Monday, October 31, 2016

SGR is Updated on WCSD Growth

TODAY IN ROTARY Kyle Case was presented with his Paul Harris Fellow recognition earned awhile back, but because of his grueling schedule overseeing 11,079 senior athletes participating in the Huntsman World Senior Games (October 3-16) he has been scarce at our club meetings.

TODAY IN ROTARY our newest member – Steve Dunham (Classification:  Development and Marketing) – was inducted by President Collin Davis as our 73rd member, with his sponsor Larry Bergeson doing the honor of presenting him with his Rotary pin.

Larry Bergeson, Superintendent of the Washington County School District, provided an update on the goings-on at the WCSD noting the district has seen a 4.5% increase in enrollment which has necessitated more buildings and more realignments to accommodate student growth particularly in the area around Little Valley and Washington Fields.  The new Crimson High School and Middle School “cone site” have now broken ground and construction is underway for an opening in the fall of 2018.  The construction process of pouring 30 tons of cement then lifting the walls into place with “a very big crane” saves the district about 25% in construction costs.

Legacy Elementary (replacing East Elementary) is the district’s first 2-story elementary school.  It is built on 5.6 acres of ground and will be open to 650 students in February, 2017.   It also includes a high school length indoor gymnasium with a wood floor and will be shared in a partnership with the City of St. George Parks and Recreation Department.

Majestic Hills Elementary, near Staheli Farms, will open next year with one more elementary school already “on the drawing board.”

Schools are currently opening to student populations of between 900-1000 but are designed to accommodate populations of 1150 – 1250 based on growth.

Recent recognitions for the WCSD:

·               Financing education is challenging, but we now have a AAA bond rating (“which is not real common,” states the Superintendent)
·               Vista School is the #1 charter school in the nation
·               Utah’s 8th grade science curriculum is #1 in the nation
·               WCSD is in the Top 5 nationally for commitment to professional learning
·               Our Response Team Intervention program is recognized as one of the best for helping students who are falling behind
WCSD has “more honors classes, more AP classes and more concurrent enrollment students” than any other district in the state

Monday, October 24, 2016

SUU Sports Program Explained

TODAY IN ROTARY Frank Pucher, SUU’s Associate Athletic Director since Mary 2016, shared his enthusiasm for his new job which includes external relations, revenue generation, responsibility for enhanced student / athlete experience, developing a Division One mindset on campus and in the community, and helping SUU become “southern Utah’s university.”

He also works closely with the Thunderbird Athletic Foundation which provides scholarships, academic and life skills support.  The foundation has seen a 73% increase in giving as the school moves toward a total student enrollment of up to 8500.   “We are doing lots of things differently,” noted Pucher in closing.

Monday, October 17, 2016

RYLA Youth Report

TODAY IN ROTARY members of SGR were treated to an after action report from those amazing young women who attended RYLA in late September.  Taverie Coleman, Kaylee Simmons attended for the first time, while Michael Isom returned for the 5th time as a RYLA alum.

Taverie, the granddaughter of Jim Coleman, admitted she had not adequately prepared for RYLA but learned a great deal about herself and others while learning to “embrace other cultures” as well as about how her fear of failing prevents her from fully experiencing life because of her perfectionist personality.  She came home determined to conduct a “purple pinkies” fundraiser at Desert Hills High School where she attends.  Today she has already earned $30 from her efforts, which will be matched by SGR and matched again by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, bringing her total – even if she doesn’t raise anymore – to $180 – enough to inoculate 360 children.  “I’m already making a difference in the world,” she noted gleefully!

Kaylee Simmons, who delivered her message extemporaneously – and well – spoke of how much she had learned thru her experience at RYLA.  She, too, was impacted favorably by the culture walk and was particularly touched by the presentation on heros by Craig Hymas.  She encouraged her younger classmates to attend RYLA next year and hopes to make a difference as a member of the Dixie High School Interact Club.

Michael Isom, son of Richard Isom and a fulltime student at Southern Utah University, expressed his enthusiasm for RYLA, both as a first timer and as an alumni facilitator. 

DSU’s Rotaract president Rashe Elliott noted his is the 2nd largest service club on campus with 58 members who most recently provided volunteer support for the St. George Marathon and ongoing support to Switchpointe.

For more information, contact SGR’s New Generations Chair Malissa Kelsch.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Visioning for the Future

TODAY IN ROTARY our 72nd member – Michael Terry, sponsored by Kurt Johnson – was inducted by President Collin Davis.

Our program found members of SRG discussed further how to find and/or develop a significant local project our club can own for the betterment of our community.  Rulon Olsen led the discussion which included suggestions relating to youth literacy, supporting community youth, senior awareness projects, expanding on the 4-Way Test and adopting a park and/or trail.  There was some discussion but no conclusion as to what project will have the same kind of high visibility as was achieved by the Dixie Rotary Bowl.