“Give Us the Shirt Off You Back! Goal-246 Tee Shirts –Last Year 246 Individuals Died from Suicide In Nebrasaka
Hannah Kolterman-Wagner and Miriam Voehl, SHS Junior members of the Family Community Career Leaders of America (FCCLA) Seward Chapter, volunteered to serve as the co-chair for the local campaign SHS Suicide Awareness and Prevention Week and decided to collect 246 new and “like new” tee shirts for those in need or homeless-hoping to recycle the many shirts “just laying around.” Last year 246 individuals died in Nebraska as a result of suicide. The local collection sites are at the Seward Civic Center-616 Bradford Avenue, by the front door and in the SHS lobby, 532 Northern Hgts, through the holidays.
The FCCLA Committee is focusing on the issue of Teen Suicide and this as way to assist the homeless as well. “We felt that most young adults have a drawer full of tee shirts that they may have collected through the years and never wear” said Hannah Kolterman-Wagner. “We always are given tee shirts at the many events and activities we attend and yet often find ourselves wearing our favorite tee shirts over and over.”
“This has been a very successful project for the SHS FCCLA Chapter in the past and almost become an annual drive for the students, sort of like the annual food drive,” stated Miriam Voehl-co chair. “Last year we collected pairs of shoes to symbolize students who died in a year from suicide and we thought tee shirts would be a nice change in this promotion-plus we are actually “doing something.”
“We just feel that we can put these tee shirts to better use and invite others to join us in this campaign to collect a “ton of tees” for others and make them aware of suicide and prevention at the same time.!” stated Hannah Kolterman-Wagner. “It would be great to collect a ‘Ton of Tees’!”
The girls placed posters throughout the school promoting suicide awareness and prevention, set up a display with free informational materials and placed announcements in the bulletin on suicide awareness and prevention. They also distributed materials to each teacher on prevention and awareness of suicide. The FCCLA members are collecting new and like new tees in all sizes and regardless of the message on front (as long as it is appropriate.). “It would be great to collect a “Ton of Tees!” but the theme has a nice sound and yet we are also realistic, knowing a ton is a lot of tee shirts. However, whatever is collected will help those without,” said Miriam Voehl.
Our suicide awareness and prevention materials were donated by Boys Town and Bryn Hospital with the help of Dr. David Miers, an SHS Graduate.
The members plan to personally deliver the tees before the start of the next school term on behalf of their FCCLA Chapter, SHS and the Seward Community. “We have been given so much in our lives, it is nice to be able to share some things with others, and a good way to start the new year.” Stated Miriam Voehl.
Collection boxes will be available during the hours the Civic Center front lobby and High School front lobby are open.
Photo: SHS FCCLA members are collecting 246 new and “like new” tee shirts for those in need to recycle and be used by the homeless. Last year, 246 people died from suicide in Nebraska. The community is invited to donate tee shirts-new or like new. The shirts can be dropped off at the Seward Civic Center or SHS through the holidays. They will be donated to the Living Word City Mission in York.
SHS FCCLA promotes suicide awareness and prevention week with free information and ways to deal with the issue of suicide!
Jarod Harris, Eddie Lee, Austin Dobrusky & Cordell Vrbka represented the SHS SkillsUSA Chapter at the Commissioners Recognition for Student Excellence in CTE at the Nebraska State Capitol Rotunda on November 25th! #sewardjays
The local judges for the Seward Voice of Democracy Speech Contest selected SHS Senior, Jarod Harris the first place winner in the the local Seward VFW Post 4755 and VFW Auxiliary’s Voice of Democracy Speech contest. Jarod is the son of Kirtis and Kari Harris of Seward, Nebraska. The Voice of Democracy is a national student speech/essay program sponsored annually by the Seward VFW and Auxiliary.
Each of the student speaker enties will be presented with a cash scholarship from the Seward VFW Post 4755 and Seward VFW Auxiliary. The students were each required to write and record a three to five minute speech on the topic of “What Makes America Great?” They were required to submit a CD of their presentation, a typed copy of the speech and entry form. The one first place winner will advance to the District VOD Speech Contest representing the Seward VFW Post 4755 and VFW Auxiliary. There were five entries in this year’s contest from Seward High and the only entries from the high schools in the county. Each District will select one representative to advance to the state Voice of Democracy Speech Contest sponsored by the Nebraska VFW and Auxiliary.
Other finalists included SHS Freshman Noah Fields, SHS Seniors Madalyn Lobmeyer and Macy Gebhardt and SHS Junior Nathan Hochstein. The judges determined they would all be named Runners-up and share equally in the runner-up scholarships, instead of a second, third, fourth and fifth place.
Judges for the contest were UNL students-Communication Majors John Joseph-Omaha and Julie Jackson-Lincoln. Local VOD Chair for the local VFW is Greg Holloway and assisted by local SHS Speech Teacher Erica Crouch.
The students will receive their VOD scholarships at the spring Honors Night In May and be honored on stage at that time as well.
2019-2020 Seward VFW Post 4755 and Auxiliary “Voice of Democracy” Speech Contest winners
First Place-Jarod Harris-Seward High School Senior
Macy Gebhardt-Seward High School Senior
Madalyn Lobmeyer-Seward High School Senior
Nathan Hochstein-Seward High School Junior
Noah Fields-Seward High School Freshman
Five entries in the Post 4755 contest-all from Seward High-One speech sent to Districts
Speech coach at Seward High-Mrs. Erica Crouch
Emily O’Kief, an Seward High Senior, was selected the November Youth Rotarian of the Month and recognized and honored at the recent Seward Rotary Club noon luncheon meeting on Wednesday, November 13th, 2019 at the Jones Bank Auditorium. Emily is the daughter of Stacey and John O’Kief. She was introduced by Rotarian Phil Bangert of the Seward Rotary Youth Rotarian Committee and she was presented a Rotary Club banner and information on Rotary and Rotary International.
While Emily is very involved with a host of extracurricular activities at Seward High, she is also a lead scholar at Seward High! She is always on the SHS Academic Honor Roll and a longtime leader in the SHS National Honor Society with a current 4.1 GPA.
She is the official student representative on the Seward School Board of Education, selected by the faculty and administration. She was also selected an Outdoor Education Counselor for many years. She is one of the lead Student Ambassadors for Seward High and has participated in the SHS Quiz Bowl program.
Music has a priority in Emily’s life and she is a leader and a longtime-four year member of the SHS Swing Choir, she is a member of the SHS Select Choir, she has been involved with the musical her entire high school career. Emily was a member and leader of the SHS Marching Bluejay Band-serving as the band’s Drum Major her senior year and the SHS Wind Ensemble for four years. She has participated in a host of special choirs and honor band programs over the years as well as the SHS Pep Band!
Emily was a member of the SHS Track Team and Cross Country and lettered in both activities. She also was a member of the SHS Soccer team.
She has been involved as a leader in the SHS One Act program all four years and a leader with the SHS Speech team, participating in Drama Team and Duet competitions-named a District Champion in Speech and a State Qualifier the last two years! Emily participated in the VFW Voice of Democracy Speech Contest. She has been involved over the years in a host of activities at the Nebraska State Fair in the Education Division.
Emily is also very involved in the SHS FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) program. She is a member of the SHS Key Club and involved in many of their service projects, such as the Multi-Cultural Day.
Emily is a member of the Bluejay Leadership Team (Student Government) and has been selected to be a member all four years of her high school career and currently serves as the Leadership Team’s Student Body President. She was selected one of the two RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) last year and represented the Seward Rotary and Seward High at the state RYLA week-end leadership seminar.
Emily has been employed as a child care provider, worked at Mustard’s Last Stand – a concession stand near Malcolm, and currently is employed at the Rivoli Theater in Seward at the concession stand and where needed.
In the area of “Service Above Self,” Emily has been a volunteer Seward Memorial Library Assistant and enjoys working with youth at the annual youth education outdoor program and the various youth activities hosted by the SHS Show Choir. She has been a longtime volunteer as well through her service club project with Key Club and FBLA at Seward High.
Emily is a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church and a voice of the youth in their congregation.
While she is still very much undecided on her college choice, she is “looking” at Boston University, with a major in Molecular Biology, but that is not a finalized, definite choice as of today-she is still deciding and looking at other options.
Emily was presented with a Book Scholarship from the Seward Rotary Club and will again be honored and thanked in May at the SHS Senior Honors Night at the SHS Theater. At that time, the Seward Rotary Club will announce the Seward Youth Rotarian of the Year and presented that student with the Youth Rotarian of the Year Scholarship. One Youth Rotarian is selected every month by the Seward Rotary Club to an SHS Senior, with the application available in the SHS Counselor’s office.
The annual GFWC Nebraska Federation of Women’s Club’s Inc. annual “Girl’s Only” Writing Workshop was held on Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at the Seward Civic Center in Seward, NE. It was coordinated and sponsored by the GFWC/NFWC in an effort to promote writing for women of high school age and older. Approximately 60 participated in the annual writing workshop promoting both the writing of poetry and narrative writing.
Participating from Seward High were Emma Bales, Kylie Edgington, Dani Lopez, Jazmin Lopez, Kaylie Nelson, Liz Rongo, Abby Wignall and Kacia Wasser.
SHS instructor, Mellissa Pohl served as the sponsor for the girls at the all day workshop. The girls were sponsored by the School District of Seward High Ability Learner program, the GFWC Seward Woman’s Club and the GFWC Seward Junior Woman’s Club.
State Project Chair for the event was Jean Kolterman of the GFWC Seward Woman’s Club, who serves as the GFWC/NFWC Fine Arts Chair. The writing workshop coordinator was Dr. Lauren Gatti of University of Nebraska-Lincoln, assisted by students from her UNL university writing education class- including UNL students Meghan Straub, Sidney Parizek and Abbigail Mazour.
Following the opening session of welcome, introductions and a message on writing, the girls broke into groups to study writing of poetry and personal writing. Local, Lincoln author and writer, Lu Pitsch spoke to the participants and share her writing story and the various successes she has enjoyed as a writer, during the working lunch-speaking on what it is like to be an aspiring writer. The lunch was hosted and prepared by the GFWC Seward Woman’s Club members. The GFWC Seward Woman’s Club also hosted the morning coffee and afternoon break as well!
Another writing session for the groups was held in the afternoon and the day concluded with a sharing of writing in an open mic session. Following the writing workshop, the girls and their sponsors were invited to the local Chapters Books and Gifts local book store.
At the conclusion of the day, materials and free GFWC/NFWC Anthologies were distributed to all the participants of in the writing workshop-along with information and addresses on various writing contests and opportunities in Nebraska. Another workshop is planned for 2020, with details to follow.
Students attending the event were from across Nebraska and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Schools represented at the annual GFWC NFWC “Girl’s Only” Writing Workshop included Gretna High, East Butler High, Seward High, Stanton High, Bennington, Dorchester and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
Seward High Junior, J. J. Metschke was declared the winner in the recent American Legion District 12 Oratorical contest at the Nebraska National Guard Museum on Sunday, November 03, 2019 at 2:00 pm and was held in the museum’s Jones Bank Theater . He is the son of Jonathan and Amy Metschke of rural Seward. The contest required J. J. to present a ten minute, memorized speech on some aspect of the US Constitution and then draw one of four US Constitution Amendments and speak extemporaneously on that amendment for three to five minutes.
Area C American Legion Vice-Commander-Bonnie Brewer welcomed the group on behalf of the Legion and local Seward American Legion Post 33 Commander-Jim Ehlers welcomed the group to Seward and the Nebraska National Guard Museum. He saluted the youth involved in the contest and invited the group to visit the museum following the presentations. Ehlers also served as the speakers escort to and from the preparation room. Also present and welcoming the group was local American Legion Nebraska District 12 Commander David Glantz.
J. J.’s speech on the constitution was title “America’s Favorite Pastime” and he compared the US Constitution and Amendments to the game of baseball. He drew Amendment #24 on the elimination of the poll tax and other election required taxes and spoke on the history of the amendment, impact of the change and again used the analogy of baseball. The other amendments offered in the draw were Amendment 12, 20 and 27.
J. J., upon being named District 12 Oratorical Champion was awarded a $100 cash scholarship from American Legion Nebraska District 12 and a gold medal. He was also awarded the first, annual American Legion Ne District 12 Oratorical Champion - Thomas Bosmenial Memorial Trophy, designed by Tim Moravec of Awards Unlimited in Lincoln and sponsored by the Seward Arts Council. The engraved chrystal trophy was topped by a special blue glass star. The late Thomas Bosmenial was a long time champion of many American Legion Oratorical competitions representing District 12 and Seward American Legion Post 33. His memorial trophy was presented by Thomas’ mother-Anna Downing-awarded to the District 12 Champion –J.J. Metschke. Ironically, Metschke and Bosmenial both were on the same speech team at SHS when Bosmenial was a senior and Metschke was a freshman!
Judges for the oratorical contest included US Veteran Greg Holloway of Bee, NE, Concordia University Senior-Wyatt Woodman of Kenesaw, NE- a history and museum studies student and Anna Downing of Ulysses-speech judge and longtime promoter of the American Legion Oratorical program. Noah Fields served as the official timer for the contest. Gerry Meyer, Executive Director of the Nebraska National Guard Museum served as the location host for the speech contest. Refreshments followed the competition in the John Cattle Memorial Room at the museum
J.J. Metschke now advances to the Nebraska American Legion Area C oratorical contest to be held at the Seward Civic Center on Sunday evening, December 1, 2019 at 7:00 in the original building-in the Seward Woman’s Club room/the West Fireplace Room. The winner at the Area C contest will advance to the State American Legion Contest in January of 2020. The students are asked to do exactly the same activity- a ten minute, memorized speech on the US Constitution and then speak on one of four US Constitution Amendments 12, 20, 24 or 27.