January 2017


 

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Welcome to Rise

Welcome to the January 2017 edition of Rise Grand Island the alumni newsletter for Grand Island Senior High published every other month by the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation...

At the Top

Art Fills Islander Alum's Life

Senior High alum Anne Burkholder, class of 1958, just finished a major exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in Kearney...

Pushing On

Milestones

Islander publishes sixth novel

Grand Island High School alumnus, Ken Aldridge, class of 1960, is at it again. He has just announced the release of his sixth book, "The Janitor."...

I've Been Thinking

New Technology Impacts New Year’s Resolutions

January is designed for new resolves and looking forward, even though most resolutions are gone by Valentine’s Day and those bills from the previous December can remind us of a holiday season run amok...

A Distant Mirror

The Books of My Youth - Chip Hilton

Some terrific literature for school children greatly influenced me as a youth in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.  My generation enjoyed several wonderful series of books from the Nancy Drew mysteries to the Hardy Boys books to the Henry Huggins series (featuring of course Beezus and Ramona) by the dear Beverly Cleary. My personal favorite was the series of Chip Hilton books by the wonderful author Clair Bee....

Shaking the World

GIPS Foundation + You = $1,264,319 for Kids

Each year in November, I anxiously await the report back from our auditors.  As soon as I open the document, I am on a mission to find one important number...

Your Legacy. Their Opportunity.

Larry D. and Judy A. Maupin Fund ensures the music plays on

The music will be sweet this March when the Grand Island Senior High Orchestra plays a concert with the Omaha Symphony...

On the Island

Current news from the halls of Senior High

In Memoriam

November and December memorial list of GISH Alumni...

 

Want to support specific projects or schools?

Click here for a list of projects and opportunities posted by our GIPS Teachers and Schools.


 

Welcome to Rise

Welcome to the January 2017 edition of “Rise Grand Island” the alumni newsletter for Grand Island Senior High published every other month by the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation. “Rise” is where we connect with thousands of Islanders across the globe, keeping you and them up to date on what’s happening in Purple and Gold land, and reminiscing a little bit as well.

 

This is Volume 2, Number 1, as we kick off  “Rise” for 2017 and a second year for the publication. Thanks for reading us and your comments and support.

 

We really enjoy hearing from you, Islander alums who find “Rise” in their in-box every other month. Give us a shout, especially if you or a GISH alum you know has a done something new, newsy or newsworthy. You can reach us at alumni@gips.org.

 

Anne Burkholder is the subject of our “At the Top” feature this edition. The 1958 Senior High graduate has had a life devoted to art and artists, including  the renovation of building in Lincoln’s Haymarket for studio space. Anne just finished an exhibit of her work at Nebraska’s Museum of Modern art in Kearney.

 

Also, be sure to check current news at Senior High as senior Erick Estevez, our intrepid GISH correspondent and student representative on the Grand Island Board of Education, updates us with the latest from the halls of GISH.

 

Our “Distant Mirror” correspondent, Mike Monk, Class of 1967, details his lifelong love affair with Claire Bee books and the hero, Chip Hilton. My guess is many of you have read some on his list.

 

I poke around the idea of New Year’s resolutions in my “I’ve Been Thinking” column, both those that change lives and those that we give up January 2.

 

Foundation Executive Director Traci Skalberg has a Legacy piece on former Orchestra Director Larry Maupin and his wife, Judy and a second article in her Shaking the World section detailing the magnificient collective impact of the Foundation last year...the GIPS Foundation + YOU = $1,264,319 for Kids.

 

In Memoriam includes those classmates to whom we said goodbye in November and December.

 

Enjoy this “Rise” and remember to keep pushing on.


George Ayoub, Class of 1968

Editor, Rise Grand Island

Email alumni@gips.org with story ideas or alumni updates.

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Nominations accepted now!

 

Click for Hall of Honor nomination form

Click for Legendary Educator nomination form

Nominations due April 30

 


 

At the Top

Art Fills Islander Alum's Life

Senior High alum Anne Burkholder, class of 1958, just finished a major exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in Kearney.

 

The exhibition featured several works from a series of paintings Burkholder calls “The Dark and Stormy” and was part of the museum’s Nebraska Now series.

 

“The paintings invoke a ‘moment in time’ when the sunlight shines through the dark clouds, illuminating – momentarily - one special focal point on the horizon,” she said via email. “Although I have taught many painting classes with different styles and subjects, I have always painted the Nebraska landscape.”

 

Her love affair with landscapes started when she was quite young.

 

“I grew up in Custer County in the middle of the Nebraska Sandhills.” she said. “The wide open spaces, big skies and the far distant horizon were my inspirations. I remember driving with my father in the Sandhills, wondering how far I could see, how far away the horizon was – that line that divided the earth from the sky. From the top of a hill, I would check my father’s odometer to see how far we’d gone. That fascination with the horizon line has been with me ever since and continues to be the main theme in my paintings.”

 

Burkholder’s journey as an artist has meant creative stops along the way, where she explored other kinds of painting.

 

“While working toward my art degree at UNL, my horizon paintings were largely abstracts. Since that time, my landscape paintings have evolved into a much more detailed, realistic style. Like many of the Renaissance painters, I start with a very dark background and ‘paint to the light.’” 

 

Twenty eight years ago Burkholder started the Burkholder Project in Lincoln’s historic Haymarket District. Hers was the first building to be renovated in what is now a vibrant art and entertainment neighborhood just west of downtown Lincoln.

 

“My goal was to create a special place where I could live, paint and display my work – in addition to sharing studio and gallery space with other artists as well. Today the Burkholder Project includes 3 loft apartments, 34 studios, and 4 gallery spaces. In addition, we represent more than 70 regional artists who work in many different mediums. While I am delighted with the wonderful Burkholder Project artists and their work, my main focus continues to be my painting.”

 

The Burkholder Project and Anne Burkholder’s studio are at 719 P St. in Lincoln and are a must for art-loving Islanders traveling to the Capital City.

 

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Pushing On

Milestones

Islander publishes sixth novel

Grand Island High School alumnus, Ken Aldridge, class of 1960, is at it again. He has just announced the release of his sixth book, "The Janitor." The 294-page murder mystery was released Dec. 1, 2016, by Createspace Publishing. “The Janitor” is available on Amazon and Kindle.

The book features a small Texas town's chief of police and a cast of characters from his previous books. "The Janitor" is a murder mystery with more twists and turns than a jitterbug contest. A well-liked high school janitor is killed for no apparent reason. The chief is puzzled as to why and digs into all possible reasons. When his list of suspects starts to grow, he seeks help from his others, including co-workers and his psychic ex-wife to solve the case.

To complicate matters, two ex-convicts try to pull off a burglary of the town's Dollar General store the same night as the janitor is found murdered. Adding to the possible scenarios, the chief's mother is concerned about a suspicious Louisiana couple who move into her apartment house.

Ken is retired from the FBI having served most of his career in North Dakota and Minnesota. He and his wife, Vicki, class of 1961, have three children and six grandchildren. They reside in the Dallas-Ft.Worth area. Ken's other books are "Triage of Troubles" (2010), "Enticing Evils" (2012), "In Murder's Shadow" (2013), "The Death of Lizbeth Ghika" (2015) and "My Baby, My Baby" (2016).

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I've Been Thinking

New Technology Impacts New Year’s Resolutions

January is designed for new resolves and looking forward, even though most resolutions are gone by Valentine’s Day and those bills from the previous December can remind us of a holiday season run amok.

 

Still, we soldier on, sure that things will be better this year than last.

 

If you read Erick Estevez’s report from GISH in this edition’s “From the Island,” you’ll note that semester exams are now taken before the Christmas break.

 

My three first semesters at Senior High in the late 1960s all ended in mid to late January. That meant some of the holiday vacation was spent studying for or worrying about upcoming exams.

 

I was far more a worrier than a scholar and have the lackluster GPAs to prove it.

 

When you worry or study for two weeks, not much vacation time is left to make New Year’s resolutions -- let alone plans on how you might keep them.

 

Of course any intrepid Islander looking to make some positive changes could make a resolution any day of the year. January, however, seems to give us some symmetry when we’re resolved to stop, start, give up or give in.

 

So good luck with your resolutions whether they involve carbohydrates, smoking, exercise, booze, time, whatever.

 

I made a resolution a few Januarys ago to make no more New Year’s resolutions. I’ve kept this one longer than any I can remember.

 

My last big break was a resolution to send a handwritten note to someone every day for an entire year. I had mentioned that in my newspaper column and one dear reader -- who actually had sent me several handwritten notes over the years about my columns -- mailed me a box of notecards and matching envelopes.

 

I know. I should have never said anything.

 

Seventeen. That’s the number of days I sent cards. I still have the box with blank cards and envelopes. Excuse me for a moment while I feel guilty.

 

It was a glorious two weeks and change. I had a list of deserving recipients: friends with whom I needed to connect or reconnect, strangers who had been good neighbors or good deed doers, those who perhaps needed a kind word or encouragement or support.

 

I had no trouble generating names and address. But when January 18 rolled around … well you know that story. You also know that for some of us, no New Year’s resolution card on January 18 meant getting back in the postmark and stamp saddle on January 19 was nearly impossible.

 

All of which reminds me that no good deed … well … let’s just say for me continues over the course of a year.

 

To be honest, I did continue periodically to connect, encourage and say hello via emails, texts, and Twitter, the vehicles I use for the bulk of all my communications these days.

 

But for this proud member of the Class of 1968 -- and surely it is a matter of age -- a handwritten note still differs slightly from even the most eloquent and understanding email. The social scientists and psychologists might tell me the note provides some tactile sense of satisfaction. That it’s the same reason I like to read an actual book in my lap rather than on my Kindle or iPad. That while I read a couple papers online, nothing compares to having the creased, inky, needing-to-be-recycled newspaper in my hands.

 

There is this, too: Even though an email may touch me deeply and many certainly have, I can’t shake the personal touch that comes with a handwritten note.

 

Oh, no. I’ve made a case for another resolution: Writing one note in pen and ink on real paper every day for an entire year to connect or reconnect with friends, to offer attaboys and attagirls to strangers who have been good neighbors or good deed doers or to encourage or support those who need it most.

 

Yes .. . great idea.

 

Let me know how it goes.

 

Consider, too, this irony: I’m arguing for the interpersonal beauty of pen, paper and postage in a newsletter that is being sent to you via email.

 

Go figure.

 

Happy New Year. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go worry about next week’s semester tests.

 

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A Distant Mirror

The Books of My Youth - Chip Hilton

Some terrific literature for school children greatly influenced me as a youth in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.  My generation enjoyed several wonderful series of books from the Nancy Drew mysteries to the Hardy Boys books to the Henry Huggins series (featuring of course Beezus and Ramona) by the dear Beverly Cleary. My personal favorite was the series of Chip Hilton books by the wonderful author Clair Bee.

 

Clair Bee was himself a famous athlete and  successful college coach at City College of New York. From 1931-1951 his basketball teams won 95 percent of their games and had two undefeated seasons. Late in his career, between 1948 and 1966, he wrote 23 Chip Hilton books, roughly one book per year. I began to read these books when I was at Howard School in about 1960. They are directed generally at pre-teens and young teenagers. But later, even as a high schooler, I once again became fascinated with them and reread many of them, with renewed appreciation.  

 

Later, as an adult in my late 50’s, I began a quest on E-Bay to purchase and reread every book in the series, and I did, completing the collection of 23 books by forking over $300 or so for the rare final book, “Hungry Hurler.”  Prior to his death Clair Bee published one more book, “Fiery Fullback,” in 2002.   

 

The mere names of the books make a sports fan’s mouth water.

 

 1.  “Touchdown Pass” (1948) https://is.gd/bWF0sc

2. “Championship Ball” 948) https://is.gd/amZESm

3.   “Strike Three!” (1949) https://is.gd/KAm4ye

4.  “Clutch Hitter” (1949 https://is.gd/wvtVJ8

5.  “A Pass and a Prayer” (1951) https://is.gd/dBI7fD

6.  “Hoop Crazy” ((1950) https://is.gd/kCZ9vy

7.  “Pitchers’ Duel” (1950) https://is.gd/LmA2aY

8.  “Dugout Jinx” (1952) https://is.gd/F4xMU5

9.  “Freshman Quarterback” (1952) https://is.gd/n3MlA9

10.  “Backboard Fever” (1953) https://is.gd/JUO0SR

11.  “Fence Busters” (1953) https://is.gd/PEehQT

12.  “Ten Seconds To Play” (1955) https://is.gd/t9diKe

13.  “Fourth Down Showdown” (1956) https://is.gd/9W9qPC

14. “Tournament Crisis” (1957) https://is.gd/7uO3bD

15. “Hardcourt Upset” (1957) https://is.gd/r0zddw

16.  “Pay-Off Pitch” (1958) https://is.gd/n2sxgz

17.  “No-Hitter” (1959) https://is.gd/miJPvj

18.  “Triple-Threat Trouble” (1960) https://is.gd/bDyvD2

19.  “Backcourt Ace” (1961) https://is.gd/2xwwLe

20.  “Buzzer Basket” (1962) https://is.gd/Yd0dIs

21.  “Comeback Cagers” (1963) https://is.gd/Nrxrft

22.  “Home Run Feud” (1964) https://is.gd/T3yuw

23.  “Hungry Hurler” (1966) https://is.gd/rZAyPz

24.  “Fiery Fullback” (2002) https://is.gd/rW7PT

 

Set in an unnamed state resembling Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana or some such middle America location, they told the story of Chip Hilton. Chip is the nearly perfect high school and college athlete and human being, a personification of what we all should be. Chip was the only son of Mary Hilton and his father, the elder “Chip” Hilton, himself a storied athlete at Valley Falls High and later State University. The elder Chip died in a pottery accident while saving the life of a fellow worker. Chip’s mother then carried on and supported her beloved son Chip.  

The books generally follow Chip through each sports season, one book for each sport, each year, starting with football season in his junior year in high school. They proceed to cover every football, basketball, and baseball season through his Junior and Senior years at “Valley Falls High School” and through his four years at “State” University.  

 

Chip is a gifted athlete in all sports. He combines wonderful physical skills with a dedication to practice, technique, determination and team concepts. He usually leads his team to the state championship, while simultaneously being the center of a wonderful group of friends, working part time at the local drug store to help his mother with the bills, and, much like the Hardy Boys, solving mysteries along the way. He often faces the adversity of a teammate or small group of teammates who resent Chip and his friends. But by the end of the book, Chip has made these adversaries his friends and loyal supporters. Chip also finds time to help solve and resolve problems of his friends, and occasionally to foil the nefarious criminal pursuits of adults.  

 

Chip’s loyal group of friends include “Speed Morris, Red Schwartz, Biggie Cohen and Soapy Smith,” two Jewish names and a Smith and a Morris. Last summer, when reading about the Alaskan Gold rush, I discovered that the most notorious criminal in Skagway, Alaska was a man named “Soapy Smith.” Another example of Clair Bee’s forward looking perspective occurs in “Hoop Crazy,” in which Chip loyally supports the progress of an African-American teammate on the Valley Falls basketball team.    To me the Chip Hilton books represent a page of our American history, as they depict the values of the 1940’s and 1950’s. The values Chip  most notably displays are loyalty, honesty, sportsmanship, friendship, taciturnity, self reliance and modesty. For Chip, the worst trait possible is to be a tattletale.  He never rats out the bad guy, even if his forbearance is to his own detriment. Equally important is self-reliance. If you get into a tough situation, handle it yourself. Do not blame others for the results of your own actions.  

 

I do not suggest the values the Chip Hilton books espouse are always better than the current values or that since the good old days everything has gone to Hades. Not so. In fact, some of the values in the Chip Hilton books would now be seen as improper and uncivilized. So, while sometimes better, and sometimes worse, they are different values. For example, the strong tendency for Chip and his friends to try to solve problems on their own might today seem unwise where the matter should be handled by authorities. Indeed Chip at times reluctantly engages in fist fights when forced to do so, certainly not the current approach to resolving problems. But his motives are pristine.  

 

In the opening book, “Touchdown Pass,” Chip not only leads Valley Falls to the state football championship, but also overcomes a group of three teammates who resent Chip and his friends. In the beginning the enemies flaunt Coach Rockwell’s orders to try to embarrass Chip, but Chip never tells the coach, instead taking the blame. Chip’s complete unwillingness to tell the coach that these trouble makers are the ones who refused to run the play the coach ordered is at one level noble. At another level, it shows a approach bereft of the simple communication skills that help a team. But it does show his enemies his integrity, and by the end of the book, of course, the former enemies realize Chip’s character and become loyal supporters.   

 

In “Touchdown Pass,” Chip also helps the father of his friend Taps Browning. The father was fired from his job as chemist at the local pottery. Mr. Browning was wrongfully blamed for bad mixes of clay that produced damaged products.  Chip, in addition to working, playing sports, studying and tending to his mother, takes turns with Biggie Cohen and Speed Morris spending entire nights at the pottery on watch until they catch the disgruntled employee who tainted the clay. Chip then succeeds in getting his friend’s father’s job back.

 

One of the opening scenes in “Touchdown Pass” reflects the different culture of the times.  A jealous football teammate purposely hits Chip late several times and injures him in a practice. But Chip does not complain to the coach, does not retaliate, does not tell his mother to intervene and does not get a lawyer to sue the miscreant. Rather he sucks it up, perseveres, and eventually the perpetrator is kicked off the team. Despite this incident and a history of this person plaguing Chip, when the antagonist later is threatened by gamblers whom he owes money, Chip and his friends come to his rescue.     

 

Chip not only has a job throughout high school, but also works throughout college. He works in the back room ordering supplies at the popular local hangout, a drug store with a lunch counter, booth, and a soda jerks making ice cream sundaes.  Chip spends every waking hour either playing sports, doing homework, working at the drug store, or spending time with his mother and friends. Even in college, Chip has a part-time job, studies late into the night, constantly writes letters home to his mother and practices and plays sports. He steadfastly refuses to live in the sports dormitories or accept a scholarship, thinking it would give him special privileges that would be unfair.

 

Another wonderful aspect of these books, and the 1940’s and 1950’s, is that high school sports were extremely prominent, sort of the only show in town. The local press covers each game as if it were the Super Bowl. The stands are packed with everyone in town. The local radio covers every game. It is the talk of the town from the soda fountain to the factories. After a big win, the fans pour onto the field and do a “snake dance” parading around the field in a conga line of sorts as they celebrate.

 

But those were the days television might broadcast one baseball, football or basketball game a week. Indeed, I do not recall a single reference to television in the entire series of Chip Hilton books. There were no ESPN channels, no smart phones, no Stub Hub and no dizzying series of 12 college basketball games and four NBA games on television every day.  

 

In the Chip Hilton books, the newspaper was the primary source of news and a staple of the community. The local sports writers play a large role. I now feel like a relic in this regard in 2017.  I have three newspapers delivered to my door each morning. I love the tactile pleasure of holding and reading the printed word on paper while I have my coffee, half grapefruit, and Grape Nuts. But I know the local newspaper is a dying animal, and one wonders how long many will exist. Most Americans under 40, I suspect, do not subscribe to a single newspaper, but get all their news online or on television.  Granted, we now all know within ten minutes if Tom Brady or David Ortiz, not to mention Justin Bieber or Taylor Swift, do anything exciting, since it is tweeted, posted, blogged and blasted through cyberspace in a heartbeat.     

 

The structure of each Chip Hilton book is nearly identical.  Chip is the very quiet and modest leader of a great group of friends. His teams have problems early in the season, both with the right strategy for the team to win and with jealous teammates who undercut team morale. Yet Chip wins over the enemies, who in the next book are his loyal friends. He finds some local civic or community wrong to right, and proceeds to solve the problem or bring the criminal to justice. The team eventually jells, and aided by Chip’s extraordinary play and the loyalty of his teammates, they virtually always win the state championship.  Clair Bee also sprinkles in lots of wisdom regarding sports techniques, different offenses and defenses and training. It is like eating candy.  

 

This structure ironically reminds me of many of the novels of Charles Dickens. The protagonist is beset by challenges and difficulties, and dastardly cruel villains plague his every step.  Yet in the end Good wins out over Evil. David Copperfield triumphs over Uriah Heep and is able to help his friends Mr. Wickfield and Mr. McCawber.

 

The Chip Hilton books exude an aura of community, friendship, integrity and the love of sports. There are challenges to overcome, but there is great joy when the difficulties are surmounted. The books are poignant and heartwarming as well.  Only 200 pages or so, they are a very quick read. I would recommend anyone to try one and take yourself back into a very different time in America, a time of more innocence than we now enjoy. If you doubt me, talk to GISH 1970 graduate Dan Greenberger, who once considered writing a modern story using the Chip Hilton structure and values. I would love it.

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Shaking the World

GIPS Foundation + You = $1,264,319 for Kids

Each year in November, I anxiously await the report back from our auditors.  As soon as I open the document, I am on a mission to find one important number.  Never mind temporarily restricted assets or income or expense.  No, I am looking for the number called “Program Expense.”  That number is so important because it defines our work.  That number conveys our investment of donor dollars in programs, scholarships, and grants directly benefiting students during the previous school year.  Sure, I generally know about what this number will add up to, but there is something incredibly satisfying about seeing the independently verified number. 

This year our number was $1,264,319!  Wow!  What an amazing feeling to be part of an organization that is bringing this kind of investment into our schools! Donors are making a difference in so many ways.  And, I have to be honest, it is really fun to invest in students! 

Please take a look at our mini-annual report to get a glimpse of our work.  More detailed reports on each program are also available. 

As alumni, you are already a part of a very significant number of highly prepared graduates of the Island.  We invite you to become part of another number as well…last year 2,195 donors gave to this important work to add value to the education offered here at Grand Island Public Schools.  Join our numbers, as we add up the opportunities for students.

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Your Legacy. Their Opportunity.

Larry D. and Judy A. Maupin Fund ensures the music plays on

“Larry Maupin brought the gift of music to thousands of students.  I am who I am, because of him.”  –former student

The music will be sweet this March when the Grand Island Senior High Orchestra plays a concert with the Omaha Symphony.  That is right, our own Grand Island Senior High Orchestra has been working with members of the Omaha Symphony in a six-month long mentoring program that was designed to bring the arts into schools.  On March 22, the project will culminate in a joint concert for the community at the Grand Island Senior High Auditorium.  What a wonderful opportunity for our students to be mentored and play along side those who are masters in this art!

This opportunity was made possible by the Larry D. and Judy A. Maupin Orchestra Fund and the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation.  The Larry D. and Judy A. Maupin Orchestra Fund is an endowed fund at the GIPS Foundation that exists to help the GISH Orchestra carry out its mission of developing individual musical artistry, ensemble excellence, and promote a lifelong enjoyment of music in each young person.  Mr. Maupin taught Orchestra at the Grand Island Public Schools for 38 years.  He was always a firm believer in the arts and was instrumental in raising the funds to bring Nebraska Public Radio to outstate Nebraska.  Mr. Maupin was a well-loved teacher who was also named GIPS Foundation Legendary Educator in 2009. 

Over the course of his career, Mr. Maupin taught thousands of students how to play an instrument.  But many will tell you that his profound impact was not with the notes he taught, but the song he wrote on their hearts.  “Mr. Maupin was not only an amazing musician, but also a great person of strong moral character; he became one of the greatest friends and inspirations I will ever know. “ –former student

Mr. Maupin passed away in 2009 after a brave battle with cancer.  Even though he is gone, together, Mr. Maupin and his wife Judy are still writing songs on student hearts with this legacy fund.  His spirit remains alive and well and his impact…forever.

Larry and Judy Maupin, YOUR Legacy IS Their Opportunity!  Thank you!

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On the Island

Current news from the halls of Senior High

  • The GISH administration decided to have a Senior  “Barbecue” even though it’s cold this time of the year to show students appreciation for all their hard work throughout the NeSA testing period this fall.

    GISH also provides a College Club to all seniors who would like help applying for college, filling out scholarships or writing scholarship essays.

 

  • Every year Student Council has a competition in November to see who could raise the most food cans in competition to help families in need for the holidays. The student council food drive has ended, and through everyone’s efforts we were able to raise over 1000 cans and nonperishable items for families in need this holiday season!

    The Student Council also hosted their Powder Puff Football Event. Students participate in teams that consist of 2-3 coaches and about 10 players. Each player pays $20 dollars to participate and those who come watch pay a $1 entry fee. The money raised goes to  the Student Council Grant Fund at the GIPS Foundation. This fund will be a source of help for students and staff at GISH in need.  The Student Council will manage the granting process.

 

  • In previous years we had block schedules for finals, but things changed this year. We took our first semester finals during the regular class hour during finals week. Teachers were hoping to see how their students showed improvement throughout the semester.

 

  • We were deeply saddened over the deaths of Cheyenna Urbauer (12th Grade), and Shania Rivera (former GISH student). Cheyenna and Shania were involved in a one vehicle rollover on a Merrick County rural road. Please continue to keep their families in your prayers as they are part of our family at the Grand Island Public Schools.

 

  • Senior High is a large school but there is always a chance to be involved. There are about 35 clubs . We have Guitar Club, Robotics, Anime Club, Bowling, Mock Trial, and even coloring club. We have any club you could name. There are great opportunities for students to get involved. A new year is a good time to try new things and get involved.

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In Memoriam

November and December memorial list of GISH Alumni...

Kim (Gulzow) Valarinos, class of of 1971, died June 20, 2016 in Castle Rock, Colo. She was 63.

David Lumbard, class of 1957, died October 21, 2016 in San Rafael, Calif. He was 77. 

Carol (Stolle) Kephart, class of 1961, died November 4, 2016 in Grand Island. She was 73.

Randy Robbins, class of 1976, died November 11, 2016 in Grand Island. He was 58. 

Addren "John" Ellis, class of 1950, died November 13, 2016 in Hastings. He was 84. 

Donna (Yenny) Schultz, class of 1946, died November 13, 2016 in Grand Island. She was 88.

Michael Boersen, class of 1969, died November 17, 2015 in Grand Island. He lived in Phillips. He was 65. 

Dennis Deines, class of 1964, died November 18, 2016 in Grand Island. He was 71.

Judith "Judy" (Lukesh) Watson, class of 1962, died November 18, 2016 in Grand Island. She was 72. 

Steven Powell, class of 1969, died November 20, 2016 in Dumbar, W. Va. He was 66.

Roger Story, class of 1969, died November 21, 2016 in Bridgewater, N.J. He was 65. 

Mary (Zieg) Reitan, class of 1945, died November 23, 2016 in Grand Island. She was 89.

Daniel Hostler, class of 1955, died November 24, 2016 in Grand Island. He was 78.

Sylvia (Hehnke) Johnson, class of 1958, died November 25, 2016 in Grand Island. She was 75.

Jerry Wagner, class of 1956, died November 26, 2016 in Humble, Tx. He lived in Kingwood, Tx. He was 78.

Ida Mae (Vinecore) Janky, class of 1943, died November 27, 2016 in Grand Island. She was 91. 

Nancy (Decker) Marsh, class of 1961, died November 30, 2016 in Doniphan. She was 74.

Leslie "Les" Stark, class of 1959 died December 2, 2016 in Central City. He was 75.

Doug Townsend, class of 1965, died December 2, 2016 in Omaha. He was 69.

Amy Wolf, class of 1990, died December 2, 2016 in Grand Island. She was 44.

Cheyenna Urbauer, future class of 2017, died December 3, 2016 in Merrick County. She lived in Grand Island. She was 17.

Randall "Randy" Bochart, class of 1971, died December 5, 2106 in Rockville. He was 63. 

Belva (Eckstrom) Berck, class of 1967, died December 10, 2016 in Grand Island. She was 67.

Marvin Kruse, class of 1975, died December 10, 2016 in Grand Island. He was 60.

Todd Carpenter, class of 1982, died December 11, 2016 in Phoenix, Ariz. He was 52.

Tyler Johnson, class of 2010, died December 13, 2016 in Grand Island. He was 24. 

Lynda (Derr) Garver, class of 1966, died December 12, 2016 in Hastings. She was 68.

Robert Kerby, former Grand Island Public School Teacher at Walnut Jr. High, died December 22, 2016. He was 87. 

Robert "Bob" Siemers, class of 1962, died December 22, 2016 in Grand Island. He was 72.

Zachary Carda, class of 2014, died December 23, 2016 in Hastings. He lived in Grand Island. He was 21.

Andrew "Andy" McGovern, class of 1971, died December 25, 2016 in Grand Island. He was 63.

To report an alumni death since December 31, 2016, please send an email with first name, last name, class year and maiden name if applicable to alumni@gips.org

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