Every Student, Every Day, A Success! What does this mean?
header-photo-left
header-photo-left

May 2017


Click on Section to read more:

 

Welcome to Rise

Welcome to the May 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 

Which decade won the Go Big Give challenge? 

Congratulations to the decade of Senior High graduating classes that call the....

Pushing On

Milestones

Islander Brent Goble, Class of 2005, is dancing his way across the globe …literally.

I've Been Thinking

"Whither Purple, Whither gold"

 For the first time in nearly 50 years, I donned a Purple and Gold Islander uniform this spring.

A Distant Mirror

grandchild corner

Earlier this spring, my daughter posted on Facebook that my six-year old, first grade, granddaughter, Victoria, had built a “tent” by draping blankets over the couch and some chairs, held in place by pillows. But, more importantly, she had drafted, numbered, and written out, all by herself, a set of tent rules,...

Shaking the World 

PARTNERSHIPS CREATE OPPORTUNITIES FOR GRAND ISLAND STUDENTS

The sights and sounds inside the construction technology work area at Career Pathways Institute on Adams Street were a little different than normal during the past few weeks. Students typically work primarily on residential construction. A partnership with a local industry leader has changed the typical...

Your Legacy. Their Opporutnity.

YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND IN ME...

That song, written and recorded by Randy Newman for the Disney/Pixar film “Toy Story,” always plays in my mind when I think about Jeff Rosacker, Class of 2005. Jeff valued friendship. He was a friend to nearly everyone he met.

On the Island 

Current News from the Halls of Senior High

 

In Memoriam

March and April memorial list of GISH Alumni...

 

 

 

 

 



Welcome to Rise 

Welcome to the May 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 3, as we continue our second year with “Rise.” Thanks for reading us and for 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.

Our “At the Top” feature in this edition details the results of the Decades Challenge we issued in March. May 3 was Go Big Give Day in Grand Island, and we thought a little friendly competition among Islanders for a good cause sounded like some fun. A portion of the money raised in our competition among the decades of graduating classes went to the new Purple and Gold Alumni Fund. And … of course … the winners also received not only bragging rights but a healthy dose of “street cred.”

Jack Sheard, GIPS Marketing Director, shares the partnership between the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation and Chief Industries Foundation that has a big impact on the Career Pathways Institute. Check out the details in his "Shaking the World" piece in this edition.

Foundation Executive Director, Traci Skalberg, writes how one family's tragic loss spurred an investment in counseling services for students in need, through the Jeffrey Rosacker Endowed Fund.

Also, be sure to read what’s happening 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 in his final “From the Island” article. Erick graduated Sunday.

Our “Distant Mirror” correspondent, Mike Monk, Class of 1967, shares with us his granddaughter’s “tent rules,” which not only make things run smoothly under the blankets and pillows she fashions into a tent, but more than likely would work in the rest of the world, too.

Read, too, about Brent Goble’s big step … as in dance step … in the entertainment world. The Class of 2005 alum is dancing with his fiancée, Aashka Goradia, in India’s “Nach Baliye 8,” that country’s version of “Dancing With the Stars.” See more on Goble in “Milestones.”

Finally, my “I’ve Been Thinking” column muses over what it was like to don the school colors — put on an Islander sports uniform for a competition after a nearly five decade gap.

We hope you enjoy this “Rise” and remember to keep pushing on.

George Ayoub, Class of 1968
Editor, “Rise Grand Island”

back to top



At the Top

That 70s Show Big Winners in Decades Challenge; Street Cred to Follow

The classes of the 1970s easily captured Rise’s Decade Challenge on Go Big Give Day.

Congratulations to the decade of Senior High graduating classes that call the 1970s home. Enjoy the street cred. You earned it. The 70s more than doubled the total of the next closest competitors, the 1960s.

The totals are broken down below but suffice to say Go Big Give was a great day for the Foundation as a total of $14,099 was raised from 49 donors. Of that total, the new Purple and Gold Fund for alumni raised $2,132.75.

All the money will be used to give opportunities to the students of the Grand Island Public Schools.

So along with the street cred or bragging rights or whatever you want to call it, a big thank you is also in order. Thanks, too, to those who joined us live via Facebook on Go Big Give Day.

Here’s how Go Big Day shook out for the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation:

  • Total raised: $14,099 (49 gifts)
  • Total raised by alumni: $8,017.75  (25)
  • Total restricted from Alumni: $5,885 (Funds restricted to scholarships and other programs)

Total for the Purple and Gold Fund: $2,132.75

Decades Challenge

  • 70's - $3,156.50 (five gifts)
  • 60's - $1,525 (seven)
  • 40’s - 1,500 (one)
  • 80's - $1,125 (three)
  • 00's - $350 (two)
  • 90's - $310 (five)
  • 50's - $51.25 (two)

back to top



Pushing On

Milestones

Islander Brent Goble, Class of 2005, is dancing his way across the globe …literally. Goble and his fiancee, Indian actress Aashka Goradia, are contestants on Nach Baliye 8, a reality show in India similar to America’s “Dancing With the Stars.”

Goble and Goradia were engaged last Christmas and the former GISH thespian, singer, and dancer moved to India this year. In addition to numerous stage roles, Goble has three film acting credits in this country according to the IMDb, the most extensive data base of entertainment industry.

Check out these related stories and videos about the couple’s dancing on Indian television. https://is.gd/IB0Ksa and https://is.gd/QXxYzy.

back to top


 

I've Been Thinking

"Whither Purple, Whither Gold"

For the first time in nearly 50 years, I donned a Purple and Gold Islander uniform this spring.

I was an assistant coach for the Senior High varsity baseball team this season, a labor of love and a chance to, as the kids say, “represent.”

In fact, many Senior High communications these days are tagged with the phrase “Wear purple, be gold.”

Sure, I’ve worn Islander gear for years and still do when I brave a chilly autumn night in the east stadium to watch a football game or throw on a purple sweatshirt for workout at the Y.

This was different, however. The last Islander uniform I wore for a competitive reason was a purple track singlet and gold shorts for the 880 yard relay, the final event of the 1968 State Track Meet in Kearney at what was then Kearney State College. That campus is now the University of Nebraska-Kearney. The sun had finally started to warm us on that May 18th, but for my tastes the day was far too chilly for a track meet. Somewhere in a box or bag or book, I have blurry Kodak prints to prove all of this, too.

Track my senior year was the last of nine sports seasons — evenly divided among track, football, and basketball — during which I wore some variation of purple and gold: most Fridays and Saturdays and an occasional mid-week tussle with the likes of the Hastings Tigers or Lincoln High Links or North Platte Bulldogs. (Baseball was added to Senior High’s athletic lineup 15 years ago.)

In March almost five decades later, I once again found myself sporting the school colors, ready for the big game. The jersey was no longer a medium. The pants were no longer a 32 . But the colors …  the colors were exactly the same.

Purple and Gold always seems to fit.

Amateur analysis

Perhaps my life-long color coordination has something to do with imprinting, what the psychologists characterize as a “kind of phase-sensitive learning, that occurs at a particular age or a particular life stage … Imprinting is hypothesized to have a critical period.”

We embrace our school colors as teens, one of those critical junctures, when, for example, we develop musical tastes, in which, years later, we happily find ourselves “stuck.” To test this hypothesis, introduce your children or grandchildren to your favorites tunes and see their reactions.

My amateur analysis aside, our school colors connect us to our past. My nickel says that even though we may never attend a reunion or have much interaction with high school classmates, or care one whit about purple or gold, the colors are part of our story, our history, shared and individual.

But before I get too crazy, I have to tell you, that all those intervening years between wearing competitive athletic apparel in my high school and today did little for the impact once I put it on this spring.

For me, pulling a purple Islander jersey over my head neither preyed on my well-developed sense of sentimentality nor dredged up any particular memories that caused me either to cringe or beam.

Nor did wearing the uniform reveal some significant truth or turn a metaphorical key to unlock some deep dark secret I’d buried — you know, the kind of things people my age sometimes do in books and movies.

I was surprised. I was sure my wearing the purple and gold would at least trigger some small epiphany or insight or revelation.

I got nothing.

Rather, it was simply as I said: a good fit.

Things change

The boys of spring in purple and gold went 15-11 this year, losing to Millard North in districts. We were a young team, hedging our bets with the trite yet learned bromide of “wait ’til next year.” That’s when we’ll show up, ready to play ball, in … well … you know what they’ll be wearing.

I’ll be sporting them, too, but now I know that aside from the historical record and a few pictures in a shoe box or photo album of me in a younger man’s body, my wearing an Islander sports uniform after all these years meant far more when I was thinking about than it did when I actually threw it on.

Oh, and for the record: the State Track Meet is no longer held in Kearney … hasn’t been there in a long time. For that matter the meet no longer even has an event called the 880 relay. And most people have never heard of it. That’s what happens when you get old: things change.

Except of course, your school colors.

back to top




 

Distant Mirror

Grandchild Corner

Earlier this spring, my daughter posted on Facebook that my six-year old, first grade, granddaughter, Victoria, had built a “tent” by draping blankets over the couch and some chairs, held in place by pillows. But, more importantly, she had drafted, numbered, and written out, all by herself, a set of tent rules, which were taped to the side of the tent.  The “Tent Rules” are set forth below verbatim, with her original spelling:

Tent Ruls

  1. The entr for the tent is were you entr the door
  2. Be Saf
  3. Have Fun
  4. No Pushing
  5. No skraching
  6. No Biding
  7. If you have to go to the bathroom get owt qwic and go.
  8. And do not take off the pilows.
  9. Be carfle with the chars.
  10. Mak friends.
  11. Be nice.
  12. No fiting

Thak You

I was initially amused by the fact that she would even write down the rules. I am continually impressed that she feels comfortable writing long notes, letters, cards, and lists without agonizing over the precise spelling. This is the approach in the Minneapolis public school she attends, and it is, in my view, very wise. The spelling gets better all the time, but she feels very comfortable composing. And the phonetic spelling she uses shows, in some cases, how the word maybe should be spelled.

Upon reflection, however, it appeared to me that this list was much more than just a set of tent rules. The list seems rather to be a very succinct and wise list on how to live one’s life generally. Yes, “Rules for Life.” Should we not all seek to follow the rules of “Be saf, have fun, no pushing, no skraching, no biding, mak friends, be nice, and no fiting?” If more adults were to follow these simple rules, we would all be much better off.

Also, it is of course also good to know that the “entr for the tent is were you entr the door.” You have to know where to get in for goodness sake. And maybe the best rule of all for life is “when you have to go to the bathroom get owt qwic and go.” In my own life, I would have avoided much agony had I followed that rule. Equally important is “not to take off the pilows” (the structural foundation of the tent). Finally, we all should not only be “carfle with the chars” but “carfle” in all aspects of our life.  

I promise to keep you posted if further rules are adopted.

back to top



 

Shaking the World

Partnerships Create Opportunities for Grand Island Students

The sights and sounds inside the construction technology work area at Career Pathways Institute on Adams Street were a little different than normal during the past few weeks. Students typically work primarily on residential construction. A partnership with a local industry leader has changed the typical.

"We've been putting up a steel commercial construction building donated by The Chief Foundation and coordinated by Chief Construction. The partnership between the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation and The Chief Foundation made this project a reality," said Brett Forsman, CPI Construction Technology teacher.

GIPS Facebook Album

For Chief, it was an easy decision to donate to Grand Island Public Schools and CPI students.

"There were two main reasons driving us to do this," said Mark Moravec, Chief Construction Business Development Manager. "First, it is about supporting this program, the students and the school. Giving these kids the opportunity to experience this type of work has always been important.

"Second, at Chief Construction we are growing fast by growth depends on having more employees capable to do the work. This helps us develop those workers."

Before the students could learn to potentially be those workers, Forsman had to learn new skills himself.

"I didn't have experience with commercial construction, so I had to grow professionally," he said. "It has been a learning curve. I've had fun learning alongside the kids. I was used to reading blue prints for residential construction ... not so much with commercial."

Students also enjoyed learning the different aspects of commercial construction.

"It's kind of like building a house, in that we see it from start to finish. There is something different each day," said Kyrell McIntosh, Grand Island Senior High junior. "But it is a lot different than residential. The materials, blueprints and tools are different. It forces us to pay closer attention to the details of the plan."

Forsman said the kids have really bought into the project and being able to learn with their teacher.

"Some teachers believe they have to know everything. For me it is fun learning with the kids," Forsman said. "We will be looking at a problem, talking out ideas and - BOOM! - a lightbulb goes off. We solve the issue and move on. When I don't know an answer to give the kids, it forces them to think deeper to solve the problems."

The entire process is different from residential construction.

"Commercial construction is not as fluid as residential," Forsman said. "On residential, everyone can get busy working on the site. With commercial, it is step-by-step. It seems slow for us because it is a different process."

McIntosh agreed.

"This is something different," he said. "But it's a really good opportunity."

Opportunity is a word both Forsman and Moravec used often in describing this project, it's purpose and Career Pathways Institute in general.

"You never know what piques a kid's interest," Forsman said. "Exposure to more opportunities is a part of the GIPS learning process. We're giving kids exposure to more options in construction."

Moravec said he has been excited about the opportunities CPI provides not just for students to learn now, but for what it does for them down the road.

"These skills equal really good wages as professionals," he said.

He said Chief has opportunities for college students to intern during the summer and also offers a tuition reimbursement program.

"A project like this can plant the seed for a CPI student to consider commercial construction as a career," Moravec said.

It is certainly something McIntosh understands.

"By knowing the skills now - actually experiencing it - training when you get on the job won't be a huge disruption to the project," he said.

McIntosh said he wants to find a job in construction, either residential or commercial, after high school and "eventually go to college for construction management."

"This has opened my eyes to options beyond residential," he said.

The programs Chief has in place for college students and college graduates are potentially the next steps for students like McIntosh. The hope is they come back to Grand Island and fill good, skilled jobs in our community.

"It's really bringing our interest in CPI and our investment in students full circle," Moravec said.

Chief has been a supporter of CPI from the beginning, said Traci Skalberg, executive director of the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation.

"Chief Industries has been a fantastic partner both financially and professionally for Career Pathways Institute since the first conversations began," Skalberg said. "This project is just another example of their investment in our kids and our community."

Forsman agreed.

"Without our industry partners that we value so much, we would not be doing much to cater to commercial construction," he said. "We wanted to give students exposure to commercial construction side of industry. It helps the students. It helps the community. It helps our partners, like Chief."

Moravec said there is another vital component.

"It takes a teacher like Brett Forsman to make things like this happen," he said.

Forsman said this is just what CPI is all about.

"The biggest thing with this pathway is giving students one more pathway to go into in construction," Forsman said. "Commercial is a need as much as residential."

If students take what they learn from Forsman at CPI and the opportunities that come their way with partners like Chief, they will have a bright future. This isn't lost on McIntosh.

"I'd like to give a huge thank you to Chief for supporting us and giving us exposure to these skills so we can go into the world and know what we want to do," he said.

"It gives us a head start."

back to top
 

 
 

Your Legacy. Their Opportunity. 

You've got a friend in me...

That song, written and recorded by Randy Newman for the Disney/Pixar film “Toy Story,” always plays in my mind when I think about Jeff Rosacker, Class of 2005. Jeff valued friendship. He was a friend to nearly everyone he met. 

Jeff was that ‘all-around kid’. He played baseball for both Grand Island Senior High and the American Legion. He was also a member of the varsity ‘Ultimate Image’ Show Choir. He loved four-wheeling, traveling, skiing, video games, golfing, and spending time with his friends.

But Jeff also struggled with depression. Studies indicate that 5-10% of adolescent youth suffer from a major form of mental health disorder. Jeff’s illness cut his story short. In May of 2008, Jeff took his own life. He was 21. 

Devastating. Jeff’s family and friends were left heartbroken. Heartbroken and determined, Jeff’s parents, Gary and Linda Rosacker, and his brother Chris, decided that they would do all they could to prevent another family from experiencing this pain. In Jeff’s memory, they set up the Jeffrey Rosacker Endowed Fund at the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation. Jeff’s fund is designed to provide access to mental health services for students who cannot afford them. Jeff’s fund allows Jeff to be the friend he always was, to students he has never met. 

Students who are diagnosed with major, moderate, or severe depressive disorder, or bipolar disorder with suicide ideation are able to acquire mental health services through the CHI – Saint Francis Student Wellness Center at Grand Island Senior High. Jeff’s fund provides an annual grant to support this treatment. Additionally, CHI-Saint Francis Foundation matches this grant so that students in need have even greater access to treatment. 

Depression is a significant barrier to the educational success of the student who experiences it. Through Jeff’s legacy fund, we are working to help all students who struggle with this debilitating illness. 

So many students have been served over the years through Jeff’s fund. They know that “You’ve got a friend in me…” Their friend is Jeffrey Rosacker.  

back to top



 

On the Island 

Current News from the Halls of Senior High

The Class of 2017 graduated Sunday, May 14 as 462 seniors walked across the stage at the Heartland Events Center to receive their diplomas. These grads were stepping into a future of college, work, or the military, but each taking with them some of that Islander pride. As we tossed our caps in the air, a new chapter in our lives was starting.

The Fine Arts department presented its spring musical, "Bring It On," April 7-9 in the Grand Island Senior High Little Theater. "Bring It On" was written by "Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. "Bring It On" taught us that if you work together to achieve one task, it’s possible. And the cast and crew of this musical definitely brought it.

GIPS Facebook Album

Grand Island Nebraska held the “Grammys” this year on April 22 at Riverside Golf Club. You are probably wondering what I mean. This year’s Senior Prom theme was “Hollywood/Grammys,”  and was a night filled with music and unforgettable memories for GISH seniors and their dates. Post prom was filled with many activities such as jumpers, ping pong, a hypnotist, and the best part: some sweet prizes.

On April 21st, the GISH Student Council hosted the first ever “Mr. GISH Pageant.” Any student gentleman, who had hidden talents, special skills, or just knew he looked good on stage, was encouraged to participate. The winner got a $50 gift card and little treat. All earnings went to a charity of the winner’s choosing.

After a two-year absence, the Islander boys soccer team brought back a Heartland Athletic Conference title to Senior High, beating Lincoln Southwest in a shootout. At press time, the soccer team was opening play in Omaha at the State Championships against rival Kearney.

We found this ad in the Grand Island Independent. Thank you to the Class of 1968 for supporting the Islander tradition. #WearPurpleBeGold

 

The Islander baseball team won the regular season HAC title, while boys and girls track, girls tennis, and boys golf teams were all still competing in districts for spots at State.

This is my last message “From the Island.” I plan to enroll at the University of Nebraska at Omaha to major in communication disorders, with the intention of staying at UNO to get a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. I hope to come back to Grand Island and work for the Grand Island Public Schools as a Speech Pathologist.

back to top


 

In Memoriam

March and April memorial list of GISH Alumni...

DIANE (DUESTER) FRIEND, Class of 1964, died December 24, 2016 in Abilene, TX. She was 70

EARL TOWNSEND, Class of 1944, died February 14, 2017 in Cypress, TX. he was 90.

ENID (KELSO) CONNELL, Class of 1944, died February 28, 2017 in Phoenix. She was 91. 

GARY ROBINSON, Class of 1950, died March 2, 2017 in The Villages, FL. He was 84. 

DUANE EINSPAHR, Class of 1973 died March 3, 2017 in Grand Island. He was 61.

TERESA "TERI" (MEYERS) ERDBRUGER, Class of 1977, died March 4, 2017 in Minneapolis. She was 57. 

DR. LARRY HANSEN, Class of 1975, died March 5, 2017 in Grand Island. He was 59. 

BETTY (REESE) SCHWEIGER, Class of 1940, died March 6, 2017 in Grand Island. She was 94.

ROBERT "BOB" LILIENTHAL, Class of 1956, died March 10, 2017 in Grand Island. He was 78.

KATHY (SMITH) ESCHLIMAN, Class of 1965, died March 14, 2017 in Lewisville, TX. She was 70. 

DORIS (BREHM) SUNDERMEIER, Class of 1946, died March 15, 2017 in Grand Island. She was 89.

PATRICIA (LINDGREN) WISSEL, Class of 1950, died March 15, 2017 in Grand Island. Patricia was a former GIPS Teacher. She was 84. 

TRUDY (WOESTMAN) TYNDALL, Class of 1985, died March 15, 2017 in Grand Island. She was 49. 

CHRIST (JOHNNY) JOHNSON, Class of 1948, died March 26, 2017 in Grand Island. He was 48.

TERRI JO (YORK) SAUTTER, Class of 1976, died March 29, 2017 in Grand Island. She was 58.

ROSEMARIE (KELLER) SKAINE, Class of 1954, died March 29, 2017 in Cedar Falls, IA. She was a 2009 Hall of Honor Member. She was 80.

DORIS (SHUPP) POKORNEY, Class of 1944, died April 2, 2017 in Grand Island. She was 91.

MABEL (HAACK) HENDRIX, Class of 1943, died April 6, 2017 in Grand Island. She was 91.

ELIZABETH (DITTMAN) ENCK, Class of 1952, died April 8, 2017 in Grand Island. She was 82.

CHRISTIAN (CHRIS) PETERSON, Class of 1975, died  April 8, 2017 in Grand Island. He was 59.

BONNIE (MILLER) AGUILAR, Class of 1951, died April 13, 2017 in Grand Island. She was 82.

PHYLLIS "JULEEN" (SIPPLE) REHER, Class of 1937, died April 13, 2017 in Henderson. She was 97.

GARY PEDERSEN, died April 20, 2017 in Georgetown, TX. He was active in spearheading the original Tri-City Steak Feed for the Grand Island Schools athletic program. He was 75.

DON BUHLKE, Class of 1966, died April 21, 2017 in Kearney. He was 69.

CAROL (HARDEKOPF) SEMS, Class of 1961, died April 21, 2017 in Sun City, Ariz. She was 74.

GORDON (RAS) RASMUSSEN, Class of 1953, died April 23, 2017 in Weatherford, Okla. He was 81.

ALBERTA (DEICHMAN) KENT, Class of 1945, died April 25, 2017 in Grand Island. She was 89.

CHARLES E. (EDDIE) BARKER,  Class of 1962, died April 29, 2017 in Apache Junction, Ariz. He was 72.

To report an alumni death since April 29, 2017, please send an email with first name, last name, class year and maiden name if applicable to alumni@gips.org

 back to top

 

Media Inquiries
Jack Sheard
Marketing & Communications
308-385-5900 Ext. 1127

Enhancing opportunities by seeking and securing resources for projects, scholarships and programs.

CLOSE