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.
Darrel and Georgia Wyatt are known by almost everyone in Tilden for their kindness and pride for the community.
The Wyatts can be seen helping out at almost any event happening in town, and Darrel is a council member on the Tilden City Council.
This year, the community thought that they deserved to be recognized for their efforts.
Darrel and Georgia Wyatt were selected by The Tilden Bank to be recipients of the 2018 Tilden Outstanding Citizens Award. Nominees for the award were selected by the public for their countless efforts and energy they put forth to the community.
Although Darrel had been nominated multiple times in the past, Georgia said that they didn’t see the award coming.
“We were surprised, and it makes you feel good that you realize that people appreciate you,” she said.
Georgia went on to say that making a difference in the community is what drives them to give back their time and effort to Tilden.
“A lot of things you do you just do because you love the community and you want to make a difference,” Georgia said. “I feel like, if God gives you a talent, that you are supposed to use it to make a difference.”
Darrel said that what keeps him going is simple: the people.
“I like to do it. I like people,” he said.
Georgia, who is partially responsible for the start of Prairie Days in 2004, said that this year tested the future of the celebration. After putting an article in the paper as a call to action for volunteers, Molly Navratil and Larissa Frey stepped up to help, and Georgia said their efforts were incredible.
“I put an article in the paper that said ‘To have or to not have Prairie Days,’ because we needed the help, and two young ladies stepped forward to help, and they were fantastic,” Georgia said.
She said the efforts by those in the community that came forward to help with the celebration opened up the possibilities of Prairie Days.
“It was very encouraging this year,” Georgia said. “There were many different groups that took it upon themselves to handle and do the event, and that took a lot of pressure off of us.”
After seeing the success of Prairie Days and the community pull together after a storm almost jeopardized the celebration, Georgia said she hopes that pride will continue into the future.
“I hope it goes on. It’s amazing seeing everyone so involved and showing so much pride in the community.”
A area living complex celebrated five years of operation during the Prairie Days Celebration in Tilden over the weekend.
Prairie View Assisted Living, located in Tilden, celebrated five years of serving the community and it's residents with an open house on Sunday, July 29. Visitors had a chance to tour the facility, enjoy cookies and coffee and enjoy a slideshow put together by Angela Cuffe.
A pancake feed from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Tilden's American Legion attracted a hungry crowd and line on Sunday.
By 10:30 a.m., breakfast had already been served to 280 people.
For five hours, hot, fresh pancakes were flipped and served on the last day of the Prairie Days Celebration.
Bruce and Brenda Grubb made pancakes, while their son, Jeremiah, and other local people volunteered to help out.
Food was provided by Thrivent Financial and E.V. Teammates.
About 80 adults and youth signed up for the bright-and-early 5K and 10K Fun Run and Kid Run as part of the Prairie Days Celebration in Tilden on Sunday.
At 8 a.m., the 5K and 10K Fun Run kicked off at the hospital park. The Kid Run followed, starting at 9 a.m.
In the Kid Run, children were divided into 8 and under and 9-12 groups to run 1 mile, with the 8 and under group dashing first.
For the women’s division of the 5K, Gina Abramson finished in first with a time of 23:22. Kerri Dietrich had the second fastest time of 25:00, and Olivia Nall came in third with a time of 26:17.
As for the men’s division of the 5K, Hunter Bennett crossed the cones first with a time of 19:54. Second went to Wyatt Nierodzik with a time of 22:55, and Jeffrey Tanner earned third with a time of 24:00.
For the 10K, runners continued on the route for a second lap. In the women's division, Tina Sauzer had the fastest time of 45:57. Angie Werner came in second, 46:27, and Erica Robertson finished third, 58:43.
In the men's division, Jake Rich completed the stretch first with a time of 40:33. Brayden Effle followed in second, 43:12, and Isiah Greenhaugh came in third, 45:27.
The top three in the men and women's divisions of the 5K and 10K received cash prizes.
As for the Kid Run, the top three in each age group won a water bottle. All children were given medals.
In the 8 and under group, Abe Johnson came in first, then Blake Rutjens and then Sawyer Tegeler and Hank Johnson tied for third.
For the 9-12 age group, Wyatt Nierodzik was the speediest, and he was followed by BJ Taake and then Cameron Rutjens.
Once all awards were dispersed, three door prizes were also given out, including exercise balls and a yoga mat. Barbara Peitzmeier, Kurt Skillstad and Angie Werner were selected to receive those.
Costs for the Fun Run were $3 per person, $13 with a T-shirt, in the 5K and $8 per person, $18 with a T-shirt, in the 10K. The Kid Run costed $3 per participant.
Proceeds from the runs go to Prairie Days.
A fan favorite in the Prairie Days Celebration returned yet another year- but with a twist.
On Saturday, July 28, the 13th annual Drag Your Nag was held at the high school football field in Tilden along with Prairie Days Celebration. Teams have to make their way through an obstacle course made up of many different sections, including a "spider web," in which teams had to crawl their way through a maze of strings.
In years past, the man would have to carry the woman through the course. This year, however, teams were connected to each other with harnesses, and had to work as a team to complete the course and beat the competition.
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