Amber Miller and Mitchell Petersen were crowned 2018 Elkhorn Valley homecoming royalty on Friday afternoon.
Miller is the daughter of Tony and Kristi Miller. Petersen is the son of Bob and Tonya Petersen.
The other 2018 queen candidates were Destiny Beard, Kimberly Frey, Hannah Ollendick and Sierra Rystrom. Selected as king candidates were also Joshua McFarland, Brock Schaecher, Julio Sierra and Prestin Vondra.
The Elkhorn Valley High School introduced its homecoming court Friday before the football game against Osceola/High Plains.
Members of the homecoming court were presented in front of the Falcon faithful, along with their parents, as a short bio was read about them.
Check out all the photos of everyone dressed for tomorrow's big dance, a a few football players dressed for the game!
When Friday rolls around, most kids are excited for the end of the school week.
However, there are many students who wish the weekend would never come. According to the Blessings in a Backpack website, there are 13 million kids in America who won’t have enough food to eat this weekend.
The Elkhorn Valley School in Tilden is looking to change that with their local Blessings in a Backpack program, which allows volunteers to discreetly place bags of food into students’ backpacks for their use over the weekend.
After talking with EV school personnel and community members, organizer Chrisi Rutjens said she realized there were families in the school system that could use their help. Along with help from teacher Mrs. Sherry Lawson as well as some friends in the community, Rutjens started Elkhorn Valley School’s Blessings in a Backpack weekend food program in September 2017.
“We modeled our program after the successful Blessings in a Backpack program in Norfolk Public Schools, as well as other similar weekend food programs in area schools,” she said. “We operate under the national Blessings in a Backpack organization, a nonprofit entity.”
Rutjens said the hunger problem can be an even greater concern in rural communities.
“Food insecurity is an issue in small towns, and the problem is magnified due to our rural location,” she said. “ We have no other readily-available resources such as a food pantry, Salvation Army or Rescue Mission that larger communities may have; further, physically getting to these places may be an economic or logistical challenge for many of the children we serve.”
Rutjens said bags of food are discreetly put into students’ backpacks each Friday. Each bag typically contains two entrees, two breakfast items, shelf-stable milk and two healthy snacks. In addition, she said the volunteers are usually able to provide fresh fruit in the bags.
“All items are kid-friendly,” Rutjens said. “For example, anything that comes in a can has a tab opener. The idea is that the children are able to prepare the food themselves if needed.”
She said participation in the program is voluntary and confidential—only school personnel know which students are enrolled—and families sign up at the beginning of the school year.
“Last year, we were able to provide weekend food for 18 students (preschool – 6th grade) during the school year. This year, we are expanding and offering enrollment for all students through 12th grade,” Rutjens said. “We are currently getting students signed up for this school year.”
She said it costs approximately $150 per student for an entire school year’s food.
“There have been so many in the Tilden-Meadow Grove community who’ve donated to make this program a success – several individuals, churches, organizations, and businesses,” Rutjens said. “In addition, I’ve applied for and received two grants to help fund the program. We will be receiving a Venture Grant from Norfolk Area United Way in 2019.”
She said although Tilden is a small town, big things are happening due to their outstanding volunteers.
“We are a small town, and we don’t have many of the amenities that larger cities are able to offer, but we do have a caring and compassionate group of citizens who have worked hard to come up with a way to help our students and families in need,” Rutjens said.
She is pleased to see everyone pulling together to make the program a reality.
“I've been dreaming of getting this project rolling for a few years now, so it has been very exciting to see it finally come together!”
Tilden Legion Post 170 will host its 17th Annual Rib Fest on Saturday, Sept. 15.
The bar will open at 10 a.m. and judging is set to begin at 4 p.m. Judges will pick the best tasting ribs for first, second and third place winners. A People’s Choice award will also be presented for hors d’ oeuvres. Hors d’ oeuvres will be available at 1 p.m. with final voting at 3:45 p.m.
Ribs will be served at 4 p.m. until they run out. Attendees may go to the chef of their choice to get ribs straight off the grill or at the serving table. All-you-can-eat pork BBQ ribs will be served with beans and chips. Cost is $15 for adults, $5 for ages 5-12 and under age 5 is free. Carry out orders are available.
Those interested in entering the cook off may contact the Legion at 368-5370 or text Tom at 410-456-8804.
It's almost Homecoming week at Elkhorn Valley and the royal court has been announced.
The 2018 queen candidates are Destiny Beard, Kimberly Frey, Amber Miller, Hannah Ollendick and Sierra Rystrom. Selected as king candidates are Joshua McFarland, Mitchell Petersen, Brock Schaecher, Julio Sierra and Prestin Vondra.
The senior class also chose two master of ceremonies for the occasion: Skylar Glynn and Christian Yaw.
Coronation is set for next Friday, Sept. 14, at 1:15 p.m. in the old high school gym.
Homecoming week dress up days are as follows:
Monday - Nerd Day (dress like a nerd)
Tuesday - Friend Swap (dress like one of your friends, must be same gender)
Wednesday - Family Day (Get people together to build a family)
Thursday - Beach Day (Dress in Hawaiian or beach)
Friday - Green and White Day (Wear as much green and white as you have!)
The Homecoming dance is set for grades 9-12 on Saturday, Sept. 15 from 9 p.m. to midnight. Admission is $3 and pizza and pop will be provided.
Most schools have been in session for about a week, but one area school is getting an extra week of summer and a new school.
Elkhorn Valley School in Tilden is starting classes one week later than originally planned—August 22, instead of August 15— due to the construction of their new facility for grades 7-12 and remodeling of the existing elementary building.
“Talking with the construction company, we thought it would be wise to start a week later than scheduled just to get some of the finishing work done in the new building and make sure the remodeling in the 1987 elementary building was as close to completion as possible and still be able to have a normal school day,” said Keith Leckron, Elkhorn Valley superintendent.
He said there is still some work that won’t be done before students arrive on Wednesday.
“It’s not going to get in the way of learning,” Leckron said. “Also, I think our staff and students are kind of used to a bit of extra noise and commotion due to the construction project that’s been going on nearly a year and half now.”
The new 7-12 building has a new kitchen, commons area, shop, weight room, gym, wrestling room, science labs and a greenhouse on top of the shop. He said the major projects that are still unfinished include the weight room and the new four-classroom kindergarten and preschool wing.
“Those aren’t completed and won’t be until this fall, and we knew that at the end of the school year last year that that was a reality,” Leckron said. “In the new building and the 1987 building, it’s things like baseboards, some paint, some caps on windowsills, small things like that. Finishing work that won’t hurt the classrooms. It’s more how things look. It won’t affect the learning process.”
He said the preschool and kindergarten will start the same time as everyone else although the construction on those classrooms isn’t expected to be complete until mid-fall.
“They’ve started the shell, the outer steel,” the superintendent said. “There’s brickwork that hasn’t begun. Concrete’s been poured and all that, but there’s still a lot to do there.”
In the meantime, the preschool and kindergarten classes will temporarily be housed in the 1987 building and the new 7-12 building.
“We’re moving things around, shuffling things around to fit everybody in those two buildings,” Leckron said. “It’s not ideal, it’s not the best thing that we were hoping for, but it’s the best thing we have available. We don’t have portables on site, we’re not moving to a site off campus to hold anyone, so we’re making the best of, I don’t want to call it a bad situation, but a less than perfect situation.”
He said preschool will temporarily be located in what is called a flex room where various 7-12 classes will be held, like health class, CNA class or study halls.
“We had one elementary room that was not being used, that will be used in the future, but this year it’s not, and that’s the kindergarten room,” Leckron said. “And then our choir room is going to be split into temporary dividers to make two classrooms and one large room.”
When the preschool and kindergarten wing is complete, he said those classes will relocate to their new classrooms.
Although some of the construction may not be quite as far along as they had hoped, the staff and students are thrilled with the new facility.
“It’s super exciting. Totally worth the wait,” said Emily Vaughn, a P.E. teacher and coach in her 19th year at Elkhorn Valley. “We weathered quite a storm of low enrollment, one track all the way through elementary, and as classes were getting smaller and teachers were maybe leaving, we were absorbing and finding ways to fill their spots within, and now it’s really fun and exciting to see several teachers being hired back and just getting that double track through elementary.”
Vaughn said she is looking forward to using the extra space the new facility provides.
“Even last year we were finding we had 60 kids in the gym at one time and that was just junior high, and so that was two teachers and maybe a para part-time that was in the gym with us, and you just kind of find that you don’t have enough space and you’re outgrowing that,” she said.
The facility challenges due to increasing enrollment and aging buildings were what led Elkhorn Valley’s school board to discuss options, eventually leading voters to the passage of a $17.225 million bond in July of 2016. The original 1913 building and the 1922 building, which were demolished as part of this project, lacked air conditioning and students were outgrowing the deteriorating space. The upward swing in enrollment was evident by looking at the numbers. The PK-12 enrollment was 275 in 2008-09, and rose to 338 students in 2015-16.
Elkhorn Valley School teachers headed back to school on Friday and welcomed three new teachers for the 2018-19 school year.
New faces are Briley Eischeid, K-12 art teacher; Brandon Grosserode, agricultural education teacher and FFA advisor; and Monica Wiehn, media specialist, athletic director and assistant volleyball coach.
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