March’s Tiger of the Month

By Katlyn LaPorte 

The athlete of the month for March is senior Matthew Wheeler for his four years of hard work and dedication to the sport of baseball.

Wheeler was born on Sept. 28, 1997 to Ron and Cristen Wheeler. He has one older sister, Regan. The family has three dogs.

Wheeler maintains a 3.752 GPA and his favorite subject in school is math because “it’s so easy.”

“My biggest inspiration is my dad because he lives a good life, and my biggest role model is Donald Trump because he’s worth nine billion dollars,” said Wheeler.

A few of his favorite things are; the book The Hunger Games, the movie Mad Max Fury Road, and the TV show Seinfeld. His favorite food is crab legs and his favorite hobbies are hunting and playing poker.

Wheeler’s favorite quote to live by is, “Gotta spend money to make money.”

Wheeler has played baseball all four years of high school. His pregame ritual is listening to music.Matthew Wheeler

His favorite baseball memory is beating Lamar and his favorite memory of high school is all the sporting events.

“The worst thing about baseball is playing in bad weather, and the best thing is beating a team no one expected you to beat,” said Wheeler.

His goals for the rest of high school are to have a high GPA and to become baseball state champions.

“My best game was against Lamar because I had 2 of the 4 hits and we won 1-0,” Wheeler said.

Wheeler’s plans for the future are to play baseball at NJC and then transfer to CSU. In the years after college he plans on moving back to Sterling and hopefully getting married and working in real estate.

“I decided to sign with NJC because I like Sterling and baseball so it worked out great,” said Wheeler.

He wants to give a shout out to Scottie Wisdom, and the advice he wants to pass on to the underclassmen is, “do not mess with Scottie Wisdom.”

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Teacher of March

By Gracie Bacon

In honor of being so relatable to his students, Brad Hessler has been nominated as the teacher of the month. Hessler grew up in Sterling, Colorado, and graduated from Sterling High School in 2003. One fun fact students don’t know about him is that he likes music from the 1960’s and 1970’s. His senior student Noah Meraz differs,” we all know Brad’s favorite music is by Marvin Gay.”Brad Hessler

Hessler has been a teacher for seven years. He started at SHS in the 2008-2009 school year. He teaches Technology and Engineering. His favorite reason for wanting to be a teacher is because,” I want to help prepare students for the real world and watch them succeed.”

Hessler likes to do any outdoor activities outside of school. He has one cat that he has not named. Hessler expressed his favorite food to be lasagna because “it is just simply amazing.” His favorite holiday is,” Thanksgiving because there is a lot of food to eat.”

Hessler said that his best experience as a teacher was winning the robot competition in 2015. He would like to give a huge shout out to the Tech Club.

RE-1 Valley Declares “Fiscal Exigency”

Picture2By Ethan Robinson

RE-1 Valley’s school district funding percentages, 1989 and 2015

Last month, the RE-1 Valley Board of Education declared a “fiscal exigency,” meaning that the district is under distress, being unable to financially meet the current budget’s requirements. In an attempt to solve this issue, the board decided in a vote to cut two full-time teaching positions as well as cut certain programs within the district. These measures will reportedly save the district roughly $124,000. This amount is more because it is the additional cuts, as well as the teaching positions that were part of the exigency action, the total amount is $260,000

In short, the district is spending more than they are receiving. As outlined in a presentation conveyed by Superintendent Jan DeLay, 65% of the school district’s finances are funded by the state, and 35% by the local community. However, the state’s 65% comes from a budget enacted in 1994, making it greatly outdated for the current times of 2016 (not to mention that Colorado is far below the US average for per pupil spending). This outdated budget has forced the district to tap more and more into its reserve finances to fund the array of programs and positions. Nonetheless, DeLay has asserted that although we are a “healthy district” with a good supply in reserve, we “cannot continue on this course much longer.”

Additional issues that render the budget outdated, as outlined by the school board presentation pg. 5

–Gradual enrollment decline, 644 (smaller families, decline in area population, school choice options) 66 students on (bus) route in 1999, same route only has one student (added to another bus route) in 2016. Farm families growing up and leaving.

–Increase in at-risk student population by more than 400 students

–Dramatic increase in unfunded mandates, reporting, and regulations, much that include use of technology.

–Increased costs (healthcare, retirement, transportation).

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In terms of the programs, DeLay emphasizes “redefining” them rather than “cutting,” and that it is the school district’s genuine intention to do so. Technology for instance will be a large factor in this “redefinition,” providing alternative options all meant to, as DeLay assures, provide more options for the student body. Athletics, student clubs and organizations should have no worry, but still, a few teaching positions will be cut, and several programs will have to be adapted for next year. DeLay stresses that the district will try to not let this affect the student body and their learning as much as possible, as this is rather a necessary, though difficult, act and not something that the district itself wants to do. This has all merely been subject to ill circumstances, and so new-found attempts will be made to alleviate them.

These alleviations bring hopeful alternatives on the rise as well. As DeLay informs that the area has already looked to local community support for help, “all Front-Range Districts, along with Holyoke and Yuma, except Greeley, have passed overrides in the past five years to support strong local schools.” So rest assured, RE-1 Valley is trying to increase its local funding, but it can’t succeed on that alone. When questioned whether the state of Colorado will produce new legislation calling for a new and up-to-date budget and better financial support, DeLay states that is all, “in the hands of the voters.”

 

Additional Cost Cutting Measures, as outlined by the school board presentation pg. 9

–Consolidation of schools

–Closing of alternative school

–Cut in athletics

–Cut in teaching staff

–Cut in support staff

–Deferred maintenance

–Deferred school bus replacement

–Salary freezes

–Energy Savings contract that included guaranteed savings

–Alignment and organization of online resources rather than textbook purchases

–Cessation of extra duty stipends for work completed during the work day

–Water services (drinking and soft water) cancelled with exception of Early Childhood program (required for preschool licensing)

Additional Strengthening Strategies, as outlined by the school board presentation pg. 10

–Safety Structure Enhancements at each building

–Full-day Kindergarten

–Blended Learning Online Program

–Career Tech Ed Enhancements

–Environmental Improvements with Energy plan (heating, controls, building envelope)

–Increased Concurrent Enrollment with NJC

–Small class sizes

**The superintendent would like to clarify that the tax for education  under the Amendment for recreational marijuana, is not easily accessible or useful for the district’s situation. The amendment requires funds to only be accessed through competitive grants, which also require a 45% match in the district’s funds, and all must be spent only on construction (building new schools).**

Tiger Scholar of March

By Kirsten Hernandez

Zachary Younger, current senior at Sterling High School, plans to graduate with good grades as he plans to start his college career at Northeastern Junior College next year. Younger plans to work in the medical field as a radiology technician. Younger has worked hard over the past four years to maintain a 3.8 GPA.

His favorite subject is science, as it will impact his future. Zachary Younger

His advice to underclassmen is, “stay consistent with classes while you are a freshman and sophomore because it will catch up with you when you become an upperclassmen.”

Younger enjoys working on cars. Richard Moon, the auto technology teacher at NJC, is his favorite teacher because he relates to his students and will provide as much help as he can.

Younger has three dogs named Amos, Bella and Misty.

His favorite movie is American Sniper because “it accurately describes what Chris Kyle had to go through.” His favorite books are the Divergent series, because “it resembles the Hunger Games and I enjoy a action-filled story.”

Youngers’ role model is his mother because, “She works very hard to provide for my little brother and I.”

In ten years, Younger sees himself being married and having a stable career as a radiology technician.

Younger’s favorite quote is, “I see now that the circumstances of one’s birth are irrelevant. It is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are,” by Mewtwo from Pokemon: The First Movie.

 

Ask Abby

By Abby Cross

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Around this time of the year, a lot of talk is centered around prom and graduation. For me, being a junior, I’m looking forward to prom and of course graduation. It will be a very fun couple of weekends, but it will also be kind of sad. Most of my very close friends this year are seniors, including my boyfriend. Before now, our one year age difference wasn’t that big of a deal. Now, it seems huge! They are all 18 and can go to concerts all and clubs like the Grizzly Rose. I, on the other hand, as well as my other fellow “underclassmen” cannot. It’s crazy to think that in only one year, us juniors will be in the same spot as the seniors are now. Most of my friends are busy applying for scholarships and colleges. I was used to seeing them almost every night. Now, I only see them a few times a week because they are busy. It’s hard to see them so stressed about deadlines and getting accepted into the college of their dreams. It’s even harder to believe it will be me in less than a year. I definitely feel very fortunate that most of my friends are staying locally or at least in state. FB_IMG_1450371225167

I’ve talked to many other people who have said their best friends are going to school all the way across the country. Don’t get me wrong, everyone who is still in school is more than proud that our friends are succeeding and moving on to bigger and better things. It might be a little selfish of us to be sad they’re leaving but we cannot help it. The hardest part for me personally, is the fact that my boyfriend, through all of high school, is finally getting the chance to become an independent adult. When we’re together, it’s hard to remember that he is a year older than me and that he actually has responsibilities now. At the beginning of this year, just from the fact that he was a senior, was a little scary. Then, when he turned 18, it’s like he stepped into a whole new world full of bigger opportunities. It really hit me hard about a month ago when he got an acceptance letter to the college he really wanted to go to. It’s the same way with all of my other friends too. Once they started getting acceptance letters, it made it so real. Eventually,  that will be all of us. For now, all we can do is wish the best of luck to the seniors as they go on to bigger and better things. As for us, we have to hang in there; we’ll be there soon.

March’s Tigress of the Month

 By Sydney Goldenstein

For her involvement in track and field as well as gymnastics, the female athlete of the month for March is senior Laci Burtard.

Burtard was born on Sept. 30, 1997. Her parents are Cury and Tammy. She has one brother, Lane, and two dogs, Axel and Gus.

Burtard maintains a 3.7 average GPA. Her favorite subjects are algebra and anatomy.

“I like working with equations and learning about the body,” said Burtard.

Her track events include long jump, sprint medley, 4×200 meter, 4×100 meter and open 100 meter.

As a pre-meet ritual, she likes to relax herself and stay focused.

“The best thing about track is running in relays with my friends,” said Burtard. “The worst is workouts during practice.”

Her favorite sports memory was during gymnastics this year: getting first place on beam at regionals with a score of 9.2. Her favorite overall high school memory was state track her sophomore year.

Burtard’s best track meet was at state as a sophomore, when they placed 7th in the 4×200 meter and the sprint medley.

“I think that if our relays work as hard as they did last year, we will be state qualifiers again,” said Burtard.

Her best advice to underclassmen is, “Enjoy high school; it goes by faster than you think it will.”

Laci BurtardSome of Laci’s favorite things include the movie Creed, the book The Glass Castle, and the T.V. show How I Met Your Mother. Her favorite sport is gymnastics, and her famous athlete role model is Olympic Athlete Shawn Johnson. Her hobbies include camping, jet skiing, and shopping.

“If you are afraid of failure, you do not deserve success” is her all-time favorite quote.

Burtard’s confidence boost is to think about positive outcomes in situations.

Her biggest supporters are her family and friends, with her mother being her biggest role model.

“She is an amazing person and I strive to be like her,” said Burtard.

Burtard’s goal for high school is to graduate with a 3.5 GPA or higher.

She plans to attend NJC and then transfer to a four year college, where she will study to be a Physician’s Assistant (PA).

“I’m hoping that in 10 years I will become a PA and start a family,” said Burtard.

International Women’s History Month

By Amber Antinora

March is International Women’s History Month with March 8 being International Women’s Day. It was declared by President Jimmy Carter in 1980. Before then there was virtually no women’s history teachings in textbooks- only 3% of content was about it.

Carter quoted, “women’s history is women’s right.”

National Women’s History Project (NWHP) says their work is so important because women’s history is a huge part of history. In the past, women have fought for equal rights and are still fighting. In America, women have fought for many freedoms (white) males have always had such as voting, working in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and for equal pay for equal work.

As of 2014, women still make 79¢ for every dollar a man makes. Historically, the wage gap has been 15¢ for every $1 a man makes in the 1890s and 47¢ for every $1 in the 1970s.

Some pioneers of gender equality are Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojouner Truth, Alice Paul, Harriet Tubman and Lucretia Mott. These women worked hard for equal rights between the sexes and their struggle should not be forgotten.

Women's History MonthAfter a survey was conducted on 10 SHS boys and 10 SHS girls, only two boys and two girls were able to identify Susan B. Anthony. None recognized Elizabeth Cady Stanton. In a national poll, one percent of people asked could connect Stanton to women’s rights.

Co-Founder of the NWHP Molly Murphy MacGregor says, “To ignore the vital role that women’s dreams and accomplishments play in our own lives would be a great mistake.”

The NHWP says that teachers lack the materials and time in curriculum to go in depth on women’s history. Illinois, Florida and Louisiana are the only states to have made women’s history teaching mandatory. It is important for students to learn about great women.

Myra Pollack Sadker says, “Each time a girl opens a book and reads a womanless history, she learns she is worth less.” NWHP wants March to focus on positive and diverse role models.

This March, encourage others to learn about the rich history of women.