The Stanton one-act team wasn't shy about its goal: The Mustangs wanted to qualify for state. For the seniors, it was their last chance.
On Wednesday, that goal was reached as Stanton was crowned winner of the C1-2 district, beating out Homer, Guardian Angels Central Catholic, Oakland-Craig, Ponca, Tekamah-Herman and Wakefield.
The last time the Mustangs qualified for state was when the seniors were in the eighth-grade.
Click here for more photos from the district performance.
Look for more on Stanton's performance of "That's Not How I Remember It" both online and in next week's edition of the Stanton Register.
The little girl smiled.
And it was the best Christmas present her daughter could have given her mother. After a tough year, the mother was happy just to see her daughter smile to open a few gifts — gifts that were made possible thanks to the generosity of the Stanton community and the Tree of Caring.
“What she told me was, ‘My little girl was able to go back to school with a smile on her face. She had new clothes and the toy she wanted most of all,’ ” said Pastor Linda Mohr of the New England Congregational Church. “It’s hard for kids to see others get all of these wonderful gifts, and if we weren’t able to help, some of these families wouldn’t have that experience.”
The program, which was started in 1989, rotates between six churches and gathers gifts and food for families in Stanton who have applied for assistance during the holidays. The Tree of Caring is filled with about 30 ornaments, each with a couple of items for a child. It also includes their age and size to help if the gift requested is a toy or clothing item.
Located at Stanton Hardware this year, owner Pat Larson said she’s proud to play a small part in helping a family in need.
“The community of Stanton is wonderful, and I’m happy to help by having the tree here,” Larson said. “It arrived on Friday and was full of ornaments. There was a rush of people to get them. Some said they always take an ornament. Others missed out last year and want to help.”
As of press time, less than a dozen ornaments remained on the Tree of Caring. Larson said she hopes all will be spoken for to ensure everyone requesting assistance has a merry Christmas.
Karen Petersen, who is helping spearhead the program this year, said the Tree of Caring is much more than Christmas gifts.
Those who apply will also receive a box of food and toiletry items.
“The school is really a lot of help with collecting food for families,” Petersen said.
The Stanton FBLA organized the school’s food drive, which collects items at the pre-school, elementary and high school.
Adviser Karla Renn said there is a competition among advisory groups to bring the most items, with a winning group from grades 5-6, 7-8 and 9-12. This year winners will be treated to Casey’s breakfast pizza during their advisory.
The Stanton National Honor Society helps sort and pack boxes for distribution in the community.
“They do such a great job. The kids have been doing this for so long they know exactly what to do,” Petersen said. “We’re thankful to have the support of the school and community.”
Mohr said food boxes are located throughout the community as well, and the banks donate ham to be included for families. The Tree of Caring also has a fund set up at First Nebraska Bank. The fund helps families all year long.
“Sometimes families can’t pay their utilities and ask for help,” she said. “We have a fund for that, so once we determine the need, we can assist. If the fund gets low — and it sometimes does — we ask our parishioners for help. They always step up.”
Mohr said one of the most incredible aspects of the program is how the entire community and churches work together for one another.
“Though our theology isn’t the same, the churches come together for this,” she said. “It takes a community to care for a community. We may be miles apart on Sunday morning, but we come together to help with the Tree of Caring.”
Pilger's former village clerk pleaded guilty Monday to attempted theft by unlawful taking a Class IIIA felony in connection to the theft of funds
In Stanton County District Court, Kimberly Neiman, 58, of Pilger entered a guilty plea in connection to the theft of funds from the Village of Pilger where she formerly served as Village Clerk.
As part of the plea agreement she also agreed to pay $44,381 in restitution to the Village and the Pilger Fire Department.
Neiman was arrested by the Stanton County Sheriff’s office earlier this year on felony theft charges, following a lengthy investigation by the Sheriff’s office and Stanton County Attorney’s office. Neiman is to be sentenced on February 1, by District Judge Mark Johnson.
She'd been fired by the village board in February 2019, following a state audit that found more than $562,000 in questionable transactions and more than $156,000 in suspicious charges on the village's credit card.
After being asked about the questionable payments, Neiman filed a consumer complaint with the state attorney general's office, stating that she was being billed for things she didn’t order. The auditor's report, however, said that was “difficult to believe."
Most of the transactions and payments were not submitted for board approval, the audit report said, which “gives rise to concerns regarding possible official misconduct and/or abuse of public records.”
With a higher than normal voter turnout, Stanton County drew 3,184 votes out of the almost 3,900 registered voters in Stanton County for an 81.64 percent turnout.
Stanton County Clerk Wanda Heermann said that this was one of the highest turnouts in recent memory.
“Having over 80 percent of the registered voters in the county cast their vote is pretty cool to see,” Heermann said. “It’s been busy here, but that is what you want when there is an election.”
For the Stanton City Council, write in candidates were still being counted as of press time. Unofficially, Rolland Lorensen tallied 204 while Nan Hetzler’s write-in votes were still being counted for Ward A
The Ward B race was uncontested. Jennifer Michaels received 308 votes.
The Village of Pilger Trustee races was also uncontested with two positions open. Kenneth Wiechman received 77 votes and Amber Labenz tallied 70.
For the Wisner-Pilger Board of Education, which is voted on in several counties, Stanton County voters selected Harlan Sateren 228 times. Mark Glaubius had 179 votes, Travis Bellar 152 and Byron Keller with 132. The top three overall will be elected.
There were three individuals on the ballot for the Stanton Community School Board of Education with all three elected. Colleen Butterfield had 969 votes, David Morfeld 897 and Nelson A. Vollbrecht with 832.
For the Stanton County Public Power District, there were two on the ballot for two positions. Gary E. Koehlmoos had 1,430 votes and Weldon Marotz with 1,296.
In contested races, for the State Board of Education in District 3, Patti Gubbels was the heavy favorite tallying up 2025 votes to Mike Goos’ 539 with six writ- in votes. Voters favored Northeast Board of Governors at large with Jeff Scherer earning more votes than Timothy Miller, 1,439-1,026. Neither of those races will be decided at the local level.
All results are considered unofficial until the canvassing board meets. These are unofficial results as of press time.
Firefighters from six departments assisted with a cornfield fire between Clarkson and Stanton on Sunday afternoon.
The fire, located about 7 1/2 miles southeast of Stanton, was near 829th and 570 road before spreading to 832nd and 570th Road. Several residences were evacuated as a precaution while farmers assisted by discing unharvested corn.
The original call came in just before 1 p.m. The fire was contained shortly after 3 p.m. The cause of the fire is not known at this time.
On Friday morning just after midnight the Stanton County Sheriff’s office responded to a physical disturbance at a residence in Woodland Park.
Upon arriving they found a juvenile victim with head injuries consistent with being stabbed through the ear into the scalp. A 15 year old male from Tampa, FL was identified as the suspect and was taken into custody and was placed in detention at the Northeast Nebraska Juvenile Detention Center in Madison on charges of 2nd degree assault.
The victim declined medical transport at the scene.
On Thursday night just before 11:00 p.m. the Stanton County Sheriff’s office arrested a 29 year old Norfolk woman on felony drug charges. Haylee Svenson was observed speeding on Hwy 35 near the Peace Church and was stopped.
A subsequent investigation revealed her to be in possession of Methamphetamine and Controlled Substance (RX pills) and Drug Paraphernalia. Svenson was booked on the charges and released on a bond.
A Stanton senior has been named one of the 48 finalists for Believers and Achievers, sponsored by U.S. Bank® and the Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA).
Ellie Locke is the daughter of Cory and Sonya Locke of Stanton.
From those 48 finalists, eight will receive $500 scholarships from U.S. Bank® to the college or university of their choice at a scholarship banquet to be held on April 25, 2021.
These students will be recognized via an NSAA social media campaign throughout the 2020-2021 activities year and on a poster sent to all NSAA member schools and U.S. Bank® branches throughout the state. All of the students nominated for the Believers & Achievers awards program represent the very best of Nebraska’s high schools.
Congratulations to the 2020 Stanton Community School homecoming court — Matthew Reese, Nathan Wragge, Sutton Pohlman, Trey Elbert, Ellie Locke, Haylea Nelson, Madison Wragge and Bridgett Jensen.
Coronation will be Friday at 2 p.m. during the parade. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, coronation will not be held in the school gymnasium. Those unable to attend are encouraged to watch the ceremony live on the Stanton Register Facebook page.
Editor’s Note: This is the first of a multi-week series on innovation at Stanton Community Schools.
After 24 years in education, Karla Renn knows she can teach without an interactive smartboard. She just doesn’t want to — not after seeing her students more engaged and hungry to learn.
“I’m probably considered one of the older teachers. It’s really amazing just how far technology has advanced over the years,” said Renn, who teaches a combination of technology, finance and marketing classes at Stanton Community School. “I love being a guinea pig because I can’t imagine teaching now without this technology.”
Renn, who is a graduate of Orchard High School, is in her sixth year at Stanton. After teaching at larger Class A schools, she returned to Northeast Nebraska to raise her family in a similar environment to where she was raised.
She knows first hand that a smaller school doesn’t mean a lesser education, and her students agree.
“If schools don’t have these, they’re missing out,” said eighth-grader Mia McNutt. “We got our first (interactive smartboard) in December of sixth grade. It was instantly awesome.”
Stanton students are 1:1 with a ThinkPad computers and have technology at their fingertips every day. That’s one of many reasons administration pushed the interactive smartboards several years ago, which are a step ahead of Promethium boards and other devices because the screen is actually a computer and can be updated without replacing the machine.
Jenn Davies, who teaches fifth grade, said the brainpower of the smartboard has actually increased efficiency for both students and herself. The smartboard is also touchscreen and has access to the Internet, Google Drive and everything a computer would. It just happens to be 72 inches.
“Everything on my computer is accessible on this smartboard. It would slow me and my class down if I had to get on my computer and go back and forth,” Davies said. “The students are engaged and seeing exactly what I’m seeing, and I don’t have to walk around and show them.”
Stanton Principal David Cunningham said the school has an interactive board in all but 12 classrooms. The Stanton Board of Education has approved adding four to five boards each year and was able to get an additional eight thanks to the generosity of the Stanton Education Foundation.
Board of Education President John Mandl said technology advances, especially the interactive boards, are key to Stanton preparing students for the future.
“When they first showed them to us and how they worked, I was immediately on board,” Mandl said. “The teachers loved them so much that they argued who could get them. At Stanton, we work hard to stay up with technology and the kids as much as we can, and this is one of many ways we’re doing that.”
Eighth-grader Garret Hansen said the boards are also used when watching football film.
“We can play back the plays and see what we can improve on,” he said. “Coach can mark on the board what we could have done differently. Instead of using a white board and drawing it, we can see it on the play. It’s actually really handy for football, too.”
Of all the uses, McNutt said she’s most surprised by agriculture classes.
McNutt said she appreciates teachers using the boards because then they don’t have to explain everything.
“She can show us because it’s what we have on our computers,” McNutt said. “It’s helpful in my perspective because it’s easy to use, and there’s no confusion.”
Morgan Schwartz, who has taught ag at Stanton for six years, said she uses the boards in every class and sees her students more engaged because of them.
“I was the first teacher to get one, and I love it,” Schwartz said. “The students are more engaged in education with them. I could teach without it, but that would be boring.”