Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Exeter-Milligan Update: View from the Front Office

                    We were fortunate enough to celebrate Thanksgiving with all of our children. Our oldest, Brett, is in the Navy and stationed in Norfolk, VA. He has since departed on more than a “3 hour tour” (actually a 7 to 9 month cruise), so it was nice to spend some time with him before this event. Since none of our kids have significant others, we also have not had to share them with other families during the holidays. At some point in time this too shall change, so we take advantage of spending the holidays together as much as we can.  As a matter of fact, as you read this we should be basking in the Arizona sun (minus Brett of course) as we spend Christmas with Karla’s family in the Phoenix metro area.  However, as much as we love our children and extended family, it is nice to see them on their way.  As we have adjusted to the empty nest, a full house tends to push us out of our normal routine.
Thinking back to twenty years ago, we were all getting prepared (and worried) about the Y2K issue.  For those who are scratching their heads and wondering, Y2K was the problem that computers faced when the year changed from 1999 to 2000.  Back then, when dealing with a date, the year was usually in a 2 number format – so 1998 was just 98.  There was a doom and gloom attitude that the computers would not see the year as 2000 but as the year 1900 (because of the 2 number year format.)  It sent many into a panic thinking the world was going to end, but I do believe we all survived.  Now we are quickly approaching 2020 and with that comes the setting of new goals. 
Many of us will choose a word that will help us focus on what we want to accomplish in this new year.  In previous years, I have chosen simplify and communicate, but this year I am taking a bit of a different spin – I am using the year 2020 with an added symbol: 20/20. My goal for the year 2020 is make sure my vision is 20/20. This doesn’t mean I am going to wear my glassed more often (or at all for that matter), but rather make sure that my vision for the future is clear – hence 20/20. 
This 20/20 vision is not only for my personal life but also my professional life as well.  In my most recent evaluation, one of the questions asked is if I have a clear vision for the district.  As I reviewed the evaluation, it was evident that I am not sharing or setting a clear vision. Thus, my main goal for 2020 is to make sure that my vision for Exeter-Milligan Public Schools is 20/20.  It is my responsibility, as the leader, to set a course and direction. Everyone plays a part making sure that course is followed, just like a crew on a ship, but I am ultimately the one responsible for setting the course.  If that course or goal is not clear, then I must do what I can to make sure it is – 20/20.  Each and every day I will need to ask myself – what is it that I want to accomplish today?  What can I do to make sure we are striving for our goal?  Will this help us reach our destination?  Is that destination clear? Are we 20/20?
As we progress into and through 2020, I ask all of you to hold me accountable. Make sure I stand true to this goal of making that vision 20/20.  If we don’t know where we are going, how will we know when we get there?  The easiest question to ask as we see each other on the road is this, “What’s your 20?”
Though for the month:
“If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.” Steve Jobs

Monday, December 30, 2019

Exeter Troop 218 Scout Earns Eagle Rank

William Yokel, a member of Boy Scout Troop 218 in Exeter, received his Eagle Scout badge on Sunday December 8th in the afternoon in Friend at his Eagle Court of Honor.  From the left are Assistant Scoutmaster Leesa Bartu, Scoutmaster Dean Bartu, Sherryl Yokel pinning the Eagle medal on William and Will Yokel..  Yokel presented his parents, Will and Sherryl Yokel, with pins honoring their support and also presented mentor pins to Leonard Krasser and Jim Surber. A reception followed the Court of Honor.
Past and present members of Exeter Troop 218 from the left: Ben Bartu, Tyler Sysel, Joey Bartu, William Yokel, Mikey Bartu, Braden Capek and Clint Oldehoeft.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Exeter-Milligan Boys Lose in First Round of Silver Lake Tournament

 Exeter-Milligan boys met Shelton in the first round of the Silver Lake Holiday Tournament but lost 47-36.

Exeter-Milligan Girls Win First Round of Holiday Tournament

 Exeter-Milligan girls met a tough Shelton team in the first round.  Exeter-Milligan came out on top 50-35 in a rough and tumble game that saw two Shelton team members foul out.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Exeter-Milligan Teacher Awarded Golden Apple by 10/11 News

 Taryn Vanderford (second from the right) introduces herself and her reason for being at the Exeter Senior Center to (pictured from the left; Brenda Motis, Fillmore County Senior Services Director, Laura Kroll, Exeter-Milligan K-12 Principal, Exeter-Milligan first grade teacher Sara Pella, Vanderford, and Roma Rhodes.
  Elaine Krejci (left) and Landri Johnson (right) decorate sugar cookies together at the Exeter Senior Center.
  Golden Apple Award
 First graders enjoy coloring fun with the Exeter Senior Center crowd.  From the left are Tommy Kallhoff, Anton Classen, Kolt Songster, Braxton Harre and Nina Bartu.
 Taryn Vanderford (left) presents the Golden Apple Award to Sara Pella while Jon Vanderford films the moment for a 10/11 segment.

The Exeter-Milligan first graders made their monthly trek to the Exeter Senior Center on Wednesday, December 18 but this time they were filmed for television.  So in addition to decorating cookies and coloring Christmas pictures with their friends at the Exeter Senior Center the students got their chance to be on television.

Their teacher, Mrs. Sara Pella, had been nominated for the 10/11 News Golden Apple award.  News personalities Taryn and Jon Vanderford were in Exeter to present the award to Pella for her dedication to making a difference in the community and her students.

Pella, a York College graduate, began teaching at Exeter-Milligan in 2014.  She taught fifth grade for one year at Exeter-Milligan before taking over for retiring first grade teacher Sharon Lott.  Lott began taking her first graders to the senior center to read to them and interact with the seniors in 2011 and Pella continued the practice of the monthly gathering at the senior center.

“The students love going to the Senior Center. We have had a bigger turn out (from the senior citizens) each time we have gone this year, which is great, because I know the Seniors love it just as much, if not more.”

The relationships the students form with senior citizens continues outside of the senior center according to Pella,  “When the students are outside of school and see someone they have visited at the senior center, they get so excited and make sure to tell me that they saw them.  I know many of the students spend a lot of time with their own grandparents, but being able to still share a similar connection once a month means so much to those seniors who may not get to visit their grandchildren as often.”

Pella was nominated for the Golden Apple award by Exeter resident Roma Rhodes.  Rhodes filled out the paperwork almost a year ago nominating Pella for the distinction.  “We’ve so enjoyed her visits with the first graders for several years. The interaction is very special to each of us, the kids as well as the seniors.”

According to Taryn Vanderford, “I choose five of the top nominations each month and then forward them to a committee made up of Doane representatives and two employees of 10/11 and they decide on the winner.”

When she learned about the award Pella was “honored, thankful, and definitely surprised.  I don't feel like I need to be honored for ‘doing my job.’  All I want as a teacher, is to make an impact on the students I get to teach, the girls I get to coach, and anyone else I come into contact with.  I guess, I don't feel like I need an award for that, but I am so beyond grateful for this award.  It truly means so much, knowing that you are making an impact on those around you.”  

The only hard part about receiving the award was being interviewed for a spot which will air on Christmas night.  “Nerve-racking! The interview wasn't necessarily the nerve-wracking part, it's knowing ALL of these people will be watching it Christmas evening! Of course I wanted the interview to go perfectly, flawless, say the right words...I guess we will see in a few days! But in all seriousness, it was an honor to be interviewed and I just hope I can make Exeter-Milligan proud, because I am so proud to be able to call this wonderful community my home!”

A teaser will air on 10/11 at 4 and 5 p.m. on December 25th with the full story to run in their 10 p.m. news show.