Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Principal “Reflections & Projections”

The April column always is one of the most enjoyable and to be honest, the easiest one to write each year!  The SHS students and teaching staff make it that way. Having the opportunity to showcase a talented group of students and an extremely motivated and dedicated staff would make this task easy for anyone. 

Achievement can be defined as final accomplishment of something noteworthy.  Success can be defined as a favorable or desired outcome. Hard work can be defined as exertion or effort directed to produce or accomplish something. Each of the items below resulted after a great deal of effort was put forth and often in spite of obstacles and discouragements encountered by those working towards the final result.  The act of achieving, or in many cases performing successfully, comes too many times without reward or recognition.  The accomplishment may be recognized only by a few and in many cases each of the achievers, wants it that way.  The most successful people many times give credit to everyone and anyone and very little credit to themselves, forgetting how much hard work they actually put into achieving what they did.  Every sense of accomplishment is a heroic deed and a feat worthy of recognition.  Please pass on your congratulations to the many mentioned in this column

Some of the accomplishment and highlights of the 2016 – 2017 school year at SHS include:

SHS Senior Jackysn Bakeberg named as a National Merit Semi Finalist and a National Merit Scholarship Finalist.  Jackysn Bakeberg was also selected as 1 of 25 South Dakota seniors to move on to national level recognition for the US Presidential Scholars Recognition Program.

SHS Juniors Griffin Smith, Logan Smith and Carter Thorman will receive 2018 National Merit Scholarship Recognition. Each will advance for National Semi Finalist and National Finalist competition

SHS Senior Hannah Young selected at the 1st alternate for the 55th annual US Senate Youth Program. With this Hannah received a $500 scholarship from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.

Spearfish High School All-State Chorus students include Faith Burnett, Izaak Colgrove, Makenna Dupont, Brady Greger, Brenden Miller (4 year member), Elsie Miller, Emma Murphy, Tristen Olsson, Grace Raad, Arianna Scherer, Halle Seyer, Carson Sleep

SDHSAA Academic Achievement Awards received in: Boys XC-3.39, Girls XC-3.83, Boys Golf-3.14, Dance-3.69, Girls Soccer-3.36, Girls Tennis-3.52, Volleyball-3.61, All State Choir-3.69, Football-3.14, Side line Cheer-3.15, Boys BB 3.67, Girls BB 3.34, Debate  3.83, Visual Arts  3.69, One Act  3.41, Band Solo/Ensemble 3.62, Vocal Solo Ensemble 3.14

Student/Athletes chosen as all conference: Boys Soccer Rigel Roberdeau, Edgar Meza, Chanley DeCook, Caleb Ardis, Jacob Burr, Nate Baker HM, Mason Krier HM Girls Soccer Daesha Erskin, Riley Ullrich, Madison Gould, Taylar Johnson, Sela Fitzgerald HM, Brittney Case HM  Foortball 1st Team: Corey Hoffman, Jaxon Rosencranz, Brendan Rotert, Michael Chaffin, Jackson Bogue, Reece Walno, HM Boyce Harr, Reece Hansen  Girls Basketball Alexsis Kemp, Brooke Heairet HM, Mady Gould HM Boys Basketball Brady Greger, Jaxon Rosencranz HM, Mike Chaffin HM Wrestling Max Sailor, Derick Dower, Jordan Brinson, Marc Williams, Tashon Clark HM, Tyler Waterson HM

Student/Athletes chosen as all state: Soccer Jacob Burr, Edgar Meza, Dashea Erskin, Cross country Matt Parker, Logan Broeder  Football Jaxon Rosencranz, Brendan Rotert, Michael Chaffin, Jackson Bogue

Student/Athletes choses as Academic All-State: Tennis Elaina Sparrow, Emily Do Football Michael Chaffin, Carson Sleep, Jaxon Rosencranz, Corey Hoffman, Boyce Harr Girls Basketball Elaina Sparrow, Jewel West

SDHSAA Team Awards: Boys soccer state champions, Boys golf state runner up, Dance 3rd place, Boys cross country 3rd place

SDHSAA Individual medalists: Tennis Sierra Hauff 7th place flight 3, Ella Hancock 7th place flight 6 Cross Country Matt Parker 9th, Logan Broader 10th, Rigel Roberdeau 22nd, Angela Hovdenes 14th, Golf Drew Gusso 11th,

Black Hills Conference Champions in: Boys Golf, Dance, Boys Soccer

Region Championships: Boys Golf, Boys Cross Country runner up, One Act Play

KOTA/KEVN/KOTA Athletes of week: Brendan Rotert, Jackson Bogue, Tyler Waterson, Derick Dower

Tyler Waterson received the Mix Radio/Vanway Trophy & Award, Black Hills Pioneer athlete of the week and the Rapid City Journal athlete of the week and was the recipient of the Dale Walz Memorial award at the Rapid City Invite.

Edgar Meza named MVP Defensive player at SDHSAA state soccer tournament. Caleb Ardis named the MVP Offensive player at the SDHSAA state soccer tournament.

Anna and Noah Pochop were selected to South Dakota All State Orchestra for the third year.

SHS Debate team earned the National Speech and Debate Associations Top 100 Club award.

Makenna DuPont, Ellie Greger, Isabella Whitehouse, and Tristen Olsson were selected for the South Dakota Junior Honor Choir. 

5 students awarded Outstanding Actor Awards at the Region SDHSAA One Act Play Competition held in Belle Fourche on January 26th

The We the People team won the state competition January 19th and will be representing South Dakota at the national finals in April in Washington DC. Special recognition goes out to Unit 4 students Devan Fox, Boyce Harr, Ashley Odenbach and Tessa Sleep for earning the highest cumulative score of all units. Boyce Harr was also the recipient of the Larson Top Speaker Award, which is presented to the best performing overall student of the competition among all schools

Seniors Jacksyn Bakeberg, Gretchen Blain, Tessa Sleep and Juniors Griffin Smith and Logan Smith earn Academic All-American status through the National Speech and Debate association.
Chuck Standen named the South Dakota Physical Science Teacher of the Year

Jessica Zwaschka named the Spearfish High School, Spearfish School District and Region 7 Teacher of the Year. She will advance to the State competition with a chance to become the South Dakota Teacher of the year.

9 wrestlers qualified for the state tournament. Max Sailor, Derick Dower, Tashon Clark, Tyler Waterson, Matt Ackerman, Reese Hanson, Zailin Irion, Evan Hehr, Marc Williams.  Tyler Waterson won the 138-pound state championship. This is Tyler’s 3rd state championship as he remained undefeated both his junior and senior years (92-0)

6 students qualified for the national debate tournament to be held this June in Alabama. Kenna Comer and Taylor Hersch in Public Forum Debate, Hannah Neumiller and Logan Smith in Congressional Debate, Jacksyn Bakeberg and Griffin Smith in Original Oratory. Jacksyn Bakeberg was also recognized as the Outstanding Student Speaker in the 3 state region.

Speech and Debate Team won the State Class A championship for the 2nd consecutive year. The team set a new school record earning 293 points outpacing the nearest competitor by 73 points and had finalist on stage in five of the six categories of competition.  International Extemp Taylor Hersch placed 3rd and Logan Smith 4th; US Extemp Jacob Schlinkert placed 2nd and Morgan Roberts 3rd; Original Oratory Griffin Smith placed 1st Jacksyn BaKeberg 3rd: Lincoln Douglas Debate Tanner Hanson advanced to the Quarter Finals; Public Forum Debate Hannah Neumiller and Connor Speirs placed 2nd and Gretchen Blain and Tessa Sleep placed 3rd.

The SHS Visual Arts team won the Class A State Championship held at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City.  This is the Visual Arts team 3rd championship in a row. Team is coached by Lisa Howard and Elise Fowlkes. Class A Best of Show Champion Vivian Steckline; Crafts Champion Logan Burket; Drawing Champion Vivian Steckline; Drawing (Colored) Runner-up Taylor Ferguson; Functional Ceramics Champion Logan Burket; Multimedia/Graphic Design Champion Kenna Comer; Painting (Oil and Acrylic) Runner-up Sophie Sand; Painting (Watercolor) Champion Vivian Steckline; Photography Champion Nate Baker; Print Making Champion Vivian Steckline; Three-Dimensional (3D) Champion Logan Burket.

SHS Senior Logan Burket was awarded a “Silver Key” for Excellence in Visual Arts from the University of South Dakota Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.

The Skills USA team brought home 3 gold medals, 1 silver medal and a bronze medal from the state competition held in Watertown. The team placed in every event but one.  Calvin Tohm Welding Sculpture, Gavin Hopper Pin Design and Hunter McKinney Electronics Technology all received 1st place gold medals and qualified for the National Competition to be held in Louisville, Kentucky the third week in June.  Other medal winners include Faith Hovdenes Silver in Technical Drafting and Faith Powers, Michael Chaffin, Matt Parker Bronze in Welding Fabrication.

Three SHS seniors were selected to the South Dakota Association of Secondary School Principals Daktronics All State Academic Team putting the honored SHS seniors within the top 20 students in the state. Honored seniors are Jacksyn Bakeberg 1st team, Hannah Neumiller and Hannah Young 2nd team. Spearfish High School, Sioux Falls O’Gorman and Brandon Valley High Schools are the only schools in South Dakota to have three 1st and 2nd team members. Thirty total students are honored on the 3 teams, 10 per team.

With over a month left in the school year, the list is sure to grow.  We have a goal for our seniors to earn over $1 million in scholarships. The Class of 2016 earned $845,000.

As I have said in past April columns - the future is bright for the youth of the Spearfish area and the students are fortunate to have dedicated staff members who help them achieve at a high level.

Each achievement above can be summed up with this Dr. Jonas Salk quote, “I feel that the greatest reward for doing is the opportunity to do more”. Rest assured that our youth will do more.  They have only just begun.

Until next time,
Steve Morford
Spearfish High School