Monday, April 16, 2018


 Principal “Reflections & Projections”

The outcome of many hours of hard work by the students and staff of Spearfish High School can be seen with the outstanding success illustrated in the list that ends this column.  It always gives me great pleasure to showcase the accomplishments of the students and staff within my April column each school year. 

As we all know, success does not come easy.  A person very seldom just happens onto or falls into being successful.  Numerous hours of preparation are needed in every educational activity participated in by the staff and students.   Any student, who gives a full effort, is successful and should be very proud.  Life should not be just about winners and losers, no matter the competition. 

Please take the time to congratulate every student who participated.  As long as we continue to show support, congratulate and encourage the youth of today, accomplishment lists, like the one below, will continue to grow.  The future is bright for the youth of the Spearfish area.  We have a highly effective K-12 staff that is responsible for shaping the lives of the students the district serves on a daily basis.

Some of the accomplishment and highlights of the 2017 – 2018 school year at SHS include:

SHS Senior Logan Smith named as a National Merit Semi Finalist and Finalist

SHS Seniors Griffin Smith and Carter Thorman received Commended Student Status by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation

SHS Seniors Carter Thorman and Brayden Case selected to represent SHS and attend the ASBSD Academic Recognition Day in Pierre April 23, 2018.  Each will be recognized by Governor Daugaard at the ceremony.

SDHSAA Academic Achievement Awards received in: All-State Chorus 3.63 Volleyball Team 3.51 Boys Soccer Team 3.38 Girls Soccer Team 3.60 All-State Orchestra 3.11 Competitive Dance Team 3.40 Girls Tennis Team 3.67 Boys Golf Team 3.08 Girls Cross Country Team 3.66 Boys Cross Country Team 3.15 Football Team 3.05

Student/Athletes chosen as all conference: Boys XC:  Rigel Roberdeau, Cole Herrmann  Girls XC:  Angela Hovdenes  VB:  Emma Murphy, Alexsis Kemp, Jalyn Carter VB HM: Jensen Markley, Kenni Easton FB:  Reese Hansen, Marc Williams, Keithan Funk FB HM:  Jordon Brinson, Taylor Janovy  Boys Golf:  Kevin Kolb, Drew Gusso, Jesse Sacrison, Dawson Sundsted, Sam Grout  BSOC:  Weston Verhulst, Rigel Roberdeau, Mason Krier, Jayden Deichert BSOC HM:  Yohannes Peterson, Ryan Rafferty  GSOC:  Daesha Erskin, Madison Gould, Sela Fitzgerald, Riley Ullrich  GSOC HM:  Madiera Lister, Taylar Johnson  GTEN:  Vittoria Ragni named to: SD Tennis All Tournament Team Girls Basketball All Conference selections – Madison Gould & Alexsis Kemp Girls Basketball Honorable Mention – Brooke Heairet Wrestling 126 Max Sailor, 182 Reese Hansen, 195 Evan Hehr, 220 Marc Williams, HM           Cael Citrowske, HM Eli Zuniga

Student/Athletes chosen as all state: Soccer Daesha Erskin 2nd team; Football 1st Team Keithan Funk
Reece Hansen Honorable Mention Mark Williams

Student/Athletes choses as Academic All-State: Tennis: Maren Long and Anne-Marie Rolando Football: Brady Greger, Taylor Janovy, Matt Ackerman, Keithan Funk, Chris Ivers: Volleyball Emma Murphy, Jensen Markley Soccer: Daesha Erskin, Madison Gould, Sela Fitzgerald, Amanda Dean Girls Basketball Academic All-State – Madison Gould, Alexsis Kemp, Lauren Hight, Morgan Sandidge

Black Hills Pioneer, Rapid City Journal, KOTA/KEVN/KOTA , BH Pioneer Athletes of the week: Vittoria Ragni (2 times), Ella Hancock, Emma Murphy, Matt Ackerman, Braeden Ferguson

SDHSAA Individual state medalists: Tennis results: Singles:  Flight 1-Vittoria Ragni-3rd Place Flight 3-Sierra Hauff-7th Place (tie) Flight 4-Anne-Marie Rolando-Consolation Quarter Finals Flight 6-Ella Hancock-3rd Place Flight 6-Silvee McCoy-Consolation Champion-9th Place  Doubles: Flight 1-Vittoria Ragni and Maren Long-7th Place (tie) Flight 2-Sierra Hauff and Anne-Marie Rolando-Consolation Finals-10th Place Flight 3-Ella Hancock and Hannah Brun-7th Place (tie) Vittoria Ragni- All Tournament Team Cross Country: Angela Hovdenes 17th, Rigel Roberdeau 25th Angela Hovdenes was individual All State Finisher being among the top 25 finishers in the State Wrestling – Evan Hehr 6th, Max Sailer 7th

Black Hills Conference Champions in: Dance, Wrestling

Black Hills Conference Coach of the Year: Jessie Jeffery

Junior Rylee Niesent selected to participate in the US Senate Page program. Only 30 students across the United States werre selected.

Calvin Tohm received a Bronze medal (3rd place finish out of 42 national qualifiers) at the National Skills Leadership Conference in Louisville, Kentucky this past June. He was awarded a full ride scholarship to Lincoln Technical institute in Denver, Colorado and brand new Lincoln Electric and Miller welders for his accomplishment

2017 Spearfish High School All-State Chorus Members: Faith Burnett, Izaak Colgrove, Makenna DuPont, Brady Greger, Ellie Greger, Bryce Mullaney, Emma Murphy, Tristen Olsson, Katie O'Shea, Ashtyn Reiners, Matt Spear, and Connor Speirs.  Izaak Colgrove and Brady Greger are four-year All-State Chorus members.

Anna Pochop selected to SDHSAA All State Orchestra.  Anna becomes a four year member which is an amazing accomplishment.  Last SHS student to be a 4 year member was in 2004.

SHS Senior Choir student Izaak Colgrove chosen to perform in the 2018 High School Honors Concert Choir at Carnegie Hall in New York City in February.

Zade Dohman, Lizzie Gray, and Madigan Schmitz chosen for the 2018 South Dakota Junior Honor Choir.

Issac Colgrove selected to perform in a National Honor Choir at Carnegie Hall in New York City

The South Dakota Education Association named Spearfish Chemistry Teacher, Jessica Zwaschka,
the 2018 SDEA Teacher of Excellence.

Senior Griffin Smith finished 1st on the 2017 South Dakota Trig Star Math Exam.  Moving on to the national competition Griffin finished 8th.

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

Vittoria Ragni nominated for Girls Tennis Athlete of the Year and will attend a banquet in Sioux Falls on May 18th

Superior acting awards received at the SDHSAA One Act Play Competition:  Chase Huseby, Jay Sayler, and Justin Schultz for the Play “Lockdown”

Senior Griffin Smith won the South Dakota American Legion State Oratorical Scholarship local and state contests and received a $1,000 scholarship. He will move on to the 2018 national finals April 14-15 in Indianapolis.

The following students have earned the opportunity to represent Spearfish in Fort Lauderdale this June, at the National Debate Tournament: Griffin Smith and Zach Zwaschka In duo Interp; Justin Steedly in Student Congress; and Echo Palmgren and Braden Case in World Debate.  Griffin Smith also became the first four-year national qualifier ever from our school and one of less than fifty that earn that honor each season in the nation. Griffin also was chosen as the District student of the Year.

We the People- Spearfish HS will represent South Dakota at the national finals of We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution for the 19th time in the last 21 years.

All SHS participating athletes earned ribbons at the regional Winter Special Olympics at Terry Peak

SHS Speech and Debate team won their 3rd straight SDHSAA state championship. SHS also had two individual state event champions. Morgan Roberts is the state champion in Domestic Extemporaneous and took third in Lincoln Douglas debate.  The Public Forum Debate team of Thomas Friedrich and LillyDennison earned the final round win against Sioux Falls Christian to become State Champions in that event, while Friedrich went on to take third in International Extemp.  Senior Captains Griffin Smith and Zach Zwaschka earned third and fourth in Original Oratory while also breaking into the out rounds of Cross-Examination Debate. Seniors Tanner Hanson and Braden Case both earned round competition placing with Hanson taking fourth in International Extemp and Case competing the Quarter Finals of Lincoln Douglas after going undefeated in preliminary rounds. Senior Logan Smith and Junior Partner Taylor Hersch went undefeated in the preliminary rounds of Public Forum debate and earned a position in quarterfinals.  Junior Justin Steedley and sophomore partner Ella Murray added 12 team points with preliminary round wins in Cross-examination debate.

Dillon Batka's 3-D piece 2nd place at SDHSAA State Art competition held in Sioux Falls

SHS Junior Thomas Friedrich is a NSLI-Y scholarship recipient.  He will spend 6 weeks this summer in Jakarta, Indonesia learning Bahasa Indonesian. 

Four 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 30 students in the state. Honored seniors are Logan Smith 1st Team, Brayden Case and Griffin Smith 2nd team and Sydney Carlbom 3rd team.  Spearfish High School, Sioux Falls O’Gorman, Mitchell and Aberdeen High Schools are the only schools in South Dakota to have four or more team members. Thirty total students are honored on the 3 teams, 10 per team.

Great Job SHS – Keep up the good work!!

“My mother drew a distinction between achievement and success. She said that achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and worked hard and done the best that is in you. Success is being praised by others, and that's nice, too, but not as important or satisfying. Always aim for achievement and forget about success.” ~ Helen Hayes US actress (1900 - 1993)

Until next time, Steve Morford – Principal Spearfish High School