Saturday, December 24, 2016

Exeter-Milligan Update: View From the Front Office

by Exeter-Milligan Superintendent, Paul Sheffield

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go…”  Hard to believe it is that time of the year already.  It’s also the time of year to look back and give thanks for what we have and to lend a helping hand to those who are not as fortunate as we.
            During this time of the year, we all need to step back and take a look at our lives.  Are we happy with what we have?  Are we grateful for the blessings we have been given?  Or are we wishing our lives away, wishing we had more money, more things, more time?  Much too often we look at what others have and wish we had that too.  We probably need to do just the opposite.  We should celebrate what we DO have!  If we spend our time always looking somewhere else and wishing we had what they have, we never truly see what we have ourselves.  We never celebrate our uniqueness, our own accomplishments, our own treasures.  The grass always looks greener on the other side, but once you get there, it’s usually no different (or at times even worse) than what you already had.             
            Many of you may be aware, but we are looking into our options for volleyball for the 2017 season. It is very possible we will have only eight (8) volleyball players. Each of the options we have discussed has pros and cons.  Outlined below are the options being considered:
Option 1 – Stay on our own and take a chance with no injuries, etc
                        Pro’s – everyone would have the opportunity to play, still be in Crossroads
                        Conference, maintain our own program

                        Con’s – 1 or 2 injuries away from a rough season, difficult to practice/emulate
game situations, younger players possibly put into a situation not ready for

Option 2 – Co-op with a Friend
                        Pro’s – possible to field a full team including a JV and varsity

Con’s –playing time for E-M students not guaranteed, not guaranteed to be in the Crossroads Conference, working out co-op specifics (practice, games, colors, etc), may have less participate due to the co-op

             Option 3 – Co-op with Fillmore Central
                         Pro’s – field a full team (JV and Varsity), already have a working relationship due
                         to softball co-op

                         Con’s – playing time for E-M students not guaranteed, will not be in the
                         Crossroads Conference, working out co-op specifics (practice, games, colors, etc),
                          may have less participate due to the co-op

This will be discussed (with a possible decision) at the January school board meeting. We value
input, so please feel free to contact a board member or myself about which option you believe
would be the best for our students. We always need to keep our options open for other
opportunities that may come our way – our dance card is always open. The focus needs to be on
the success of the students and the opportunities that can be provided. The common goal must
be to provide the best opportunities for the students of Exeter-Milligan. Sometimes, those
opportunities may not be readily available here.

Change is never easy. Having a routine and keeping things the status quo is safe – we
know what to expect. On the other hand, could there be something that we miss when we don’t
venture out? My inspiration for this article has been my in-laws. Ten years ago this past week,
they made a huge change in their lives and stepped out of their comfort zone – they moved from
Minnesota to Arizona. They had lived in the same community for over 45 years (and in only two
houses during that time). Leaving what they had always known was a HUGE step for them. Not
once in ten years have they ever regretted this decision. If they could take this giant leap, can’t
we all take a small one?

Take a little time this holiday season to celebrate the blessings each of us has been given.
Celebrating life’s little successes along the way is something we should cherish. If we go
through life wishing all the time, how will we ever know if our wishes came true? Just a little
food for thought – have a safe and happy holiday season. ENJOY!

Christmas Caroling!

Members of the Christians in Action (CIA) youth group from Exeter caroled at the nursing homes in Geneva and Fairmont on December 14.  Members are between kindergarten in high school aged.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Exeter-Milligan Girl Scouts Donate Books

Exeter-Milligan Girl Scout Troop 20703 Brownies front row from the left are Sydney Engert, Aiyden Franssen and Brooklyn Oldehoeft in front of the many books they donated to the Exeter Public Library.  In the back row are Kendra Oldehoeft, left, their leader and Exeter Public Librarian Jessica Votipka.

What can a small group of Girl Scouts accomplish? Quite a lot when they put their mind to it.

Exeter-Milligan Girl Scout Troop 20703 had a plan when they heard about the opportunity for their Brownie group to have a booth at the Exeter Avenue Holiday Sampler in October.

The three girls, along with their mom’s baked and decorated everything from cookies and muffins to donuts that were donated by the Casey’s in Exeter.  They made their space attractive and advertised their objective: buying books for the Exeter Public Library.

During the sale, their leader Kendra Oldehoeft noted, “We had several who donated and didn’t want anything.  They just wanted to help us out.”

The girls donated 44 books to the Exeter Public Library.  The books were special because the girls were able to pick five of their favorites to include at the library.  Oldehoeft contacted Librarian Jessica Votipka to make sure that they didn’t duplicate any books the library already owned.

After the list was whittled down, Oldehoeft found a book about Juliette Lowe, the founder of the Girl Scouts along with other books that emphasize the empowerment of women.  She found books like one which tells about the first woman in space to help inspire girls in our community to expand their horizons.

Troop member Aiyden Franssen chose a book with several different endings that you can choose from.  She liked it because, “You decide the end.”

Another Brownie, Brooklyn Oldehoeft chose a set of Ronald Dahl books because she had read several of his titles including “James and the Giant Peach” and “The BFG” (The Big Friendly Giant).  She noted that she really likes this author and plans to read more of his work along with several other books that she chose.

Sydney Engert, also a Brownie, chose “Dinosaur vs the potty” “because it’s funny and it’s a good book.”

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Exeter-Milligan Second Grade Classroom

 Exeter-Milligan second graders show off the pages that the contributed to the book they published.  Front row from the left: Cheyenne Krupicka, Kaylie Schlueter and Sydney Engert.  Pictured in the back row from the left R.J. Clevenger, Truman Milton, Cohen Harre, Logan Johnson, Brooklyn Oldehoeft, and Adrien Mueller.

Cheyenne Krupicka shows the page she wrote and illustrated about wanting to become a Flight Attendant in the book the second grade class published.

The Exeter-Milligan second grade class with the girls in the front from the left: Cheyenne Krupicka, Sydney Engert, Kaylie Schlueter, and Brooklyn Oldehoeft.  The boys in the back from the left:  R J Clevenger, Cohen Harre, Truman Milton, Adrien Mueller and Logan Johnson.
Cheyenne Krupicka and Brooklyn Oldehoeft (right) work on their measuring skills.

Adrien Mueller (left) and Cohen Harre (right) work on numbers on their “cell phones” in the Exeter-Milligan second grade classroom.

The Exeter-Milligan second grade class has already participated in several fun experiences this school year.  Early in the year they participated in the Outdoor Education Day along with the high school Biology students who led them in sessions during the event.  They spent the day at Gilbert’s Park in Exeter doing outdoor experiments and journaling about their discoveries.
The class just received the copies of the book they wrote and had published about the jobs they want to do when they grow up.  The students researched the field they are interested in, drew a picture of themselves in the future and wrote about the job they would want to do. 
According to their teacher, Marla Weber, “This class accepts challenges eagerly.  They used new strategies learned in writing to compose their book. They were totally amazed when they saw their completed book.”
They will have one of their monthly authors’ teas soon to share their excerpts from the book with their guests, their parents.  The students plan to dress like the job they want when they grow up.
The students love using technology in the classroom.  According to Weber, “The students love QR code scavenger hunts or GooseChase hunts--an app we have on iPads. They do projects on their iPads and make presentations throughout the year.”
To bring them back to history, Weber plans an annual Pioneer Day at the Saline County Museum in Dorchester in the spring.  The students will meet their pen pals from Friend at the museum and enjoy a day of learning what a school day was like during pioneer times along with touring the museum and eating lunch like pioneer children.  They will also get to make butter, shell corn, make candles and do some laundry.