The Bear Facts
May 13, 2017

Good morning! I’m Ashlyn Harrington!

I’m Gabe Trainer!

And I’m Nolan Greene! You’re listening to a special edition of the “Bear Facts”, where we’re celebrating the Class of 2017 here at Bishop Garrigan High School.

Tomorrow will be Garrigan’s fifty-eighth graduation day, with the senior class marching across the stage in Friedmann Auditorium. This year’s forty seniors come to Garrigan from twelve different towns—as far south as Humboldt and Livermore, as far north as Ledyard and Lakota, as far east as Wesley, and as far west as Cylinder. There’s also Garrigan seniors from Bancroft, Whittemore, West Bend, Burt, Bode, and—of course—Algona.

The Class of 2017 has a lot of accomplishments to be proud of. Among those are multiple national championships in dance and making it to the state championship game in football. The girls track team won their first ever conference championship, and a member of the Class of ’17 is the school’s first four-time all-stater in music. Seniors have also racked up awards in volleyball, basketball, baseball, quiz bowl, and math competition, and they’ve put on some of the schools finest drama productions ever.

Next year the seniors will head off to eighteen different colleges. While mostly in Iowa, they include big and small, and public and private schools. They plan to major in twenty different fields—including business, agronomy, engineering, nursing, and music education. Some also plan to farm, and one will be joining the air force. The seniors have accomplished a lot in their years at Garrigan, and we know they’ll go a lot further in the future.

The fine arts awards were presented last Tuesday night. In addition to letters and certificates of participation, several special awards were announced. Seniors Samantha Harrington and Rebecca Bonstetter earned senior achievement awards in choir, Andrew Meister and Andrew Thilges won the choir’s “service above self” award, Chloe Garman earned the National Choral Award, and Levi Capesius received the Iowa Choral Directors Association Award and the Quincy Jones Musicianship Medal.

In band Rebecca Bonstetter earned the director’s award, Courtney Kirsch received the American Marching Band Honor, and Andrew Meister was presented a statuette for the John Phillip Sousa Award. Madison Illg was named the Most Valuable Performer in drama, and Courtney Kirsch received the drama director’s award. Finally the trophy for achievement in drama and speech went to Levi Capesius.

 Honors were also presented to announcers here on the “Bear Facts”. While thirty-seven people have announced the show this year, the 2017 “Bear Facts” letterwinners include Gabe Trainer, John Zeimet, Megan Wadle, Caitlin Thilges, Emerald Shipler, Nolan Greene, Lexi Berte, Andrew Thilges, Danielle Plathe, and Miranda Book—plus this year’s “Most Valuable Broadcaster”, Logan Capesius. Congratulations to all our announcers.

While this year’s community “Giving Back Day” was first postponed and then cancelled, we did do a number of service projects at Garrigan last Wednesday. One of those was the student council’s Adopt-a-Highway project. 2017 marks the twenty-fifty year Garrigan has cleaned up the stretch of highway 18 one mile either side of Sexton. Student council members help out with the project twice a year, and their continued service has won the school a citation for volunteerism from the State of Iowa.

Our last Senior Spotlight of the year shines on Megan Brown and Chloe Garman. Here to tell you about them is Johnny Zeimet!

Megan Brown comes to Garrigan from the West Bend area. Over the years her activities have included trapshooting, Christian Leadership in Action, softball, and working on the stage crew for plays and concerts.

Chloe Garman is an Algona native who really enjoys the performing arts. She’s won awards in choir, speech, and drama. She’s been a member of the danz squad, and she also choreographs the show choir’s routines. Both Chloe and Megan will be off to college next year, and we wish them—and all the Class of 2017—the very best in the future.

Thanks, Johnny. On this week’s Golden Bear calendar, there’s lots of graduation receptions today, and the ceremony is at 2:00 tomorrow afternoon. Levi Capesius will be delivering this year’s commencement address.

Monday there’s girls golf regionals. Then Tuesday night the junior high students will present their spring vocal concert.

Final exams are next Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. We’ll have a special schedule, with open campus whenever we don’t have tests.

The state track meet will be next Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at Drake Stadium in Des Moines. There’s boys district track next Thursday, and Friday is the last day of school.

That’s the “Bear Facts” for graduation week. We’ll be back one last time next week to look ahead at all the summer events coming up here at Bishop Garrigan High School.