer and all of those who lost their battle to cancer, in honor of loved ones currently fighting, and in celebration of those who have overcome the battle. Proceeds will be donated to cancer treatments at Avera St. Anthony's Hospital in O'Neill, NE and Antelope Memorial Hospital in Neligh, NE.
Katie Hawk and Sidney Stallbaum of Ewing struck gold Friday with a state championship performance in Duet Acting.
The Ewing senior class is hosting a Home & Ag Vendor Show on Saturday, February 10.
The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Ewing High School Gym, located at 416 N. Spruce St. Nearly 40 vendors will be on hand and breakfast rolls and a soup luncheon will be available.
Click here for a full list of vendors.
Verdigre played host to the Niobrara Valley Conference East One Act Competition on Tuesday, much to the delight of those in attendance.
Top honors in the team competition went to nearby Ewing for their act “The Distracted Scholar’s Guide to Literature and Drama.”
A number of actors came home with outstanding performance awards. Ewing's Kyra Nilson, Hailey Rotherham, Emily Eacker, Sydney Stallbaum, Grace Maxwell, katie Hawk, Emily Kupgeweit, and Gage Nilson were all honored for their showings.
The Ewing School Board held their monthly board meeting and voted to hire legal council to draft an interlocal agreement with Neligh-Oakdale and Clearwater on a potential school merger.
The motion was made by Pete Funk with a second from Mark Ramold. The board concluded the discussion with a 6-0 vote to participate in the three board meeting at the end of the month. The draft of the agreement is to state the cost and how they would split the potential merger.
The 18-member board meeting is tentatively set for Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. in Neligh. That meeting would be open to the public.
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