November 23, 2016 by lmorgan · Comments Off
By Lynell Morgan
Co-Publisher, Elgin Review
Nebraskans are known for their honesty, friendliness and hard work ethic. The more rural the community, the more those traits are evident and you can’t get much more rural than Elgin. It is only fitting that one of our own was honored last week.
On Friday, Elgin’s Anne Meis was awarded the AG-ceptional Woman of the Year award at the 8th Annual AG-ceptional Women’s Conference held in Norfolk on Friday, November 18.
Meis was notified of the her award at an August Elgin FFA meeting where she was the guest speaker. She was handed a note by her daughter Marie at the end of a trade mission presentation she gave on a trip she attended as a member of the Nebraska Soybean Board and she was asked to “keep it a secret”. In past years, AG-ceptional Woman honorees did not learn they were selected for the recognition until the video was played during the conference’s opening session. Since Meis’ has been involved in the conference each year (attending it for the last 6 years), organizers had to find another way to surprise her. The announcement was made public when a video tribute was played during the opening session of the conference Friday. The video was sponsored by Farm Credit Services of America and was produced by the Northeast Agriculture Department and Media Production Group.
“I was completely shocked,” she said of her reaction that evening. “It took me a while to process it. It really caught me off guard”. True to her nature, she said “I thought someone else deserved it more than me”.
Since she has had several months to reflect upon the award leading up to the announcement, she has been able to ponder what it means to her, her family and women involved in agriculture.
“I think that there is a great movement out there, that women are stepping up in ag and I think that it’s amazing to be a part of it,” she told the Elgin Review. “The women who were named before me were kind of role models to me… to take a step up and be proud of the role you have in ag. We each have a different role and I can be kind of a model to the larger community of ag women.”
Meis has a simple but elegant award to grace her home/home office. “Awards are nice and they are neat recognition and the conference is an amazing conference that pumps people up but I think we have to do things because we believe they are right and we have to work for educating people about ag.”
Meis was nominated by Elgin FFA advisor and ag instructor Julia Schwartz. Mrs. Schwartz told the Elgin Review that, while she has not been able to attend the conference, when she heard of the award she immediately thought of Anne.
See the complete story in the print edition of The Elgin Review.
November 23, 2016 by lmorgan · Comments Off
The kindergarten and 1st grade classes at Elgin Public School celebrated the first Thanksgiving by putting on a little play and had a mini feast. The characters in the play were the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians. For the feast, each class got to pick four snacks they wanted for the celebration. Some of the ingredients for a wonderful snack feast were: turkey sticks, popcorn, cheezits, grapes, cheese sticks, dried cranberries, pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes, and pumpkin pie. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Photo & article submitted
Meeting Wednesday night, the District #18 Board of Education learned from Athletic Director Michael Becker how numbers could affect the Wolfpack football program in the coming year.
Becker said he and others from EPS and PJCC recently met as part of the Wolfpack committee to discuss a number of items related to the sports co-op.
Regarding the football program, he said the number of student-athletes out for football next fall would be approximately the same this year, give or take one or two. He said the number could be 16 on the low end, maybe 18 on the high end. It’s not ideal, he said, but you have to play with the cards your dealt with. However, there’s hope in the future. He said with the number of players in the junior high program, Wolfpack varsity football should see an increase in numbers in the coming years.
Becker said there was a brief discussion about six-man football. However, it was noted that the Wolfpack would not have been eligible for the six-man playoffs this year due to numbers.
That was just one of a number of items Becker reported on. Others were:
Junior high football — This year, due to numbers, sixth graders were allowed to participate in junior high football. That’s likely to be just a one-year experiment. Junior high football will only consist of seventh and eighth grade boys when practice opens next fall.
Awards night — The Wolfpack Fall Sports Awards Night will, do to calendar issues, be held Sunday night, Nov. 20. It will begin at 7 p.m.
Senior parents — When the Wolfpack teams hold Parent’s Night in upcoming seasons, a decision has been made to allow parents of senior athletes to receive free admission. All other parents will be required to pay admission to attend the games.
Turning their attention to future projects to be completed during the summer of 2017, the board gave the administration the go-ahead to again pursue resolving the issue of the crown and possibly the replacement of sod at Elgin Field. It’s possible the current sod could be removed and placed where dirt was taken for the new parking lot east of the school gym. The consensus of the board was to get prices for new sod, dirt work necessary on the football field and the possible placement of a sprinkler system, to be reviewed and possibly acted on at a later date.
The board also gave the go ahead to explore the purchase of a new school bus, as part of the current rotation plan of replacing a bus every five years. Depending on costs, the board may consider buying a bus with more seating for students.
The board meeting had just one action item on the agenda, to accept the annual audit which the board did on a unanimous 6-0 vote.
Still, there were other news to come from the meeting.
The board will soon go over the recently completed superintendent evaluation with Superintendent Dan Polk. Board President Steve Heithoff said, “Everything is going well, we’re very happy with your job performance.” Board member Stan Heithoff echoed those thoughts, saying “Thank you for a job well done.” Polk told the board should they ever have any issues, to feel free to contact him.
Principal Greg Wemhoff, reviewing activities which occurred over the past month, said the “Donuts For Dads” event held Oct. 13 was well-attended.
A similar event, “Muffins For Moms” will be held Friday, Dec. 2.
As for sports, Wemhoff said the winter sports season officially was to begin on Monday, Nov. 14.
He said boys basketball numbers could be less than 10 players this season, meaning JV games for the boys will likely be just two quarters. Starting times could fluctuate from week to week, he said.
Just as they had during their youth, soldiers again marched behind “The Stars and Stripes” as Veterans Day was observed in Elgin last week.
Veterans from the Korean War forward attended the hour-long program held at the Elgin High School gymnasium.
Veterans were honored with words and music, each in their own way fitting for the occasion where America recognizes the contributions made by armed forces personnel to protect the freedoms we hold so dear.
Guest speaker for this year’s observance was Joe Vanderheiden. A 26-year Navy veterans, he told students of the opportunities available to them in the military as long as they stay away from alcohol and drugs.
Perhaps the most emotional moment was when Vanderheiden asked veterans to stand as he read a poem which addressed how veterans “stood the watch” to protect and preserve the freedoms we enjoy today.
At the conclusion of his remarks, Vanderheiden received a standing ovation.
Earlier in the program, attendees were greeted by EHS student Elianne Heilhecker. PJCC senior Miles Schrage gave a patriotic reading written more than 70 years ago by Norbert Schmitt. It was a letter he sent home, detailing the struggles in New Guinea during World War II.
Later, patriotic readings were also done by PJCC junior Nicki Payne as well as EHS senior Kenny Bush. Payne shared the emotional toll endured by a nurse who served during the Vietnam War, how she became friends with a soldier who later died in battle, and of visiting the Vietnam War Memorial and seeing his name on the wall. Bush read a poem fitting the occasion.
The Elgin VFW Auxiliary gave away a flag during the program. The lucky winner was Bill Alderson.
The annual event is sponsored by the VFW and American Legion along with their Auxiliaries.
Central Community College graduate Angela Cuffe of Elgin has been selected as the 2016 National Success Story by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Family Assistance.
She will be flown to Washington D.C. for the Health Profession Opportunity Grant (HPOG) national conference on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 to give a presentation on how CCC and Project HELP assisted her in achieving academic and career success.
Project HELP – which stands for Health Education Laddering Program – is the product of a $9.5 million grant that CCC received in 2010 and was re-awarded in 2015. It is designed to help low-income individuals overcome barriers to success, whether they want to complete short-term training or work toward a diploma or degree.
Through Project HELP, students can enroll in the nursing assistant, medication aide, medical assisting, medical laboratory technician, occupational therapy assistant, health information management systems, emergency medical technician/paramedicine, licensed practical nursing and registered nursing programs at CCC.
Assessment of skills ensures that students begin at the appropriate level of education. They then have access to a variety of support services such as scholarships, laptops, scrubs and stethoscopes, school supplies, gas cards and transportation vouchers, information about job openings and preparation for job interviews. Project HELP also works with community agencies to ensure any other needs students may have are being met.
Cuffe first heard about Project HELP in 2011, but she already had spent years working toward becoming a nurse, a goal she set on an elementary school trip to the Norfolk hospital.
At age 16, she got a good start to her goal by earning a CNA (certified nursing assistant) license in 1994. Then she got married and had four children, who she ended up raising and supporting by herself when her marriage ended.
In 2004, she made a commitment to continue her education, not only to support her children but also to be true to her long-term goal. She earned a medication aide license through CCC and began the prerequisite courses for the licensed practical nursing (LPN) program.
She was admitted to the LPN program in 2010, but still continued to work full-time as a CNA and medication aide at a long-term care facility. Her daily routine began at 4 a.m. with a 150-mile drive to her six-hour class, after which she stayed late to prepare procedures for her residents. She then drove home to cook and care for her children and spend the rest of the night studying and doing more prep and paperwork for her job before falling into bed at 1 a.m.
Getting accepted into Project HELP provided her with some much-needed services that eventually helped her complete her education.
In 2012, she walked across the stage at CCC’s Columbus Campus to be pinned as a practical nursing graduate and the following summer, she passed her boards.
She is now the LPN administrator at Prairie View Assisted Living in Tilden and also serves as the LPNAN regional ambassador for Nebraska Region III and as secretary for the northeast district of the Nebraska Health Care Association.
“I can honestly say that fighting my way up to become a nurse was the best decision I have ever made,” Cuffe said. “When I look back on my life and where I was, the situations I’ve been in, and what I have accomplished, it makes me proud to know that if you want to accomplish something, you can. All you have to do is have faith and put your mind to it.”