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10 Broadcaster Press January 30, 2018 www.broadcasteronline.com District 17 Art Rusch of Vermillion displays some of the gifts he’s received from lobbyists while addressing a capacity crowd at Saturday’s legislative cracker barrel meeting in Vermillion City Hall. book to take home. distinctively diverse perspectives on their journey together, spanning Read Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness nearly 50 years. “This is the first time we’ve done program that calls for every child a show together. We wanted to in every community to celebrate create a thought-provoking and reading on March 2 – Dr. Seuss’ passionate reckoning of our life to- birthday. Theodore Geisel, aka Dr. gether,” Brian explains. “With pro- Seuss, was born in 1904. found subtlety of Paula’s poetry Thursday’s third Annual “Breakfast as an overlay to my multimedia with Dr. Suess” event was locally paintings and prints, our synergies sponsored by the Vermillion Public of art making and storytelling truly Schools Foundation. Mr. Smith’s of Vermillion provided the breakfast, coalesce.” Brian’s work embodies a rebirth which was served in the Austin he experienced at age 62, after Elementary gymnasium by memretiring from a 40-year career as bers of the Foundation. The Vermila psychotherapist. He returned to lion Public Library staff also ascollege, majoring in art and began sisted. Vermillion Rotary and Edith painting in 2013. “Now, art is my Siegrist Charitable Trust provided work, my passion, my focus,” he financial support for the event. says. Alvey Offered As a second-generation Italian Superintendent American born in the heart of Allegheny Mountains of PennsylvaContract nia and raised primarily in New Damon Alvey, the current superYork State, Paula is the product intendent of the Scotland School of a mid-20th century bilingual District, will become superinhome. tendent of the Vermillion School “Reflections of my diverse and eth- District on July 1, according to nically self-conscious upbringing a contract issued to him by the can be faintly detected throughout Vermillion School Board Monday my first collection of poetry titled night. ‘Passing Notes,” she says. Alvey will receive $125,000 for Paula’s poems have been pub- the 2017-18 contract year. The lished by the South Dakota State contract approved by the board Poetry Society, Scurfpea Publish- Monday runs from July 1 of this ing, Sioux Falls, and Fine Lines Lit- year through June 30, 2020, and erary Journal, Omaha, Nebraska. states that a salary increase may The couple believes collaborating be considered annually. on the exhibit has made them a The contract also includes health, stronger team because it required life and dental insurance benefits, them to lean into one another’s travel expenses to attend school strengths every step of the way. business activities, and dues to Brian’s strengths are in curating several professional and local the show and identifying galler- civic organizations. He will also reies. Her strengths are in the com- ceive earned vacation leave based munications. She writes all of the on 16 hours per month except marketing communications and for March and September, during manages the media relations for which he will receive 20 hours, the exhibit. cumulative to a maximum of 200 “We are a good fit,” Brian affirms. hours beyond which additional ac“The show has provided us an op- cumulation will not occur. portunity to bond in yet another Alvey will receive 12 days of sick way.” leave, cumulative to a maximum of Local First-Graders 179 days. Upon retirement, if he the district Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ hasatbeen withyears,school receive for least 20 he will a maximum of $10 per day reimBirthday Austin Elementary first-graders, bursement to a maximum of 179 teachers, parents and volunteers days of accumulated sick leave. celebrated Dr. Seuss’ 113th birth- The school district will pay the new day this past Thursday, March 2. superintendent up to $5,000 for The students enjoyed, for the most moving expenses. part, their green eggs and ham Larson’s Love Of while wearing hats fashioned after Music Helped Create The Cat in the Hat. The celebration, which coincided World-Class Shrine with the National Education Asso- Judging from some of the local ciation’s 20th annual Read Across stories one may hear about André America Day, involved classes P Larson and his father, Arne B. . reading aloud and some teachers Larson, the two men couldn’t have dressing up as Dr. Seuss charac- been more different, and couldn’t ters. The Vermillion first graders have been better suited to work ate their meal while listening to a together to help create a national reading of “Green Eggs and Ham” treasure in South Dakota. by Beth Knedler, youth services li- Arne was a music teacher, outbrarian at Vermillion Public Library. going in his role as a band and Each student received their own 25 years in business To say that Inge Auerbacher is an expert on bullying is an understatement. The 82-year-old Holocaust survivor faced a handful of diseases as a youngster — from scarlet fever to tuberculosis and lived in a constant state of filth and hunger for nearly three years after she and her family were removed from their homes by the Nazi regime in Germany during World War II. Before being deported to the Theresienstadt ghetto in Czechoslovakia, Auerbacher and other German Jews were each forced to wear a yellow Star of David on their clothing. Not long after that, the bullying began. The negative encounters were soon forgotten. “I remember only one good thing that happened. It’s very important to remember the people who are good to us,” Auerbacher told a group of Vermillion students Monday afternoon. “That also goes for you when you see bullying. You don’t have to you yourself get involved. Tell a teacher. Tell your principal. Tell somebody. “Don’t just stand there and watch,” she said. “Then you are just as guilty as the person doing bad things,” she told Vermillion seventh graders who gathered in the middle school library. Earlier that day, Auerbacher shared her story on the campus of the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. She also showed a movie titled “The Olympic Doll,” that was filmed during her recent return to her hometown of Kippenheim, a village in southwestern Germany. The 301 West Main Street 605-624-2481 Auto Body for years in business 28 yearS in buSineSS 31 Cornerstones Career Learning Center has been Vermillion’s adult education classroom for less than a year, but they are already expanding their services. Recently, the Department of Labor invested in the creation of a statewide, online distance program so that students can work on their GED from anywhere they have internet access – or from their phones. South Dakota’s program will be coordinated by Royce Miller, the classroom teacher in Vermillion. “If you live in a town smaller than Vermillion, you basically have to commute to attend adult education classes – and that’s if they fit in with your schedule in the first place,” said Miller. “The Distance Program is created with Google for Education, so it’s accessible from any place you can access the Internet. That could be a local library, a coffee shop, or a smartphone. The format of the class will be much like an online college course: students will receive assignments and then turn them in to receive feedback. With the resources that exist now on the Web, textbooks are becoming a thing of the past.” The program is expected to be ready for launch later this month. In addition, Cornerstones has also added a new teacher, since the Distance Program will be drawing students from the entire state. Krishna Mastel is excited to be joining Cornerstones. Mastel comes from a background of science, law and education. “My favorite thing about teaching is definitely the students. I love getting to know them. It is incredibly rewarding to help students,” said Mastel. Cornerstones offers a work ethic training program, as well. “Bring Your A-Game” is a program designed to help local employees and employers by fostering the work ethic that employers seek while increasing employees’ job satisfaction. Since last August, Cornerstones has offered GED (high school equivalency) classes and English Language classes (sometimes known as English as a Second April massage 25 health 26 Cornerstones Learning Center Expanding Services Holocaust Survivor Shares Her Story Jensen years in business by Lois Hazen movie uses Auerbacher’s poetry and other writings to help tell the story of the cruelty experienced by Jews in the 1930s and 1940s when Nazis reigned over Germany and much of Europe. “Do you have anything in your life that you want to keep forever? Some little thing – is it a teddy bear, or a blanket?” she asked the students, just before the film began. The answers varied from a young girl who always wants to possess the clothes she wore when she was baptized, to a boy who hopes to always keep his grandfather’s pocket watch. “I had a doll … we didn’t have iPhones, we didn’t have tablets in those days – we had dolls and teddy bears,” Auerbacher said. “My grandmother gave me a doll when I was 2 years old … she had blonde hair and blue eyes.” Auerbacher named the doll Marlene, after the movie star Marlene Dietrich. “She would be the only object that would survive my three years of being in a concentration camp,” she said. “I gave her some years ago to the (United States) Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.” orchestra leader and as a fervent collector of musical intruments. André was quiet, studious, organized and grew up in an environment filled with music. This father-son team helped make the National Music Museum in Vermillion a reality. André, the founding director of the museum, died Friday, March 24 in Arvada, Colorado. He was 74. According to news stories, when the Larson family lived in Brookings before moving to Vermillion, André hesitated to invite anyone over to the family home. The rooms were filled with musical instruments collected over the years by Arne – nearly every room packed. Instrument cases were stacked everywhere, including in André’s bedroom. “I knew him for the better part of 50 years,” said Ted Muenster, who, in the late 1960s began his role as director of the Institute of Public Affairs at the University of South Dakota. “His kids went to school here when we lived in Vermillion years ago, and they went to school with our kids and so I knew André casually at that stage.” Muenster left Vermillion, only to return to work more recently as president/CEO of the University of South Dakota Foundation. In semi-retirement, his activities included serving as a consultant to the National Music Museum. “Toward the end of André’s time as director, I worked much more closely with him,” Muenster said. “It was through his efforts that what was originally known as America’s Shrine to Music became a world class institution with, as far as I’m concerned, no other peer anywhere in the world. André deserves all of the credit for that transition.” Give the gift of health. Vermillion, SD 57069 Open Monday thru Friday 216 West Main Street Vermillion, SD For appointments, call 624-6732 www.loismassages.com 1120 E. MAIN 121 MAIN Vermillion, SD 57069 605-624-2829 Irene, SD 57037 605-263-3343 www.hansenfuneralhome.com Troy Gregoire (605)624-5585 www.qualitymotor.com 401 W. Cherry • Vermillion, SD 57069 Don’t forget to make your 2017 IRA Contribution years in business Curt Robinson Financial Advisor 23 Market Street Vermillion, SD 57069 605-624-2028 www.edwardjones.com Member SIPC yEarS in buSinESS 32 YEARS IN BUSINESS 24 Hour Employee Owned Grocery Store • HealthMarket • Starbucks • Food Court (Including Kitchen, Deli, Salad Bar and Chinese) 605.624.5574 • 525 West Cherry Street • Vermillion, SD 57069 We make it happen! PR 31 Vermillion IN S yEarS In BuSInESS E 31 • Bakery • Full Service Meat Dept. • Floral Dept. • Pharmacy T SERVIC 102 East Main • Vermillion, SD 605-624-4132 www.pressingmatters.biz Your Local Source for Quality Auto Parts 900 W Cherry St. Vermillion 624-8681 Language, ESL). The programs are free to the public thanks to funding from the Federal Department of Education and in partnership with the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation. For more information, call 605-677-6912. Work Begins On New Missouri River Trail An activity held in conjunction with a full schedule of Earth Day happenings in Vermillion is sure to appeal to nature lovers, hikers and people who desire to see new views of the Missouri River. On Saturday, April 22, volunteers of all ages began work on the first stage of building a no-maintenance hiking trail along the river. The project is one of the goals of the Friends of the Missouri National Recreational River (FOMNRR), a non-profit organization that was formed last year. Tim Cowman, who works as a natural resources administrator with the South Dakota Geological Survey on the University of South Dakota campus, is active with the FOMNRR. “This is basically a Friends group that works in conjunction with the National Parks Service in Yankton that oversees the Missouri National Recreational River,” he said. “This stretch of the river is a unit of the National Park Service, and it goes from Pickstown to Ponca, Nebraska, but our immediate area that we work with here is from Gavins Point Dam to Ponca, Nebraska. “The reason it’s part of the National Parks Service is it’s been designated by Congress as a National Recreational River which is part of the Wild and Scenic River System. It got that designation because it’s still relatively in its natural state, similar to the river Lewis and Clark would have seen when they came up on the Corps of Discovery, although obviously there have been changes made,” Cowman said. “Man has encroached on the river and made some changes.” This Friends group was formed, he said, to assist the goals of the National Parks Service in preserving the qualities of this stretch of the river and to work on projects that make the river more accessible to the public. “What is unique about this for the parks service is that most of the land around the national recreational river is privately owned, so in terms of the public accessing the river, there are certain access points where they can get on it -- Clay County Park is an example -- but those access points can be limited, and those access points aren’t always the best places for the public to really see the qualities of this river,” Cowman said. The trail is one way FOMNRR can help fulfill its goal of making the river more accessible to the public. “One of the ways that we’re doing this is to begin building a trail that will traverse the banks of the river on state-owned ground down near the Newcastle-Vermillion Bridge,” he said. “It’s actually a very scenic part of the river, there’s very little development there, and it’s something that is difficult right now for people to access because there’s no real good trail system developed there.” “We’re going to build a 2.2 mile trail along the bank of the river in that area that will allow people to visit that section of the river. This is going to be either a two- or threepart event,” Cowman said. Saturday marked the beginning of the first phase of the work. May Board Urged To Develop Transgender Restroom Policy A group of approximately 30 residents of the Vermillion School District visited the April 24 meeting of the Vermillion School Board, and urged its members to develop policies that address the needs of transgender students. Serving as spokespeople for the group were Rachel Kerby, a parent and psychologist, and Jae Puckett, a psychology professor with the University of South Dakota whose research involves transgender and LGBT issues. “It is exciting to see that the school board’s mission is to look out for children first and foremost, and I’ve seen that in my own kids’ lives, and I’m amazed and I applaud all the efforts that you all do to make this a safe and wonderful school for our kids,” Kerby said. “Tonight the issue I come to you with is for a population of students that you may not know about. It is a very small population of students, but, as we know, we protect the rights of all students so it is an important population as well, and that is for our transgender students.” “We are here to represent a group of local parents and residents of Vermillion who would like to provide assistance to the school board to assure a welcoming, inclusive environment and educational experience for transgender students,” Puckett said. “Our goal in coming to you today is to speak with you about crafting a policy to address the needs of protection and safety and privacy for those students,” Kerby said. “One of the things that we’re hoping to do is to be able to work with you and provide information and research and models that other districts have used to help make this a seamless process that provides those needs and protections for those students without it being very disruptive for the district. “Our goal is to see that children at any age are able to use the bathroom for whatever gender they identify with, and also that they have options for privacy. That second part, I think, benefits more than just transgender students,” she said. “Having those options, and making sure that students are aware of them – having that com- municated clearly so that all of our students know that they have options in terms of privacy and where they can use a restroom, and also the openness to have their rights protected to be able to use the restroom in which they identify with.” “We would like the school board to consider a policy that allows transgender students to use the restroom facilities of the gender they identify with, and for them to not be restricted to facilities that are sex at time of birth. We suggest that students have access to a single stall restroom in the case that they are more comfortable with that arrangement,” Puckett said. “Ultimately, this should be the students’ decision, and they should be able to access the restroom of the gender they identify with and not just have a single-stall restroom. This is the recommendation of several national professional organizations, including the American Psychological Association. It is important to note that previous Title IX interpretations have supported that type of policy as well.” Olson Inducted Into VHS Fine Arts Hall of Fame Dr. Rolph Olson had a few words of advice to the Vermillion High School musicians seated behind him Tuesday night on the stage of the Thomas H. Craig Center for Performing Arts. “I want to say to the students that they certainly don’t have to go into music as a career like I did to have music affect the rest of your lives,” he said. “I encourage you to play and sing and act – do that the rest of your lives – you’ve put a lot of time and effort into these areas for much of your lives, and please continue to do so after high school.” Olson made those comments after he served as featured trumpet soloist as the VHS Symphonic Winds performed Beethoven’s “I. Allegro Con Brio.” Moments before that, in a brief ceremony on the performing art center’s stage, he was introduced as the 2017 inductee into the Vermillion High School Fine Arts Hall of Fame. “We wanted to remind you all that as you’re thinking about what happens after high school – it might be next year, it might be next week – making music doesn’t have to end when you leave VHS,” Lisa Swanson of Vermillion Music Boosters told the musicians. “There are Tanagers who have taken their passion for music, and turned it into careers.” She told Tuesday night’s audience how last year, thanks to the inspiration and dedication of Tom Craig, the music boosters began the Vermillion High School Fine Arts Hall of Fame. Carla Connors, a 1975 graduate of VHS, was the first inductee. Connors returned to Vermillion and performed last year during before she was inducted. The music boosters immediately began planning to name an inductee for 2017. “And Tom suggested Dr. Rolf Olson … and we all responded with, ‘of course, he’s perfect,’” Swanson said. She told Olson that after visiting with his mother and looking through his high school yearbooks, it became apparent that music was not his only passion while attending VHS. “You could just as easily be inducted this year into the VHS athletic hall of fame,” Swanson told him. Turning to the audience, she said, “His picture was on the golf page, cross country page, the track page, the basketball page, and honors page … in his senior year, he won the Tanager award. “Dr. Olson doesn’t just teach,” she said. “He’s always performing, and conducting, and adjudicating.” Olson, a 1979 graduate of VHS, now serves as Director of Bands and Professor of Trumpet at Northern State University in Aberdeen, where he directs the Symphonic Band and teaches conducting, brass methods, and studio trumpet. Prior to NSU, Olson taught at the University of South Dakota, Augustana College, and in the public schools of Arlington and Vermillion. Rolf grew up in Vermillion and was inspired to pursue music as a career through the instruction from his VHS band teacher, David Mitchell and high school choir director Shirley (Neugebauer) Luebke. Flash Mobbers Kept A Big Secret Mitchell Olson credits a good friend, Jenny Knutson, for coming up with the idea of concluding his VHS commencement speech with a flash mob made up of 40 VHS alumni. “I think she meant it as a joke or even a ‘wouldn’t it be amazing if...’” he told the Plain Talk after Saturday’s commencement, “and I instantly started texting VHS grads from my class of 1995. But considering that even Jenny was class of ‘96, I thought, why not open it up to all VHS grads, and even teachers!” He realizes that members of the Class of 2017 might not have been fully aware that the dancers in the flash mob were, like themselves, all alumni of Vermillion High School. “I went to great lengths to pick alumni, and alumni who stuck around Vermillion or Sioux Falls who have gone on to do something in this community,” Olson said. “But I couldn’t have made that clear in my speech without spoiling a huge, two-month secret, which amazingly was kept secret.” He said that Jenny Chandler Moran, whose daughter graduated Saturday, was a big help in finding local alumni. Some community members chose not to participate when asked, and Olson said he’s sorry that some prominent Ver-
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