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Emails for January 2006
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Emma Petri artwork honored | Followup to proposed relocation of Fieldcrest sport programs | Concerns over shuffling athletic programs at Fieldcrest | Thank you from Iraq | Name added to class of 29 pic |

Emma Petri artwork honored

Emma Petri of El Paso Heritage Manor was honored at a reception at the El Paso Depot on Saturday. She used to
paint pictures but since she has been in the home, she is now doing all of her drawings with colored pencils. She
has alot of her pictures hanging around the home and was noticed by someone that is good friends with the family
that is in charge of the events going on in the Depot in El Paso. Emma will have her pictures on display from Feb.
6th through March 31st. They choose a local Artist to have an Exhibit and she was chosen as the second elderly
person to display their artwork. They are calling it the Colors of My Life. The reception Saturday was held to see who
the top 5 artist were. Everyone was able to vote and Emma was one of the top 5 to win with her drawings. We are
very proud of Emma and the work that she does. She has suffered several strokes and has parkinson's disease
but is still able to show her talent and make many people happy at the home. If you are in El Paso anytime in Feb.
or March, stop by the Depot and see how wonderful she is doing with her drawing. We would like to thank the
people at the Depot for doing this for the artists and being able to show other people the talent they really have.

Congradulations Emma for a job well done!!!!!
Roger and Barb Petri

Concerns over shuffling athletic programs at Fieldcrest

Dear School Board Members and Fieldcrest Administration,

During the past few weeks, there has been some discussion on where middle school and high school sports will be housed next school year. This discussion includes moving high school girls' basketball to East and middle school boys' basketball and girl's softball to West. We feel that this is not a good choice or use of district resources.

Since the conception of the Fieldcrest school district, the high school sports programs have been housed at the high school building and each middle school building has housed the middle school sports. All of these coaches have been able to work together for the past 14 years to coordinate practices and games. Now it appears that they can no longer do that. It seems that the administration is recommending that the middle school programs be split between the middle school building and the West elementary building, while the high school girls' basketball program is moved to the middle school facility.

To start with the high school – all high school sports have been played at the high school. Obviously, the teams have been able to cooperate and schedule practices and games using the facilities at that building both before and after the consolidation. Now, it suddenly seems that is not adequate and that the girls basketball program should be moved. If there is not enough practice space after school, teams could alternate before school practices so that one group does not consistently have the early practice time.

Next, let's address the middle school programs. Softball, volleyball, basketball, cheerleading, and track are offered for the girls while baseball, basketball, and track are offered for the boys. Softball and baseball are both outdoor activities with separate fields causing no conflict with practices and games. Girl's basketball begins in late September and finishes the regular season in mid to late November. The boys begin in late October so there are about 4 weeks of overlap for the two teams. Girls' volleyball begins in December and runs until late February. This creates an overlap for about 6 weeks of the regular seasons. However, the middle school has 2 gyms which allow both sports to practice at the same time. The coaches have worked together to create a practice schedule allowing both teams equal time in both gyms over the course of the season. The track team is combined and practice together so there is not been any conflict during that season.

We have had a 14 year history of cooperation between the coaches of the middle school programs. Why does it suddenly seem that we cannot cooperate and house all of these programs in the middle school building next year? It seems to be counterproductive to the sports programs to have the students spend their day in one building, then have to gather all of their books, equipment, clothing, shoes, etc., and travel to another building for practice. This will result in more time involved for the students. Practices will begin later and therefore end later giving the students less time for homework and family activities. Will there be facilities for the students to leave practice clothing at the building or will they need to carry it back and forth each day? It is inevitable that something will get left at the wrong building. Are the students going to be bussed back to their attendance building? If so, are the Minonk, Dana, and Rutland students going to be bussed back to their towns? Why should the Wenona students get bussed to their hometown, while the MDR parents must travel to pick up their students at either Wenona or Toluca? That does not seem fair. Where will the students meet the bus for away games - at their attendance building or at their activity building? Also, by leaving the middle school programs at the middle school, the West elementary building is available for the fifth and sixth grade sports programs. Without the middle school teams practicing, the fifth and sixth grade programs will have the chance to grow and become a better base for the middle school programs.

Finally, why should the Fieldcrest taxpayers be asked to foot the bill for transporting students back and forth between buildings especially with the escalating fuel costs when adequate facilities exist in their own building? Will the coaches be getting paid mileage to drive back and forth between buildings? Why should we risk our students' safety transporting them unnecessarily? Why should there be any discussion? The student activities belong at the building the student attends. If the administration and board have valid reasons for moving these programs, we would be open to listening to them. We ask that the board considers these comments and makes a decision that is financially sound and involves the least disruption to the students and their families.

Submitted by Anne Newhalfen on behalf of Concerned Fieldcrest Citizens

Followup to proposed relocation of Fieldcrest sport programs

Dear Fieldcrest administration and school board,

Thank you very much for considering the opinion of the citizens of the school district regarding the location of the sporting programs last week. We understand that it is your job to explore all possibilities, not just the obvious solutions. We hope you understand that it is our responsibility as Fieldcrest residents to voice our objections, concerns or approval to these possibilities. We feel it is far better to voice these concerns before a decision is made by the board rather than after. We apologize that we did not address the board in person at the meeting, but many of us were involved with 8th grade night at the middle schools. This was especially important to us since it was the last home basketball games at East and West. We appreciate your dedication to the Fieldcrest students and would like to thank you for taking the time from your families to devote to the entire Fieldcrest district. We look forward to a bright future for our students. Keep up the great work.

Anne Newhalfen for Concerned Fieldcrest Citizens

Name added to class of 29 pic

Under the picture of the class of 1929 are listed the names of the students. My Mother is pictured & her name is listed ? Parks. Her name is Margaret Katherine Parks. She is living with us now, is 94 years old. She married Ivan W. Elliott who she met at Colorado College. Both were phys. Ed teachers at the time. She graduated from Oberlin.
She had two children, Roger W. Elliott & Evelyn Jean Elliott (me).

Jean Delano

Thank you from Iraq

To Everyone supporting our troops, I would like to say "THANK YOU". This being my second time in Iraq, there have been a lot of good, bad, and scary times. I have had a lot of support from various people in Minonk and people that have known me my whole life. It brought me great joy when I received packages throughout the holidays. There is nothing like a small town pulling together and sending packages to the troops. Everything that has been sent has been put to good use by all the soldiers and Iraqi nationals. I would like to pass on a special thanks from the Air Force Theatre Hospital in Iraq for the Beanie Babies that were sent. They are being put to good use for Iraqi children that are being brought in because of injuries. Let me tell you, for children that don't have a lot in the lives, it puts a huge smile on there face that could light up a Christmas tree. Thank you to Cunningham Candies for sending all the chocolates. Everyone dug into them and they were gone within 2 days. Once again it brought smiles and boosted morale for all of us. I would like to give thanks to Pastor Swensen and the Lutheran Church for pulling together supplies to send. Everything has been put to use. And finally, thank you to everyone supporting the troops. We don't get a lot of praise from the media, and everyone only hears about the tragedies of a fallen soldier. You only hear about the soldiers dying or about a car bomb blowing up. Yes we need to know about and send our prayers for the fallen but there are good things happening like the schools being opened and Iraqi civilians receiving well needed medical attention. So it is nice to see that people are seeing through the negative and jumping on the positive bandwagon. So on behalf of the 332 Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron in Balad Air Base, Iraq THANK YOU and I will be glad to tell you this again in person when I see you all in March. Thanks again.

Rick Butler, Senior Airman, USAF

332 Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron