Hello Wood River! My name is Nanci Martin and this is my 13th year at Wood River Elementary School, and my 15th year of teaching. I began my career in Davenport, Iowa teaching special education before accepting the 5th grade position at Wood River Elementary. In 2009 I became the elementary Literacy Coach. In this role I have the opportunity to collaborate with teachers, while still working with students in the areas of reading and writing. I love what I do! My other passion at school, is volleyball. I have coached middle school volleyball for the past 13 years and recently accepted the head volleyball position for the Lady Eagles.
I grew up on a farm north of McCook and attended elementary and high school at Republican Valley. After high school I went to McCook Community College and then transferred to UNK. Family has always been an important part of my life. My husband Jay and I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary in August. We live in Wood River with our two sons, Jace who is seven and Carter who is five. We love the sense of community in Wood River and believe our children will benefit from the opportunities this small town offers.
Facts about me: I love spending time with my boys and husband doing about anything. In my free time I like playing volleyball in the sand, grass, mud or on the court. Spring is my favorite season, and I love a good thunderstorm. My favorite place to eat is Mac's Drive-In located in McCook, Nebraska. I have a love for animals, especially for our cat Spook, and our dog Jax. A motto I try to live by is "Be the change that you wish to see in the world." ~ Gandhi
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I am Kaitlyn Ann Thesenvitz, the daughter of Scott and Lori Thesenvitz. I have two siblings Madison, who is a sophomore, and Jace, who is in preschool. In school I am involved in National Honors Society, Spanish Club, FBLA, Close Up, Freshman Mentoring, President of the FFA Chapter, and Secretary of the Letter Club. Outside of school I am very involved in 4-H. For the past 12 years, I have competed in bucket calf, market beef, horse, dog and, meat goat. I also help run the 4-H dog club in Hall county. In my free time, I enjoy showing my horses and goat in jackpot shows and working on the farm. I plan to go to NCTA in Curtis to study Animal Science then transfer to UNL to finish my Bachelor's degree.
Hi, my name is Garret Reeder! I am currently a senior and involved in basketball and trap. Through high school, I have also participated in football for three years and track for two years. Also enrolled in school with me is my younger brother Dustin, who is also involved in sports.
After high school, I plan on attending CCC in Grand Island and obtaining a degree in Business Management and also receiving a certificate in welding. Next, after college I plan on starting a family and living a successful and entertaining life.
My name is Dominic Billington, I grew up in Grand Island and then moved here to Wood River. My family is my mother April Cemper and my step-father is Chris Cemper. I also have a little brother, Noah. When I finish high school, I'd like to attend Central Community College in Grand island or Hastings and get my gen. eds. I would like to learn some different techniques for writing so that I can one day become an author. Afterwards I plan to move to New Jersey and live there for a long time where I will fulfill my goal to become an International Deathmatch wrestler.
College Algebra is offered for dual credit in the fall. This year we connected with two other sites for this experience. I learned some tricks and did some troubleshooting with the connections or lack there of. Mr. Sheeks was an immense asset. As the semester changed so has our topic. We did some trigonometry and are now transitioning into some statistics. The word clouds you see above were created using poll everywhere and are decorated with some auto correct, ok began as pi on some devices, and humor. At this point we are exploring comparative data of effective medicine, how many chocolate chips in a cookie and will begin on sampling methods.
Algebra 2 has gone through many topics. The last chapter we completed was challenging and applicable. Logarithms appear is science class for many of these students and assist to help up find answers in the location of an exponent. As an NCIS enthusiast I am intrigued by the question of absorption of toxins with our bodies, carbon dating, time of death and other relative situations that could be investigated further. NeSA time is upon us as we look for areas to grow and covering those last minute topics.
Algebra 1 is more recently been learning about polynomials. Chapter 8 had us adding, subtracting and multiplying them. Chapter 9 had us working with algebraic division also known as factoring. The image on the left represents the product of (2x+3)(x+1) and we did more with starting given 2 x squared plus 5x +3 that making a rectangle resulted with those factors. We will continue to investigate, graph and solve quadratic functions.
Applied Math: This is an integrated mathematics course meaning that is transcends topics in pre-algebra, geometry, algebra and algebra 2. This class is intended to give each junior the opportunity to learn about all of the NeSA topics, regardless of previous experience. Our most recent topic have been geometry based with polygons, parallel lines, circles, and right triangle trigonometry. This week we began to work with the nets, surface area and volume of 3-dimensional figures.
As the culminating project for the English 9 poetry unit, students showcased their creativity, writing skills, and technological prowess to create poems and publish them to a blog online. Each student wrote nine poems of varying format that ranged in length between three and twenty-four lines. To learn more about the requirements for each poem, please click here.
In addition to writing poems, students were asked to comment and critique the work of their peers. In fact, the whole high school participated by viewing the blog from their iPads and leaving feedback for the developing poets. Here's what some English 9 students had to say about the project:
"I liked both the positive and negative feedback because it helped my writing skills get better," said Layce Sickler.
"It made some of us realize that we were actually better writers than what we thought," said Ericka Moffett.
"It made our work better because we knew that it was going to be available to the public," said Nyadoar Williamson.
Now, the freshman class, along with Mrs. Adelman, are opening up the blog to community members who would like to view the students' writing and leave feedback. To view the students' work, please click the link below.
I was born and raised in Wood River and proud of it. I’m Joyce Willoughby. After graduating from Wood River in 1981, I went to UNL and major in Business Administration – Finance. I lived in Lincoln for 10 years and then decided to move back to Wood River with my husband John to farm. John is from Mason City, NE and graduated from UNL. We have 4 daughters: Megan is a First Grade Teacher at Wood River Elementary, Amber will graduate from UNMC-Nursing in May, Taylor has been accepted into UNMC-Nursing and Johnna is a 8th grader.
I’m presently president of the school board and have been serving on the board for 12 years. It is amazing to see how the school has changed and achieved so many goals/awards since I have graduated to now (2016). GO EAGLES
Background and Education:
Raised in Waverly Nebraska, just northeast of Lincoln.
Graduated from Waverly High School, Class of 1978.
Graduated from Peru State College, Class of 1983 with a B.A. in Social Science Education with Emphasis for Grades 7-12.
Graduated from University of Nebraska Kearney, Class of 1995 with M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction.
My first teaching job was in Falls City, Nebraska. I taught middle school Social Studies from 1983-86 along with coaching duties. This is my 28th year at Wood River Rural High School, serving as the high school Social Studies teacher. My teaching assignments this year are: World Geography, American History, and Political Science.
My extra duty activities are coaching middle school Girls and Boys Basketball and assistant Track & Field, where I specialize as the pole vault coach.
I am also the letter club sponsor, where I help run our famous concession stand! Sponsoring the Close-Up trip to Washington D.C. is another extra duty activity I have. I always look forward to and enjoy this activity. This year’s trip marks my 14th trip to DC as a sponsor. A highlight of this year’s trip is taking 38 students, a Wood River record.
Outside of school, I own a small family business called “Ben’s Turf Team.” My business specializes in lawn fertilizing and weed control.
Close Up students at a Washington Wizards NBA Basketball game in 2014, Close Up students in 2006 partaking in laying a wreath at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Close Up group in 2010 on Capital Hill.
Studying World War II
Fitness and exercise
My wife Leslie and I have been married for 32 years! We have three sons Zach, Alex and Ryley, all graduates of Wood River Rural High School. Zach graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University. Last June, he married his high school sweetheart, Katie Thelen. Both are doctors at Lincoln Family Medical Clinic in Lincoln, NE. Alex is a UNL graduate and is following in his father's footsteps! He serves as a Social Studies instructor and Boys’ basketball coach at St. Paul, NE. Alex and his wife, Sarah, will celebrate their second wedding anniversary this July. Finally Ryley, also a Nebraska Wesleyan University alum, works for the University of Nebraska Kearney Athletics in External Relations.
This past weekend Mr. Freeling and I enjoyed spending part of our day with some amazing kids volunteering our time to help out at Race For Grace in Grand Island. We helped to ensure the "In Honor of " cards could be easily found by the family members who care and love those who suffered or are suffering with cancer. This involves taking the cards down, carefully removing tape, organizing according to alphabetical order and storing them in a box so that they can be picked up at a later time. Sometimes people came by in the middle of the process and asked us if they could have a card or cards. The kids loved searching through the countless piles finding the names because they witnessed the peace and comfort it brought when handing the cards back to them. The kids worked fantastic together; like a fine tuned machine on an assembly line. Super proud of them. Below are some pictures of them working. Pictured are Mr. Freeling, Kaitlyn Thesenvitz, Haley Parlin, Nate Bahe, Kassandra Wetovick, Emily Loy, and Samantha Luehr.
The process of gaining new members began in late February and is coming to a close on April 26th at the Academic Banquet when the newly selected students will become officially inducted into the National Honor Society. Congratulations to the following students: MacKenzie Peters, Bailey Landanger, Samantha Moss, Allison Moss, Maria Johnson, Samantha Thienel, Jazmin Matias, Abbie Philmalee, Cade Ludwig, Gabrielle Luehr, Lily Woitaszewski, Mikayla Barg, Madison Thesenvitz, Kinsely Forbes, and Taylor Lambrecht.
The year has really flown by and many positive things have and are happening in Art. The kids have been introduced to many new mediums and artists throughout the year. Within these lessons they have also found out that everything they are learning in their core assignments matter to everyday life; even visual art! Each project is designed to include aspects and concepts from Math, Reading, English, Science, History, and Industrial Tech. They even get a little taste of PE when wedging their clay. The incorporation of all of these helps strengthen the students' skills in all these areas. I must say they are not always happy about having to use decimals, fractions, multiplication, division, scaling, reading a ruler, reading aloud, knowing the meaning to everyday vocabulary, learning 300+ art vocabulary words, the parts of speech, .....but it is in their best interest.
This year Art I is doing a new art project called Micrographic Self-Portraits. It involved writing an "I am from" poem. The minimum requirement was to have 500 words that consisted of nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. Other words did not count toward the 500 total. Some of the students had already written a smaller version of this in Mrs. Adelman's English class. Her lesson focused on the 5 senses. My lesson emphasized the use of nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs. First, a lesson was taught on the parts of speech, including a color-coded example to help them visualize the differences. After this, the kids got right to work on the poems. After several rough drafts, a final version was achieved. I can't tell you how happy they were when that day came! The poems will be used to create the self-portrait. The following image is an example of a micrographic self-portrait. The only difference is that the students need to recreate their face.
The LouPlatte Art Conference competition this year was held at Adam Central. The workshop focus was on etching glass through sand blasting. The students really enjoyed this activity and some beautiful pieces on mirrors were created. The artwork represented at the competition this year was fantastic. Many pieces were executed masterfully. Wood River placed in the middle of the pack this year. The students did very well, as most pieces that were entered earned an award. What hurt our placement overall was the lack of having artwork to represent every category because the creative efforts of the students were utilized in other needed areas of school. Last year the students helped with stage set design for one act and the musical and created a book for the benefit of student learning. It was a rewarding learning experience for the students.
The following students earned awards at conference: Macy Heise- HM for "My dog and me", Macy Heise- 3rd for "Montana Basin", Macy Heise- 6th for "DJ", Kennadie English- 5th for "The Trail", Kennadie English- 2nd for "Valient King", Norma Hernandez- 5th for "Precious Memories", Jacqueline Secura- 5th for "Quiet Time", Sydney Stoner- 5th for "Blowing Bubbles", Danielle DeVore- 6th for "A View into the Past", Danielle DeVore- 5th for "A Child's View", Danielle DeVore- 6th for "Jasmine", Jalynn Hruby- HM for " Plight of the World", Jalynn Hruby- 2nd for "Still in Development",Destiny Campos- 4th for "Colorful Steps", and Samantha Moss- 6th for "Diva".
Soon the gallery will be filled with projects made this year in art and will once again feature seniors artwork. I encourage you to visit the gallery to see all the great works the kids have created. Fine arts night is May 3. Please come and enjoy music at 6:30 by our band and choir. The awards begin at 7:45. Look forward to seeing you all.
Hi, my name is Mandi Wagoner. I am a Resource Teacher at Wood River Elementary. My husband Simon and I live on a farm northwest of Wood River. I have four children- Gracie, Taylon, Kenna and Karson. My children and husband keep me very busy. In my spare time I teach school. Some of my hobbies include; being outside in my flowerbed and yard, playing with my children, walking, playing bunco, listening to music and watching my favorite TV shows. It is such a joy to work with great people at Wood River Rural Schools.
Friday, May 6th Wood River Rural Middle/High School will hold the 5th annual Community Day. On this day students and teachers leave the classroom for service projects throughout the community. Picking up trash, raking, washing windows, painting, weeding, and digging are a few of the many things that students and staff have done throughout the last 4 years. The most rewarding for students is being able to work for community members who are unable or need help to do their house or yard work. It has been a success each year and something that students look forward too. Projects are worked on during the morning hours usually rain or shine. Workers return to eat a lunch of hamburgers and hotdogs grilled by the School Board, and members of TEAM.
After lunch and for the remainder of the day students will attend general session speakers for 45 minutes and breakout sessions for 20 minutes. Most presenters have been from the community sharing their trade or hobby while others have been from the region to bring something unique for students to experience. We’ve experienced blacksmithing, cannon shots, guitar playing, wood carving, trapping drones, fire and rescue and the list goes on. The idea is to provide background knowledge and experiences to the students. Maybe they will pick up a new hobby or spark an idea to major in at college or simply know more about the community around them. We are always looking for people to share their passions with us, so if you are interested please do not hesitate to call the school.
One of this year's main speakers is Neil Halford. He will present From Victim To Victor (The Neil Halford Story) Neil Halford is one of the premier motivational and inspirational speakers in the speaking
At the age of 2 Neil was involved in a near fatal accident which left him totally blind and forever changed his life and that of his family. In his presentation (From Victim To Victor) Neil takes the audience on the enthralling journey of his life story. It is an emotional roller coaster which will have you crying one moment and wiping away tears of laughter the next. Throughout this 45 minute presentation Neil will walk you through that tragic morning which changed his life, and will share with you through his short inspiring stories, some of the unique challenges he faced in his public and personal life. Neil's fearless will to succeed in a sighted world has taken him to heights unimaginable to most listeners. In high school Neil was one of the top wrestlers in the State of Nebraska. He twice qualified for the Nebraska state high school wrestling tournament, and as a senior brought home a 4th place metal from state. As an adult, Neil has obtained unmatched success in the sales industry, and in 2005 he published his autobiography "The Sound of Sight." A true storyteller in the classic sense, Neil is one of the most dynamic presenters in the business today. Neil's life story is one which crosses all boundaries and can be used to motivate or inspire any group or organization regardless of age, race, or gender.
If you would like to share in the experience of Community Day please feel free to do so. Just call the school so we can plan for you to attend. If you have ideas for service projects or presenters please call the school as well.
The Sound of Sight - Home. (n.d.). Retrieved April 02, 2016, from http://www.thesoundofsight.com/