Daily Archives: September 19, 2013

GHS gearing up for homecoming

by marlys good

Greybull High School will be showing “Buff Pride” next week as the students celebrate homecoming.

Leading up to the festivities at the end of the week will be dress-up days. Monday has been designated as Color Wars, Tuesday students will dress up as their favorite superhero, and Wednesday as a character from a movie. The halls will be alive with look-alikes Thursday for Twin Day, which will include the traditional Burning of the “G” at 6:30 p.m. Prior to the bonfire the classes will engage in a water balloon fight; may the best class win.

Friday students will show their school pride by wearing blue and gold. The Greybull Booster Club will serve lunch to all the middle/high school students prior to the homecoming parade at 12:30 p.m.

Netters will have to hurry back from the parade and don their uniforms for a homecoming match with the Burlington Lady Huskies at 2, 3 and 4 p.m.

The king and queen will be announced and crowned during halftime of the Greybull-Pinedale football game, which kicks off at  7 p.m.

Capping the celebration is the homecoming dance Friday evening.

Since “homecoming” is traditionally the time alumni are welcomed back to their old “stomping grounds,” it is hoped to see many former graduates lining the streets, sitting in the bleachers, or standing on the sidelines to cheer on their old alma mater.

 

 

Building projects highlight school agenda

by nathan oster

The Big Horn County School District No. 3 received updates on its proposed new middle school and the implementation of its pass-card system during its meeting last week in the GHS library/media center.

Supt. Barry Bryant said the architectural firm hired to design the new Greybull Middle School would be in town this week, with three days of meetings planned Wednesday through Friday, and that it intends to gather input from parents, teachers and students during their visit.

The SFC has approved the construction of the new school, but to date, the school district has only received a portion of the funds required to plan the facility. Bryant said he plans to approach the School Facilities Commission this month to formally request the rest of the planning money.

“It should be an easy deal,” Bryant said, noting that the SFC fully supports the construction of the new school.

Shifting to the elementary school, Bryant said he’s still optimistic about the modular classrooms being in place by the end of this fall.  He sold the need for the modular classrooms to the SFC, citing overcrowding and a student population that was pressed up against building capacity.

But he admitted Tuesday that he didn’t realize at the time that he’d be the one doing the legwork to line up the modular buildings. “I’m working on that,” he said, adding that he’s been on the phone with school business managers and vendors in recent days.

Bryant said the decision whether to purchase or lease the modulars has not yet been made.

While purchasing would seem to make more financial sense, Bryant said the SFC — which will ultimately the pay the bill — is pushing the district to lease the modulars.   The school district will be responsible for the furnishings that go inside the modulars.

“It’s going to come down to cost,” said Bryant of the lease vs. own discussion.  He added, however, that there, “aren’t a lot of modulars out there right now”

Bryant also provided an update on the district’s plan to issue ID cards to students who ride the bus.  He has said in the past that they are included in a two-year contract with Zonar, which equipped all of the district’s buses with GPSs. With the GPSs, the district is able to track its buses, including their location, whether they are being driven too fast or whether they are stopped too long in a given location.  Each of those functions bring a benefit to the district, said Bryant, citing among other things the fact that are places around Shell where the district has no ability to communicate with its drivers.

But some parents, particularly at the elementary school, have voiced concerns about the cards being hacked and strangers possibly having access to personal information about their children and their families.

Staff — specifically, administrators and secretaries — completed the Zonar training on Sept. 5 and the equipment needed to run the system is still being installed on the buses.

The district is going to proceed cautiously, Bryant said. Instead of rolling it out to everyone, it will first do a test run, issuing the cards to about 20 or so people with ties to the building leadership team. “We’re going to let parents report to us about how they like it,” Bryant said.

 

Other business

In other news to emerge from a relatively light agenda for the September meeting:

• Kyler Flock provided the Student Council report, saying the council had been busy participating in Suicide Prevention Week activities and that it recently held its first ever Student Council election. This week, Student Council officers planned to attend a leadership summit in Riverton and begin preparations for Homecoming, which is Sept. 23-27.

• Charlene Collingwood approached the school board about middle school swimming.  With no pool, there won’t be a Greybull-Cloud Peak program, as there has been in the past.  But she wanted to know whether the district would be willing to help pay transportation costs for middle school students to swim in either Worland or Lovell. She said she knew she was late in coming to the board, considering swimming season typically starts in November which is just about six weeks away, but she said approximately 10 kids from Greybull would be interested in swimming.

Bryant told her that while the district is supportive of students who want to participate in programs not offered in Greybull, it has drawn the line in the past at paying for transportation costs, leaving that to the parents and the students themselves. In fact, three current GHS students are swimming with the Worland Warriors — and paying the transportation costs themselves.

Trustee Selena Brown also noted that the board has placed a freeze on all new activities, citing concerns about the money being spent annually on activities.  But Trustee Mike Meredith said middle school swimming wasn’t a new program in his view because it has been offered by the district in the past.

As for transportation costs, the challenge for the district isn’t paying for the gas, but rather, finding a school vehicle and driver to make the runs for participants, according to Trustee Jamie Flitner. On top of that, with no pool, the district didn’t budget any money for a middle school swimming program for the current fiscal year.

The decision ended with Supt. Barry Bryant telling the board and Collingwood that he would investigate all aspects of the middle school swimming issue, including participation and transportation costs.

• In personnel moves, the board accepted the resignation of Becky Sorenson, a paraprofessional at the elementary school, and Melanie Craft, who had been employed as a cook for the district.  In Sorenson’s case, she’s leaving effective Sept. 30 in order to devote more time to her husband’s outfitting business.  Craft, meanwhile, has taken another job.

On the hiring side, the board tapped Michael Jaycox as a senior class sponsor, Teresa Boyer as a junior class sponsor and Dawn Thur as a Student Council advisor.

• The board approved out-of-district requests from Juan and Monica Porras and Richard and Cassie Russell for their children to attend Greybull schools.  The Porras children are in the first and fourth grades, the Russell children in the first and third grades.

• In the clerk’s report, Bryant provided an overview of a recent board retreat, which one board member called “a good discussion.”  Among the topics: district goals, stakeholder involvement, new weighted GPA system, a four-day school week, sports schedules, Response to Intervention, a proposal to one day move the weight room equipment from Buff Gym to the GMS Gym, the growing ELL population, a proposal for a town hall meeting for stakeholders, the school lunch program, the loss of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and the need for new volunteers for the fresh fruits and vegetables program in the schools.

• The board recognized home-school registrations for four students: Alyssa Roll, Emily Roll, Lea Petersen and Tripp Flora.

• In administrator reports, GES Principal Brenda Jinks wrote that her school’s open house for parents is set for Tuesday, Sept. 24 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Greybull police officers have been working with the school on bike safety, stranger danger and monthly drills, and that DIBELS and NWEA Map testing began Sept. 9 and would provide the school with “new baseline data to form teaching and learning groups and target specific deficits in students’ learning.”

GMS Principal Scott McBride said student participation in activities is “very good” to begin the year, reporting that 41 are out for football, 40 for volleyball, 32 for Student Council, 16 for Challenge of the Books, 25 for Science Fair/Olympiad and 42 for band.  Parent Night at GMS is set for Thursday, Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m.  The school is touting the event as “Dinner and 10 Ways to Help Your Student Get an ‘A.’”  It will be held at GMS this year.

GHS Principal Ty Flock said his building was also in the midst of NWEA Map testing. In addition, he said a closer look at ACT scores showed a large gulf between students who scored well and those who didn’t — and that the school has taken steps to try to narrow that gap.  After school programs are also getting started at the school, he said.

Special Services Director Lee Clucas reported that the district had sent 10 new employees to get training in Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI) and that 10 staff members attended a recent conference in Billings on autism and sensory needs.

• The board reinstated a student’s request to be allowed to participate in activities.  The male student, who attends GHS, can practice through Jan. 10 and resume full status with respect to activities on Jan. 10, 2014.

Supt. Barry Bryant said school policy permits students to appeal one year after they are suspended from activities.  The district allowed this particular student to appeal a little earlier, and the decision to allow that student to practice between now and Jan. 10, 2010 is an exception, said Bryant, adding that the student has been barred from activities since January.

If there is another incident involving the suspension reason, the student would not be allowed to participate in activities for the rest of his time in high school.

 

First session well attended

by nathan oster

Approximately 35 local resident joined those who had submitted their input online by participating in the first three listening sessions of Greybull’s community assessment on Tuesday afternoon and evening.

A team of volunteers led by Kim Porter, a program manager for the Wyoming Rural Development Council, heard from people of varying backgrounds during the three sessions, which were held at Town Hall and The Speakeasy.

The first session — the one planned for people in the retail, business, industrial, utilities and insurance sector — drew the biggest turnout of the day.  The second session, set aside for the professional/finance/banking sector, drew only three people, but 10 crowded into the Speakeasy for a general listening session to cap off the day.

Several common themes emerged from the sessions.

When it comes to challenges facing the community, people at both sessions agreed that the community lacks things for young people to do, the downtown area is suffering from the loss of businesses and empty storefronts and that tourists aren’t stopping.

A sampling of the comments:

• “There’s nothing for kids to do…things like a swimming pool, bowling alleys, theaters.  We have had them all at one time or another.  We’ve lost them all.”

• “The downtown area is suffering. It’s sad to see so many empty buildings.”

• “The lack of a community pool is a terrible thing.”

• “The town lacks good, high quality rental units.”

• “We need to work together more.”

• “With businesses closing at a rapid rate, our tax base is disappearing.”

• “We have a nation of unfit kids … healthy activities are being lost.”

• “We lack attractions to retain and attract young people.”

• “More tourist activities are needed during the summer months.”

• “Volunteer involvement is on the decline.”

• “There is too much negativity in the community.  We need to get over that; we need to quit being so self serving.”

• When people come to Greybull, they need a reason to stay here.  Things close up so early…what do you do in this town if you’re a tourist and it’s after 5 o clock?”

• “We need to clean up our river.”

• “We don’t have enough community activities;  it would be great to get something going again on the Fourth of July.”

While no one had any trouble naming the challenges facing the community, the list of its assets was equally long.  Residents at both sessions said they enjoy living in Greybull, citing its small-town atmosphere, close proximity to the mountains and reputation as a good place to raise a family.

Some of the other assets that were mentioned on Tuesday were the railroad, the airport, the industrial park, the stress-free, laid-back lifestyle, the friendly and creative people who live here and a number of forward-thinking business people.

Porter also asked people who attended the listening session to think about projects they’d like to see completed in the next two, five, 10 and 20 years. She encouraged them to dwell on what the projects would cost, but rather to imagine what they would like to see if they left town and returned in two, five, 10 and 20 years.

Other members of the resource team that is in town conducting the assessment are April Thompson of Rock Springs, Sue Taylor, the executive director of Lovell, Inc., Kristin Phipps with the Office of Tourism, Andrea Massey of Trident Energy Services and Dan Clark, a private consultant with experience in Air Force and with the Department of Environmental Quality.

The assessment concludes today with three sessions this morning in the GHS auditorium.  The education sector goes at 8 a.m., the recreation/jobs session is at 9 a.m. and the tourism/chamber/economic development sector goes at 10:40 a.m.

The team will present a report on what it heard during a town hall style meeting at 7 p.m. at the Herb Asp Community Center.

Happy birthday, Thelma Smith

by marlys good

There are birthday parties – and then there are birthday parties. There are parties with a few guests, ones with a roomful of guests, or a once-in-a-lifetime party that has fence-to-fence guests (110 at last count) filling the back yard.

That was the type of party Thelma Smith enjoyed July 4 in an early celebration of her 90th birthday hosted by her daughter and son-in-law, Connie and Lane Keisel at their home in Fairview, Utah.

All eight of Smith’s children, their spouses and most of their children/grandchildren were in attendance. Canopies were set up over the tables in the back yard to protect guests from the hot sun and the whole scene was bright with balloons and banners.

There was no dearth of food and activities for “kids” of every age – water pool, water slide, football, basketball, volleyball, fish pond, horseback riding, hula-hoop contest and candy toss with a large slingshot.  You name it they probably played it, either planned or impromptu.

Topping off the festivities was a backyard movie with the film projected on the shop door. Kids rolled out their sleeping bags, everyone got comfortable, (“You gotta have popcorn and candy,” Smith wrote) and the film began.

Smith said she considered herself “a very lucky mother. I thank my dear family for the marvelous occasion. With this kind of support I may live to be 100,” she wrote.

Smith’s husband, the late Metz, died in 1995. Thelma served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Las Vegas for a year, and then moved to Utah to be nearer to family.

Then about a year ago,  the Keisels moved Smith into a small guest house at their home in Fairview. “It has become my headquarters and offers me all the comforts of home,” Smith said.

 

Loretta Fay Brown

OBIT Brown, LorettaMay 4, 1934 – Sept. 4, 2013

Funeral services for Loretta Fay Brown were held Sept. 14 at Davis Funeral Home in Riverton. Loretta, 79, died Sept. 4 at the Help for Health Hospice Home in Riverton.

She was born May 4, 1934, in Sunset, Okla., the daughter of Haurice “Honk” and Florella Welcome Woods Fausset.

When Loretta was an infant, the family moved to Worland. Loretta graduated from Worland High School in 1952, attended Asbury College in Kentucky for a year and then attended the University of Denver where she received her nursing degree in 1957. (She played clarinet in the University of Denver marching band.)

Loretta and her children moved to the family farm outside of Worland in 1970. She worked as a nurse for Dr. Whitemore. She later served as the director of nursing services at Bethesda Care Center in Worland, and also worked as a realtor for several years.

In March 1987 Loretta moved to Riverton where she served as the director of nursing at Wind River Healthcare. She later became the administrator of the facility. She retired June 1, 1996.

On May 6, 1995, she married Ken Brown at the United Methodist Church in Riverton.

Loretta was a member of the United Methodist Churches in Riverton and Worland and enjoyed singing in the choir. She was also a member of the Riverton and Worland Soroptimists and the Meadowlark Good Sam Club.

She lived life to the fullest. She loved to golf, camp, ride her trail bike, fly fish, press flowers and make cards; hunting birds and big game, riding horses, dancing and playing the piano. She was known as a great cook, seamstress and an avid skier, working as a ski patrol at Meadowlark Ski Resort.

She was preceded in death by her parents and a grandson, Wyatt William Fausset Hunt.

She is survived by her husband Ken of Riverton; sons, Allan Hill and his partner Sergio of Los Angeles, Mark and Evi Hill of Riverton; daughter and son-in-law Marvin and Cheryl Hill Hunt of Greybull; step-daughter Kimberly Parks of Billings; two step-sons, Eric Brown of Azebaijan, and Kenneth T. Brown of Casper; sister and brother-in-law, Bill and Phyllis Glanz of Worland; four granddaughters and two step-grandchildren.

Cremation has taken place and a memorial marker will be set at Riverview Cemetery in Worland.

Memorial contributions to the Help for Health Hospice Home can be made in care of: Davis Funeral Home, 2203 W. Main St., Riverton WY 82501.

 

Buffs beat Rebels in conference opener

by marlys good

The Greybull Lady Buffs opened conference play with a three game victory over Riverside Thursday night, 25-13, 25-10, 25-12. Greybull kept the Rebels off balance in all three games with both their serves and their hitting attack.

“The girls stayed very focused and played well,” said Coach Sara Schlattmann. “I was very proud of them.”

Schlattman said serving was the key. The 92 percent for the team was led by Brett Stephens who was a perfect 22 of 22 with four aces. Aftin DeRosa and Britney Fink were also perfect from behind the line. The Buffs also registered 25 kills and four blocks in the three games.

Greybull had just a day to savor the victory before they headed over the mountains to the Big Horn Tournament.

The Buffs shared a pool with Kaycee, Burlington, Tongue River and top-ranked Wright. The format was two games to 25. The Buffs got off to a good start by beating Kaycee, 25-13, 25-18 and Burlington, 25-16, 25-21. Tongue River proved to be a tougher opponent and the Buffs lost the first game, 8-25, but grabbed the momentum and won the second game, 25-19.  In the culmination of pool play Saturday morning Greybull faced Wright, a “very solid team currently ranked first in the state,” according to Schlattmann. The Panthers lived up to the hype and beat the Buffs, 13-25, 15-25.

“We did some really great things, rallying, digging and working very hard. We just had a few mental lapses, and got ourselves in a hole we couldn’t dig out of,” Schlattmann said.

The pool record gave the Buffs an eighth seed into the bracketed tournament. Schlattmann noted, “This is the first time we have ever made it into the top bracket in this tournament since I have been coaching,” she aid.

Unfortunately, Wright was the top seed in the top bracket and the Buffs had to face them in the first match. The results were almost exactly the same as in pool play with Wright winning 13-25, 15-25.

“We struggled in our serve receive and that caused us to get behind early and we were not able to recover. We now know what the top competition looks like and we will continue to work on the details so we can compete and win these matches come tournament time.”

The Buffs host Rocky Mountain in 4, 5 and 6 p.m. matches today (Thursday, Sept. 19).  Saturday it’s off to Thermopolis for a 16-team tourament.

 

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