Saturday, May 12, 2018

Exeter-Milligan Update; View from the Front Office


            The countdown has begun!  Today I asked a senior girl how many days of school were left and she quickly replied 23. I didn’t bother to check if she was correct, but I figured with the quickness of her answer, it had to be spot on. It was just a year ago I could ask my own daughter how many days were left in the school year.  I thought last year went quick, since my baby was a senior, but I have to admit this year seems to have flown by quicker.  It seems like we were just getting ready for graduation and in just a few short weeks we will no longer have an empty nest as Haylee wraps up her first year of college.
          Speaking of that empty nest, I will admit that I did much better than I thought I would.  At Easter service, I leaned over to Karla and made the comment this was the first Easter we’ve spent alone.  She negated that comment, stating we spent our first two Easters without kids. I gave her the “you know what I mean” look and she just smiled.  This was our first childless Easter in 28 years, but we didn’t celebrate as if we were childless. We had some peeps and jellybeans AND made some small Easter gift bags for some “adopted” kids. Overall, though, I have done well with the empty nest.
          Karla on the other hand… One night as we were sitting in our chairs watching TV, she looks over at me and says, “I miss my kids and my foreigns!” I truly believe Karla missed the personal connection to being involved with the school. When she would attend an activity, that personal connection (the relationship) wasn’t there. I still have the daily contact with kids and get my “kid fix” each and every day (and wouldn’t trade it for anything.) This is not the case for Karla. So, after a little discussion, the Sheffield home will, again, host a foreign exchange student - a boy from Dortmund, Germany.
          We have enjoyed hosting “foreigns” and this will be our 6th one.  Each of our previous foreigns has had a remarkable experience.  Where else can they become a member of such a close knit family - not just our personal one, but the E-M family.  Everyone has embraced each foreign as their own. This experience is not something they can learn in a book or even watch in a movie.  It is all about the relationships that are built, developed, and nurtured. That is the experience we want each of them to have - to know they are loved, embraced, and welcomed as one of our own. 
This is also true as an educator - it is about the relationships we build with our students. These relationships are not something we can quantify. We can’t place a price tag on them - they won’t show up in test scores, average daily attendance, cost per pupil.  However, it’s what brings us all together; it’s what makes the lonely student come back each day; it’s what sustains the hungry second grader; it’s what gives the senior the hope for tomorrow. Nothing nourishes my heart more than the 2nd grader rushing to greet you in the morning with a hug or the 7th grader getting a huge smile when you tell them they did a great job yesterday at the track meet. It is truly all about the relationships.
As we say “so long for now” to our graduating seniors, my wish for each of them is this: I hope they have learned as much from me as I have from them. We have grown together as Timberwolves and it has been an AMAZING transformation as each has matured into such fine young adults! This transformation is not nearly complete, so go the distance. I will wrap this up with two music quotes:

“Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.”

“Who says you can’t go back
Been all around the world as a matter of fact
There’s only one place left I want to go
Who says you can’t go home!”

To the  Class of 2018: You will ALWAYS have a home at Exeter-Milligan.
We’ll leave the light on for ya!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Exeter-Milligan Update: Final Goodbyes and First Hellos

By Paul Sheffield, Superintendent

As the end of the school year approaches, we will say goodbye to a few of our E-M family members.  Our first so long is to Judy Kassik. Due to health reasons, Judy was unable to continue in her role as kindergarten teacher. Nothing is more important in the education of a child than getting them off to a fabulous start.  Judy has done this at E-M for over a quarter of a century!  I will miss hearing her voice emanating from the kindergarten room and her excitement as she explained how she saw the brown breasted booby, a bird not normally found in NE (she was an AVID bird watcher). I even had to time my visits to the kindergarten room as she embraced “brain breaks” - physical activity breaks between learning sessions.  Some of those brain breaks were rather tiring. Enjoy your bird watching and quilting - you deserve it!
We also say so long to Haley Stutzman, our Spanish teacher.  Haley has accepted a position with Bertrand Public Schools. We wish her well with her new endeavor not only at Bertrand, but also with her new title of wife. I will admit I have been pretty relentless giving Haley a bad time about wanting to be with her future husband (he works for the NRD in Holdrege) instead of with us at E-M. I hope she realizes I only did this to help with my own transition to not having her here with us.  We will miss Haley and wish her nothing but the best!
On the flip side, we get to welcome some new E-M family members.  Lisa Ricenbaw will be our new Spanish teacher and Amanda (Larson) Pettygrove with be our new kindergarten teacher.  We are excited to add these two new teachers to the fold and hope everyone takes some time to welcome them to the Pack.
One other new, exciting venture for the 2018-19 school year is the addition of a part-time ag instructor. Friend and E-M have agreed to share an ag teacher/FFA advisor. Jesse Bower, a California native, will fill this position.  We are excited to have her as part of the E-M family and also look forward to having an ag program once again.
Our last fare-thee-well is to Dixie Krejci.  Even though Dixie has left us in body, she will definitely live on with us in spirit.  Not a day went by that Dixie didn’t have a smile on her face. She could ALWAYS find the positive spin on every situation - whether it was the student who was naughty in class, the student who forgot about sportsmanship at recess, or the student who was the noisiest at lunch. Her legacy will live on through all of us. Dixie - Because I knew you, I have been changed for good – until we meet again!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Exeter-Milligan Elementary Field Day

Friday, May 4, was a beautiful day for Exeter-Milligan’s Elementary Field Day.
The kindergarten through sixth graders enjoyed a variety of track and field events while family members and supporters cheered them on.

Above - Second graders Addison Foutch, left, and Richard Hickman, race down the stretch.
Below – Fifth grader Carter Milton stretches to get a longer jump.

Above -  Third grader Truman Milton makes it over the high jump bar.
Below – Second grade teacher Marla Weber, middle right and kindergarten teacher Melanie Papik far right give their students instructions on how to run a relay.  Pictured listening from the left are Deacon Erdkamp, Mackenzie Jaeger, Scout Grummons, Wil Kallhoff, and Aaliyah Million.

Above – Beau Becker passes the baton to Brynnlye Johnson in the relay race at the Exeter-Milligan Elementary Field Day.
Below – First grader Kate Pribyl gives it her all in her length of the relay.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Roger Ogren Obituary

Roger Allen Ogren was born on April 9, 1943 in LeMars, Iowa, to Paul and Catherine (Pitts) Ogren. He passed away on May 2, 2018, in Exeter surrounded by his family at the age of 75 years and 23 days. He was one of five boys born in the family.

Roger A. Ogren, a retired cattleman and cattle feeder resided with his wife, Sara outside Exeter, Nebraska on their family farm where Sara grew up as a child. Roger saw people, especially cattlemen, as opportunities and set out to make them his friends. He relied on the goodness that he believed God has invested in all mankind to emerge, both in business and friendship. From growing up farming with his brothers near Marcus in Iowa, Roger shipped off to Vietnam during his college education years and served honorably. He made brutally difficult choices there, as have generations of his brothers-in-arms.

He came home deeply grateful for his life and for the opportunities before him. Roger married Sara Klemm, the love of his life in Exeter, and went on to raise and nurture an adventurous, talented and tight knit family of four children to adulthood and eight grandchildren. By all measures, Roger was richly rewarded by his faith in God, and in people. He lived his life of commitment to treating one another with respect and kindness this he will be remembered for.

Roger was a member of the St. Stephens Catholic Church and the American Legion. He understood that there was great suffering in the world even while he endured the painful effects from his war service, Roger accessed treatment and drove for significant improvement in VA provided care.

He sought wisdom more than wordly goods, more kinship than kudos, and more hope that hype. For Roger, at last, the guns are silent and the battle concluded. Rest well soldier. We love you.

Roger is preceded in death by his parents Paul and Catherine.
He is survived by his wife, Sara of Exeter; sons, Justin, Ryan (Bambi) and children Ashtyn, Elijah, Gabriel and Noah of Omaha, Aaron (Eva Turbiville) and children Maizy and Mason, and daughter Shannon (Ciffton) Schultz and children Jalen and Logan of Seward; brothers, Rod, Ken (Kate), Steve (Renea) and Chuck (Kay) all of Marcus, Iowa; nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Exeter-Milligan Athletic Banquet

 Exeter-Milligan three sport athletes are pictured front row from the left:  Cammie Harrison, Jaiden Papik, Anna Sluka, Kayla Geiger, Kate Jansky, Katherine White, Hannah Beethe.  Back row from the left:  Trever Zelenka, Max Zeleny, Jackson Beethe, Dylan Bonds, Mitchell Manning, Spencer Pribyl, and Tara Mueller.  Theron Odvody is not pictured.

Exeter-Milligan students show off their trophies from the athletic banquet front row from the left:  Josie Kresak (Leonard Kassik softball player of the year), Katherine White (female athlete of the year), Jaiden Papik (Bill Fitzgerald female rookie of the year), Hannah Beethe (Bill Fitzgerald Volleyball player of the year), Katie Mounce (female team player of the year).  Back row from the left: Tara Mueller (Gary Ruhl female basketball player of the year) , Jackson Beethe (Bill Fitzgerald male rookie of the year), Patrick Murphy (male team player of the year), Eric Olsen (Gary Ruhl female basketball player of the year and male athlete of the year) and Joey Bartu (football player of the year).

Exeter-Milligan held their annual Athletic Banquet in the Exeter gym on Tuesday evening.  Principal Laura Kroll welcomed the crowd and after a meal was shared, introduced the guest speaker Hunter Radenslaben.

Radenslaben started tweeting when he was twelve years old and now, at the age of 19, has over 82,000 followers.  He founded the @AthleteNationCo which primarily shares inspirational stories with their roots in sports.

His message was how he used sports to cope with a difficult time in his life.  He saw how in his own life being involved in sports helped him during the death of his mother when he was a teenager.
After her death he found a note tucked away in her handwriting that read, “Help people.”

He realized he was “living my life for myself.  The noted opened my eyes to helping others.  To use my passion for sports to help people.  I share stories that deserve to be told.”

“Sports are providing the platform where we can share stories that are changing lives.  We can make a difference in a couple people’s lives.  How can that change the world?  It can start right here, right now in a small town.”

After Radenslaben spoke the banquet began with Lorie Sliefert, assistant softball coach, reading a note from Aarlon Lauby, Fillmore Central/Exeter-Milligan softball coach.  Each player was recognized along with their accomplishments and Josie Kresak received the Leonard Kassik softball player of the year trophy.

Phyllis Severson recognized the current cheerleaders and introduced the squad for next year includes Macy Due, Cammie Harrison, Daisy Kanode, Natalie Staskal, Cameran Jansky and Emma Olsen.

Football Coach Dean Filipi noted his team this year was small and got smaller due to injuries but had a “never give up attitude with a willingness to play wherever needed.  Sometimes they played several different positions in one game.”

The players, student managers and support staff were recognized and Joey Bartu was recognized as the football player of the year.

Darcy White, volleyball coach, introduced her state championship team, “We had an amazing season. . . we only had 10 players who worked like a team of twenty.” 

White shared the stats of each player as she had them come to the front.  She recognized Katie Mounce as the “unsung hero of the team.  She was probably the best thing that happened to Exeter-Milligan volleyball this season.”

Hannah Beethe received the Bill Fitzgerald volleyball player of the year. 

Lisa Kanode shared information on the junior high volleyball team before Jackson Krejci took the podium and spoke about junior high basketball and high school basketball.

Krejci introduced his team and shared some of the statistics that helped the team on their journey to finish third place at the state tournament. Tara Mueller received the Gary Ruhl female player of the year trophy.

Filipi returned to talk about the boys basketball team.  After thanking the student managers and others Filipi recognized the team and the honors they received throughout the season.  With a record of 20-6 they fell just short of getting a berth at the state tournament. Filipi mentioned there were a few games they could have used “five more minutes.” 

Eric Olsen received the Gary Ruhl male player of the year trophy.

Filipi introduced the golf team and briefly discussed the rest of the golf season.

Matt Nicholas introduced Macy Due, the golf team member and talked about their goals for next season.

Kanode returned to the stage to discuss junior high girls track before Katherine Smith gave a synopsis of the high school girls track season so far. The girls team has been very successful season and Smith looks forward to taking several competitors to the state meet.

Brian Murphy spoke about the junior high football, basketball and track teams.  He introduced the team members present and their records before discussing high school track.  He noted that the 2017 Walt Barkmeier Boys Track Trophy winner was Trystan Brandt and the 2018 winner has not been chosen.  Murphy introduced the high school track team and noted some of the accomplishments.

The three sport athletes recognized were freshman: Jackson Beethe, Dylan Bonds, Cammie Harrison and Jaiden Papik.  Sophomores who are three sport athletes are: Kayla Geiger, Anna Sluka and Max Zeleny.  The three sport athletes who are Juniors are: Kate Jansky, Mitchell Manning, Theron Odvody, Spencer Pribyl, Katherine White and Trever Zelenka.  The two seniors who are three sport athletes are Hannah Beethe and Tara Mueller.

Patrick Murphy was recognized as the male team player of the year while Katie Mounce was the female team player of the year.  Eric Olsen was the male athlete of the year and Katherine White was the female athlete of the year.  The Bill Fitzgerald Rookie of the year trophies were presented to Jackson Beethe and Jaiden Papik.