Students Debunk Popularity Myth

Stereotypically, students have been divided by a line of popularity throughout the decades of high-school, however BRFHS students believe that their is a shift in the rules of popularity that may change how students are organized in the future. Though there doesn’t seem to be a fundamental difference between the traditional stereotype and the way the students believe high school has changed today, they maintain their belief in a different ‘social ladder’ system.

Taskforce Asks Community about School Projects

Surveys gauging public interest for district school updates arrived in mailboxes and email inboxes May 5.

Superintendent Shelly Severson explained what was going on.

“We have separated our needs into three different piles. One of them is updates and upgrades to the high school, another one of them is elementary needs because we think Third Street has outlived it lived its usefulness as a school, and that its time to stop investing money into that building and start investing in our other schools. Then the third is some district-wide maintenance problems,” said Severson.

Severson went into more depth about the updates she and a group of community members called the Community Facility Taskforce are looking into.

“Some district wide maintenance would be like boilers. Right now when a roof goes bad,  we replace pieces of it each year out of our annual budget. To do an entire roof is too expensive [for] our annual budget,” said Severson.

As she was talking about finances she got into specifics.

“The district cannot spend more than its community is willing to support. So right now we have a survey out there. If we were to get everything we have absolutely asked for, we would spend 36 million if we did the most expensive if everything.”

The taskforce has asked community members how much they are willing to spend for upgrades. The survey allows respondents to specify what they’re comfortable with–20, 25, 30 or $40 million for all the upgrades.

The survey was sent out and got to the people of the school districts houses about 2 weeks ago.

“We sent a paper copy of it to everyone who lives in the district and we emailed it out to all the staff members and emailed out to all the families,” said Severson, “and is open till May 23.”

She explained the Community Committee Task Force is determined to work withing the means of a budget. After they determine what the community will support, they’ll make more detail plans that fit with what the community supports.

“The Community Committee Task Force and the school board will work together this summer to take that $36 million project and figure out what pieces we can do. They then will make a recommendation with the school board which would actually go to a referendum.”

“So, next fall our hope is when everyone is going to the polls to vote for governor, they would have a referendum question there. If we are successful there, that is when the actual bidding starts and the construction starts,” said Severson.

If the project becomes a referendum question, students 18 and older are able to vote in that election. Those who have graduated but feel they have a stake in the process can vote using an absentee ballot.

Olson Hangs up Tool Belt

When people think of Mr. Dan Olson, many think of him in the woods room or out on the construction site, but he is much more than that. He is a great man that has a lot of knowledge in many different areas in the tech ed department ranging from drafting to construction.

After graduating from high school Olson, went to college at the University of Wisconsin-Stout to pursue a degree in Industrial Education.

“I first knew I wanted to teach was when I was ten years old and my sister was four and I was teaching her in our basement before she went to kindergarten,” said Olson.

Olson has been no stranger to getting his hands dirty. He has always had a knack for building and fixing things.

“When was 11 or 12, I helped my dad put an addition on to our cousin’s house,” said Olson.

Olson has been to two other school besides Black River Falls High School. Though the other schools are where he first started off in his teaching career, Black River will always be his home.

“I have been teaching for 33.5 years now, I first started in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. Then I taught at Caledonia, Minnesota, and then here at Black River Falls for 30 years,” said Olson.

Though Olson’s teaching career at Black River Falls High School is coming to a close, he has made a lot of memories that he will never forget.

“Memories, man, there are a lot of memories I have had here. Well, just the different students that have come and gone, and also the people that I have worked with through the years and the really nice woods projects that were made and the construction classes,” said Olson.

Retirement is knocking on the front door for Olson. Many of the teachers that taught with him when he first started here have retired so he thought it was time for him to retire.

“I haven’t really thought about retirement, my teaching license was up at the end of the year and I didn’t want to renew it, and I also had the time in to retire from my job,” said Olson.

It is always nice to have a friend to ask any questions when you needed help. Olson had two close friends when he first started teaching at Black River Falls High School.

“I have learned a lot from Woody Meyer and Woody Amundson, there were always there if I had a question about something,” said Olson.

Teaching at the same school for 30 years is definitely a milestone, Olson will never forget the memories made at Black RIver Falls High School. Even though it is time to hang up the tool belt from his job, he will be never forget Black River Falls High School.

Golf Prepares for Final Meets

The golf team  is preparing for this season’s meets.

“As a team we work really hard and everyone is improving and I think it shows in our meets,” said junior Mackenzie Quackenbush.

Quackenbush is not going out for regionals this year, but is working to improve at all the practices to advance in the season next year.

“Personally, I’m doing pretty well this season, but there’s always room for improvement,” said Quackenbush.

Quackenbush, along with the other golf players are working hard in forming a strong team.

Junior Glen White is another player on the team who is preparing for the next few weeks of the season.

“I think the season is going great. The players on the team are working really hard and from what I have seen, they are really good. I just love the amount of talent our team has,” said White.

White enjoys the practices and seeing the team improve together and have fun at the same time.

“The most fun that I enjoy about golf would definitely have to be the practices. They are laid back and don’t get competitive unless you make it competitive,” said White.

Senior Sheena Voge has a specific regimen; she practices before she competes in a golf meet.

“When preparing for meets, I chip five balls at a time from different depths onto the practice green and I try to get them as close to the hole as possible. After a couple of rounds of that, I take those five balls and line them up in a straight line and work my way outward to work on my touch. Next, I hit a bucket of balls on the range to loosen up. Finally, I take a couple of practice swings to make sure my hips and shoulders are aligned when I follow through before teeing off,” said Voge.

Golf season is passing by quickly with the annual regional competition in Cumberland right around the corner.

“To prepare for regionals we all come to practice and work on the little things to help our game while at a meet. And whenever I have time I try to get out on the golf course to get in a few holes,” said Quackenbush.

Only a few players are selected for regionals this year, but the whole team is there to motivate them, along with developing their own skills for next spring.

Broker Moves on to a New School

English teacher Justice Broker will be leaving Black River Falls High School next year and moving to the Amery High School. Both Broker and her students have mixed feelings about this decision.

Sophomore Ryan Guenther has had Broker for English 10.  He is excited for Broker and the new opportunities she has.

“I am glad that she gets to try something new, but I’m going to miss her a lot,“ said Guenther.

Broker is moving to Amery for a few reasons, but the biggest reason is that she will be closer to her hometown.

“I am excited that I will only be 15 minutes away from my little brother. He will no longer cry whenever I leave after a weekend visit.”

Broker is respected by her students for her plethora of teaching methods. Senior Shawnna Clark has had Broker as her adviser the past two years and as a teacher for AP English. She enjoys having Broker as a teacher.

“She understands her students, she takes time get to know us, and you can tell that she really cares for us.”

Despite Broker’s caring personality, she is not afraid to dish out a little bit of “tough love.”

“She doesn’t baby us, which I appreciate a lot. It helps us become better students,” said Clark.

Broker is not only  a favorite by some for her teaching styles, but also the atmosphere of her classroom.

“I love coming into her room in the mornings. My friends go in there, and we all talk and hangout. It’s really relaxing and a great way to start my day,” said Guenther.

Other students appreciate Mrs. Broker and her classroom for a more serious environment.

“I come to her room whenever I need someplace to go to try and relax or if I need someone to vent to. I know I can always go to her room and talk to her,” said Clark.

Broker, although excited for this new opportunity, is also sad to be leaving.

“I am going to miss the students the most, I truly care about all of them. And I will miss my amazing mentor Lobi Wan Kenobi, he truly is a Jedi Master. Also Mr. Rykken, his wisdom, and his encouragement, he always says it will get better.”

Broker will be missed by many students, and she will also miss all of her students.

“It’s bittersweet. It will be good because it is a change, but is sad at the same time.”