The Bear Facts-September 8, 2007




Good morning! I'm Kory Wieland!

And I'm Kyle Smith! Welcome once again to the "Bear Facts", your weekly radio show from Bishop Garrigan High School.


Today the Golden Bear cross-country team is in Holstein, south of Storm Lake, where they're running in one of the largest meets in Iowa. In addition to competing against teams from all over western Iowa, there's a "meet within the meet" that pits all the Catholic school cross-country teams in the Sioux City Diocese against each other. Garrigan has done well in the CYO competition in the past, and they're hoping for a decent showing again this year.

This is the second cross-country meet in a week. Last Tuesday the Bears ran at Estherville, and they brought home two varsity medals from that meet. Sophomore Katrina Even finished third overall, behind runners from 3-A Spirit Lake and Spencer, and ahead of state-ranked runners from Estherville and Pocahontas. Her time was just 17 minutes, 52 seconds. Carrie Courtney also medalled, finishing fifteenth overall. On the boys side, Ben Hellman ran in the top fifteen for about half the race, but backed off and finished in thirty-fifth place out of more than 100 runners.


The computer lab at Garrigan was closed the first two weeks of school, but it re-opened again this past week. The lab now is now outfitted with all-new computers equipped with the new Windows Vista operating system. The Windows XP machines that used to be in the lab are now in the business department, and the old business computers are now at Seton. While working with Vista takes some getting used to, most people are catching on quickly. We certainly thank those who donated to the project to keep our lab stocked with some of the best technology in any school in Iowa.

Meanwhile there are lots of other changes with technology at Garrigan. Our former technology coordinator, Sarah Freking, left over the summer, and her duties were split among five different people. Greg Ahlers and David Burrow are teaching the computer classes, while Diane Elbert and Vickie Roethler are coordinating technology at Garrigan and Seton. Meanwhile Garrigan graduate Andy Laubenthal is back doing trouble-shooting and keeping everything running smoothly.

A big part of technology is the Bishop Garrigan website. Garrigan first went online in 1995, which was years before any other school in the area. Today garrigan - dot - unlimitedweb - dot - net is one of the most comprehensive school websites you'll find anywhere in America. The big difference between our site and the websites of other high schools is that ours is mostly created by and for the students. This semester Amber Broesder, Allison Missal, and Lee Brashear are the main group working on the site, and they've already created or updated dozens of different pages.

Most school websites primarily feature statistical information, menus, and calendars. You'll find all of that on Garrigan's site, but mostly you'll find pictures. The last time we counted there were over 5,000 pictures on the website, showing what goes on in all our different classes and activities. It's like a constantly changing yearbook that's always up-to-date. You can see all of that by going online to garrigan - dot - unlimitedweb - dot - net. Check it out today.


One thing you'll notice on the Garrigan website is an early announcement of the school's fiftieth anniversary celebration. That's right, it was almost fifty years ago that the Catholic schools around Algona consolidated into a single regional high school. Garrigan's fiftieth year will be the 2008 - 2009 school year, things will end up with an official celebration on Founders Day weekend in summer, 2009. While that's a long time ahead, we hope all our alumni will mark the date and plan on coming back to join us for our golden anniversary.


We had try-outs last week for the fall musical. This year the drama and music departments will be teaming up to present the Broadway classic Bye, Bye, Birdie. The performances will be Friday and Saturday, November 2nd and 3rd, and new choir director Linda Ferjak is excited about the show. We'll tell you more about the show and its cast on upcoming "Bear Facts" episodes.


A week ago the freshmen elected their student council officers. Jake Rosenmeyer won the title of president of the class of 2011, and Kelsie Berke will be the class vice president. Student council representatives for the freshmen are Andrew Behr and Alicia Richter. Congratulations to all our freshman politicians!


Our Senior Spotlight this week shines on John Parrish. Here to tell you about him is Holly Byrkeland.

John Parrish is a well-tanned Algona native with some East Coast connections in his family. He's probably best known for his accomplishments in sports. He plays end in football, he towers over most of the competition in basketball, and he was voted the top referee in intramurals last year. John is also one of the senior class co-presidents, and you may have heard him announcing here on the "Bear Facts". He plans to attend Kirkwood next year, and we wish him the best of luck.


Thanks, Holly. On our calendar, 167 years ago today Bishop Phillip Garrigan was born in Ireland. In modern times, the cross-country team is running in the CYO meet at Holstein today, and there's a volleyball tournament in Emmetsburg.

Tomorrow is the Wesley parish festival. Several of Garrigan's Advanced Biology and Ecology students will be leaving on an overnight field trip. Then tomorrow the JV football team plays at West Bend Mallard.

There's volleyball on Tuesday, with the Bears hosting Ft. Dodge St. Edmond. On Wednesday there will be a meeting to plan Gala 2008. Then Thursday the volleyball team hosts Clarion and cross-country runs at Clear Lake.

Next Friday is the end of the calendar drive. That night both the freshman and varsity football teams will be playing at Belmond-Klemme.


Finally this week we want to wish good luck to Garrigan graduate Brad Nelson, who is playing in the Triple-A baseball play-offs for the third straight year. Brad won a Pacific Coast League championship ring in 2005, and we hope he goes all the way this year.


That's the "Bear Facts" for this week. Thanks for joining us, and be sure to tune in again every week for more news from Bishop Garrigan High School.


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