The Bear Facts
January 17, 2009

Good morning! I'm Anna Kollasch!

And I'm Michael Fakler! Welcome to the "Bear Facts", where we haven't had much school this past week at Bishop Garrigan High School.

We started the new semester this past week, but between ice, snow, wind, and the coldest weather in more than a decade, we only managed to get in two days of school-and that was more than some schools nearby. Administrators from Garrigan and Algona Public always go out together to check the roads and see what conditions are like. Making the decision to have school or not is always a challenge, because roads can vary a lot from one place to another. The Algona School district itself is large, and Garrigan and Seton draw students from as far away Graettinger, Britt, Lakota, and Humboldt. The officials have to take that into consideration when they decide on school closings.

This week's snow days mean all our spring semester tests will be after Memorial Day. They're also likely to create some problems for summer activities and for driver's ed classes. Lots of basketball games have had to be re-scheduled, and our large group speech team will be heading off to district with far less practices than they'd like. That's all part of living in Iowa, though. On the plus side, a lot of us have enjoyed some extra time for things like snowmobiling. Everyone's getting a bit of "cabin fever" now, though, and we're ready to get things back to normal.

Last weekend, between the storms, the Golden Bear quiz bowl and math teams competed, and both of them had a very good day. The quiz bowl team won the overall championship in the first-ever Humanities Challenge team competition, which was held in Garner. The Bears finished the day with a 3 - 1 record, with wins over Garner-Hayfield, North Sentral Kossuth, and Britt West Hancock. Their only loss was to Belmond-Klemme. Officials commented that they were the most well-rounded team in the tournament. Team members included Joe Straub, Christopher Schmidt, Vince Cruise, Jake Rosenmeyer, Michael Hellman, Philip Detrick, Jenny Broesder, and John Richter! Congratulations to Mr. Burrow and the quiz bowl team!

Meanwhile the math team competed in Iowa Falls. The varsity finished third, and the freshman/sophomore team won the J.V. division. Kelly Rouse qualified for state, and pretty much everyone else competing took home a medal for finishing in the op three in one of the competition rounds. The math competitors include Alec Boeckholt, Ben Hellman, Chris Hansen, Brittany Berte, Cassie Reising, and Rebeccah Erdman; as well as D.J. Beletti, Jeff Broesder, Anna Kollasch, Nora Krahenbuhl, Michael Fakler, Alex Hamilton, Craig Kohlhaas, and Austin Salz. Congratulations to Mr. Kohlhaas and the math team!

While they haven't gotten in a lot of practices, the Golden Bear speech team will be headed to large group contest next weekend. District contest is in Laurens. Among the groups that we hope will do well are four improvisation groups, which include Jake Rosenmeyer, Anna Kollasch, Michael Hellman, Nora Krahenbuhl, Molly Brashear, Kelly Klein, Alex Hamilton, Holly Byrkeland, Joe Straub, Randy Kenyon, Austin Salz, Craig Kohlhaas, and Philip Detrick. We're also hoping for good things from two mime groups including Becky Jennings, Brie Blocker, Ryya Kumm, Cassie Reising, Jade Kajewski, and Brittany Berte. The Bears also have entries in One-Act Play, Readers Theatre, and Ensemble Acting. We'll tell you more about the speech contest on next week's show.

Our Senior Spotlight this week shines on Ben Hellman and Kyle Smith. Here to tell you about them is Alex Hamilton.

Ben Hellman's team began the intramural basketball season with a big win last Sunday. Ben is active in lots of different activities. He was a cross-country captain, he's active in music and drama, and he is also a key member of the math team. This Burt native has challenged himself with some of the toughest classes at Garrigan over the years, and he'll continue his education at college next year. We wish Ben all the best in the future.

This time of year you're likely to see Kyle Smith calling fouls at middle school basketball games. Kyle is a certified referee, and he also enjoys playing sports himself. He was right in the middle of the line in football, and he's played catcher on the baseball team all through high school. Kyle recently committed to playing baseball for Iowa Lakes, and we wish him good luck at college.

Thanks, Alex! On our Golden Bear calendar this week, intramural basketball continues tomorrow. Then on Monday the Bears will make up a basketball game at Clear Lake that has been postponed twice already.

Tuesday the Bears will travel to Humboldt. Then Wednesday there's an honor band at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake. There's no school at Garrigan that day, but Seton and the Algona Community Schools will have a half day, with afternoon in-service.

Also on Wednesday nurse's aide students are hoping to finally take their certification tests. These have been repeatedly postponed since before Christmas, and both the students and instructor Jeanne Wunder want to finally get the testing taken care of.

Thursday the basketball teams will host Clarion-Goldfield. The math team will serve a spaghetti supper during the games. Then Friday there are home games versus Eagle Grove, with the National Honor Society hosting a spaghetti supper.

Finally next Saturday there's district speech contest at Laurens-Marathon. Then Sunday we'll continue our fiftieth anniversary celebration with Catholic Schools Week.

That's the "Bear Facts" for what we hope was the coldest week of the year. Thanks for listening, and be sure to tune in next week when we'll tell you about all the Catholic Schools Week events here at Bishop Garrigan High School.

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