Saturday, April 15, 2023

Exeter-Milligan Update: Second Grade


Second grade update

by Kelsey Yates, Exeter-Milligan 2nd Grade Instructor


The second-grade class spent time learning about insects in reading. They learned about the characteristics of insects, social and solitary insects, and helpful and harmful insects. The students ended the unit by taking their new knowledge and creating their very own insects. 


Pictured with their insects: Back: Madison Hopkins, Kenleigh Sudrla, Kyler Oldehoeft, Bowen Brandt, Allyson Cuevas

Front: Charlie Vejraska, Kyson Lindberg, Kolsen Kahlandt, Karen Benitiz, Kollins Johnson



Friday, April 14, 2023

Oldehoeft to compete at State Free Throw Competition


Exeter-Milligan eighth grader Brooklyn Oldehoeft won the area free Knights of Columbus Free Throw contest and now will be competing in the state competition on Saturday, April 15.  Knights of Columbus unit #11822 Exeter-Milligan-Friend sends their congratulations and best wishes at the state competition.



Thursday, April 13, 2023

Throwback Thursday 04/07/2013


GFWC Exeter Woman's Club music representative Jordyn Brandt won a 1st place award for

her performance of "Golliwogg's Cake Walk" on the piano at the District IV Fine Arts Festival in Seward on March 20, 2013.  Jordyn received a medal and cash award. 


Exeter-Milligan All-School Play performance


This years' performance is Bedbugs a children's play that should delight all ages. Performance date is April 25 at 7:00 in the Exeter-Milligan Gym at the Exeter site. The play is directed by Jeretta Tauriella.


Play cast includes Brittany Beatham, Brianna Beatham, Hunter Stride, Liz Murphy, Brittany Colson, Taylor Erdkamp, Madison Horne, Maitlyn Thomsen, Madeline Ensrud, Janey Due, Meredith Emshoff, Megan Waldron, Alicia Bigelow, Deidre Stevens and Amber Pribyl


Alan Emshoff, President of Generations Bank in Exeter, was recently award the Service to Agricultural Award at the Exeter Feeders and Breeders Banquet in Milligan on March 30th.  Alan grew up on a farm in Avoca, NE, about 30 miles east of Lincoln in Otoe County. He was active in agriculture with his father and grandfather at an early age, helping with the grain and cattle operations.  4-H and FFA were a big part of his youth, exhibiting many champion heifers and earning his State Farmer award in 1978.  Alan came to Exeter in 1997 to work with First National Bank in Exeter using his experience in the bank industry as well as his family farming background.


Members of the Exeter-Milligan Choir participated in the Crossroads Conference Honor Choir in Central City on March 18.  Participating were Hunter Stride, Meghan Miller, Kimberlin Ruhl, Ashley Miller and Madeleine Ensrud.  Madeleine sang a solo in one of the songs, an honor she earned through a live audition.


Gladys Gibbons

Funeral service for Gladys will be Friday, April 12, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at the Farmer Funeral Home in Exeter, Nebraska. Visitation will begin Thursday at 3:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Burial will be in the Exeter Cemetery.

Ten students from the Exeter-Milligan Band were members of the Class D All-State Honor Band in Kearney on March 23.  Those participating were Janey Due, Meredith Emshoff,  Taylor Erdkamp, Madison Horne, Maitlyn Thomsen, Alex Benorden, Devin Sheffield, Broc Mueller, Jennifer Pribyl and Jordyn Brandt.  Three students received a medal for earning a top chair in the Wind Ensemble. They were Jordyn Brandt, piccolo, Jennifer Pribyl, alto saxophone and Maitlyn Thomsen, trombone. The students were selected through a process that involved a recorded audition.

Family Art Night "Art on the Farm"

Feed the animal games, farm texture prints (using cut potatoes and tractor wheels), shade and texture your farm animal, and hay bale snacks were just part of the fun at Family Art Night at Exeter-Milligan on Tuesday, March 21.

The event is produced, directed and sponsored by the art department with preparation starting in January.  The department, under the tutelage of art teacher Lisa Kanode, throws out ideas for the annual event and then a theme is chosen by the high school art students vote.

Kanode introduced the event in 2015 and it has grown in attendance each year since.  Kanode explained, “Family art night is a special event that many can benefit from.  Starting with the volunteers and helpers as they get an opportunity to teach and interact with kids.  Families benefit as they have the opportunity to spend quality time with their kiddos in an unique way.”

The event not only introduces different art mediums to the younger students, but it also gives the 6th -12th graders enrolled in Kanode’s art classes the chance to interact and teach.  Since all of the family is encouraged to attend and this gives the students running each booth the opportunity to interact with all ages. The art students are vital in planning and designing each station for the event.

Kanode has seen an direct impact in the art department in the student body, “I definitely see a growing interest in art, even in just helping out with family art night. This year the sixth graders have really stepped up and embraced being a part of family art night.  They took on face painting which is one of the most difficult stations to run.”


“It’s very student driven.  It benefits those who might want to go into education.  The students are sometimes nervous but I think they do fine. They get to pick what station they are going to do and then figure out what they need for each station. I give them some direction and let them run with it,” Kanode added.


Last year there were 8 stations and this year they bumped it up to 11 including a farm version of the “plinko” game using a plastic egg to drop down to different prize buckets, a make your own hobby horse head and then a chance to race against a friend and their “horse” on a track.  The students could decorate a pot and then plant a seed in addition to using clay to make an animal picture. 


Kanode has gotten some great feedback from the event.  According to her,  “This year's most popular stations seemed to be planting the seed, building a playdough farm, and shading farm animals.  Along with the egg drop and tractor pull paintings!  Oh and of course, they always love the book fair and face painting.”


The art department had a little help from ag teacher Miranda Hornung as the theme was ag related.  Props were brought in by Spanish teacher Lisa Ricenbaw and the prizes for the egg drop plinko were donated by school counselor Denice Kovanda.


The shop department, assisted by art students, built the plinko egg drop and the frame for the barn along with the picket fence.  All of the supplies for Family Art Night were rec


Inside and outside of the gym was an art show of all of the students’ artwork.  From kindergarten to seniors the art was on display both inside the gym where farm animal sculptures were placed near the barn backdrop and art was hung on the walls.


Kanode sends home an art portfolio at the end of the school year with all of her students.  She encourages them to host a gallery showing at home with their parents and other family members.  The high school art students have already started working on a theme for next year.


Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Exeter-Milligan Administrator chosen Principal of the Year

Keeping a secret for three weeks is difficult, but when the secret has to be hidden from Exeter-Milligan’s Principal Laura Kroll, the challenge is enormous.


Meeting that challenge were Exeter-Milligan Superintendent Paul Sheffield, along with counselor Denice Kovanda and office manager Jackie Yound, as well as Kroll’s family.  They made sure that Kroll was present on Friday, March 24 in Kearney at the Nebraska Rural Community School Association Spring conference to be presented the well-deserved Principal of the Year.


It was a no-brainer for Sheffield to nominate Kroll for the award, “I nominated Laura as she is SO deserving of this award.  She is a student-centered servant leader. There has NEVER been a time when she has wondered, ‘what's in it for me.’  She has the attitude, ‘what can I do to help make our teachers better and how that can make a better educational experience for our students.”

To say Kroll was surprised is an understatement, “It was very unexpected. I’m not sure I have ever been more honored to have received any award than I am receiving this one. It really means a lot to be recognized for a job I thoroughly enjoy doing.” 

Sheffield added, "If there were a picture in the encyclopedia of an outstanding principal, it would be Laura. In a nutshell – she just ‘gets it.’  She has that “it” quality that defines an outstanding principal, leader, and person.”

When asked what qualities make a good principal Kroll responded, “I’m sure there’s a long laundry list of qualities that make a good principal. I’ve never really sat down and listed the characteristics, but I can tell you that I hope the students and staff at EM can say that I am someone who cares and wants the best for our school and every individual in it. I hope they feel that I am approachable and that they can come to me at any time for help. I hope the students and staff know that I’m going to be upfront and honest with them at all times no matter how tough the conversations might be. I hope I’m viewed as firm but fair. Lastly, I hope they know that I do my best each day to leave the building having made a positive impact of some sort that day.” 

She has been in education for 31 years with the last 13 as Exeter-Milligan principal (six years as elementary only) and has a difficult time talking about her strengths, “I’m an analyzer. I was recently given a shirt that says, “Excuse me while I over analyze this”. People give me grief about this all the time, but I choose to look at it as a positive trait instead of a negative one. I’m just not one to make rash decisions. I think my overthinking things drives Paul crazy, so that’s a bonus! ;)  I also think I’m pretty good at building relationships. I feel very good about the rapport I have with the staff, students, and community members.”

The award from NRCSA, notes on their website they have 220 member schools, Educational Service Units, and State colleges in 90 counties and 25 legislative districts across Nebraska. 


To top off her recognition on Monday morning the entire student body surprised Kroll in the commons with cookies, balloons, flowers and handmade cards congratulating her on the award.  The students each gave her a high-five, hug or a handshake.