Young People Articles
Published: Wednesday, November 25th, 2015
Lizzie Anderson of Custer, 15, was crowned Miss Wheel Jam’s Outstanding Teen at the Miss South Dakota State Fair’s Outstanding Teen Pageant in Huron Sept. 5.
The Wheel Jam, as represented by Anderson’s title, is an annual truck show held in Huron. Anderson received scholarships for the title as well as for winning both the talent and the fitness/active wear categories. Anderson was judged most talented with her musical theatre jazz dance routine, which was worth 35 percent of her total score. The competition also included a private interview with a panel of judges and an on-stage question which the contestant answers in front of the audience while wearing an evening gown.
Published: Thursday, November 19th, 2015
It may be 2015, but four Custer High School students took a step back into time Wednesday, Nov. 11, when they demonstrated swing dancing during the Veterans Day program at the Custer Armory.
The two couples hit the floor for a swinging good time during the high school’s ladies choir rendition of “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree,” made famous by the Andrew Sisters. The performance came to life during a regular day at choir practice.
Published: Thursday, November 12th, 2015
With the Custer High School fall play just around the corner, drama students are putting the final touches on a number of things: set design, costumes and the script. Funding the production should also be added to the list.
According to Susan Bowen, drama advisor, several musicals were looked at for the fall production, however “Annie” soon became a cast favorite.
Published: Thursday, November 5th, 2015
With budget cuts becoming a common problem for many school districts across the country, sources of revenue are very sacred for many schools, including Custer. One of those very important sources is Impact Aid.
Impact Aid is a federal program designed to help school districts with federal funds from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE). Impact Aid is different from other funds, such as special education and title programs, since it comes directly from the U.S. DOE. The program was started in 1950 under the Eisenhower administration.
Published: Thursday, October 8th, 2015
Four cadets from Crazy Horse Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol recently took part in powered orientation flights at the Custer County Airport. Participating were Cadets C/SMSgt Thomas Dillon, C/A1C Hunter Rice, C/SrA Anthony Dillon and Cadet Ethan Updike. The event was supervised by Capt. Victoria Bierwirth. Lt. Col Myra Christensen and Capt. Matthew Meert of the Pierre and Sioux Falls CAP squadrons were the pilots.
The cadet orientation flight program shares the thrill of flying with cadets. Every cadet under the age of 18 is eligible for five flights in a powered aircraft and five flights in a glider. Each flight has a syllabus that cadets follow to learn more about aviation and piloting skills. While the orientation flights do not count toward a pilot’s license, cadets may compete for flight training scholarships that lead to private pilot licenses.
Published: Thursday, October 1st, 2015
For the last 10 years, Custer Elementary School’s fourth and fifth grade students have honored elders in the community through the Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song program. Every year, four or five elders have been interviewed and a narraritive and song are written about their lives with the help of an area songwriter about “what is in their heart.”
A community celebration is then held where the elders hear their song and narrative by the students for the first time. All those songs and narratives about the elders’ lives and their photographs maybe seen on the website: elderswisdom
Published: Thursday, September 24th, 2015
With every new school year, there are always new faces in the classroom, halls and offices. And some of those new faces belong to teachers.
At Custer Elementary School, four new teachers are excited to start their first year in the Custer School District.
Second grade teacher Katie Adam has spent most of her life in Rapid City, but was born in Canada. She lives in Rapid City with her husband and four dogs. Her parents and siblings also live in Rapid City.
Adam graduated from Black Hills State University (BHSU) in May, after realizing teaching was her calling.
Published: Thursday, September 10th, 2015
With every new school year, there are always new faces in the classroom, halls and offices. And some of those new faces belong to teachers.
This year, Hermosa School has four new teachers and one new principal.
Principal Lori Enright was born in Miller and moved to the Black Hills when she was in middle school. After graduating from Spearfish High School, she attended college at South Dakota State University. Her first teaching job was in Watertown as a high school social studies teacher.
Published: Thursday, August 6th, 2015
There was nothing short of excitement during the Monday, July 27, YMCA Kids’ Camp afternoon. After seven weeks of preparation, six boys and four girls filled the two rows of chairs in the upstairs of the Custer Elementary School gym, where they prepared to compete in their first ballroom dance competition.
“It was fun working on the dances. This was the best opportunity to learn how to do this,” said Drew Lehman, one of the competitors. “It was hard at the beginning, but the more we learned, the easier it got.”
Published: Thursday, July 23rd, 2015
Being on the stage at Black Hills Playhouse (BHP) can be described as a fairytale, which recent Custer High School graduate Olivia Dahlstrom is finding out.
Dahlstrom was cast in BHP’s third play of the season, “Shrek the Musical,” as Baby Bear. Dahlstrom, who heard about the auditions through friends and family, has been going to the Playhouse for years, so she had an idea of when the auditions would be. From there, she went online and did some more research.
“My choir teacher, Mr. Oakley, helped me with the audition, as well as my drama teacher, Ms. Bowen,” she said. “In the audition, I sang 16 measures of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ and recited two monologues by memory — taking about 10 minutes overall. It was simple, but nerve-racking.”
Published: Thursday, July 9th, 2015
Cub Scouts throughout the Black Hills are preparing to embark on a day-long adventure at Jewel Cave National Monument on Saturday, July 18. The Belt Loopalooza is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and consists of 10 unique activity stations. Space is limited and reservations are required. Pack leaders and den leaders are encouraged to call and secure their space as soon as possible.
Participating Cub Scouts interact with resource professionals toward the completion of belt loop awards and related patches which complement the protection, preservation and conservation of public lands.
Published: Thursday, June 11th, 2015
Summer is just starting and soon-to-be sixth grader Kelley Wicks isn’t wasting any time on living it up. However, this summer will be much different than summers past. This year, she’ll kick off her break on the stage of the Black Hills Playhouse.
Wicks, daughter of Tim and Tammy Wicks of Custer, will play Scout in the opening performance of the Black Hills Playhouse’s 70th season, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” based on the great American novel by Harper Lee.
Published: Thursday, May 7th, 2015
Holly Lynn Smith, a 2006 graduate of Custer High School, has been selected to join 40 young orchestral musicians and 40 opera vocalists from around the world to participate in the Prague Summer Nights Young Artists Music Festival to be held in Prague, Czechoslovakia, from June 7 through July 6.
Neeta Helms, president of Classical Movements, the company responsible for running Prague Summer Nights, explained that the program gives students an incomparable experience in performing and producing a full-length opera in one of the world’s most historic venues. Participants will learn from world-famous performers, singers and conductors making this experience even more invaluable.
Published: Thursday, April 30th, 2015
The Custer School District, as well as other school districts across the nation, are celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week May 4-8. In conjunction with the event, Teacher Appreciation Day is Tuesday, May 5.
“I am thankful we have such a great staff of teachers that really do care about our kids’ success,” said Mark Naugle, Custer superintendent. “Our teachers really make the difference in our kids’ lives.”
“Teacher appreciation is a simple idea. It means showing teachers you value their work,” said Heather Hiltunen, Custer Elementary School. “Our goal is to enhance the educational environment in our schools. We thank our teachers for all their support.”
Published: Thursday, April 23rd, 2015
Custer Elementary students are once again working toward the goal to pack 10,000 meals to go to Nkungi village in Tanzania. Last year students packed 12,568 meals which were sent directly to Nkungi, which sits at the foothills of Mr. Kilimanjaro.
Their food was not only used at the local school but also sent home for food over the weekend. For many children in Nkungi, their noon meal at school is the only food they get that day. Each meal costs 25 cents and each meal bag contains six meals. The meal pack will be Monday, May 4, at Custer Elementary.
Published: Thursday, April 16th, 2015
Landon Woodward shrinks away from a hawk’s foot’s sharp talons, which the bird of pray uses to catch its food. John Halverson, right, from the Black Hills Raptor Center, explains how a hawk uses its talons by demonstrating on Woodward. The fourth grade classes at Custer Elementary School saw and learned about four types of birds of prey Thursday, April 9, including owls, a hawk and a falcon. [CCC Photo/CARRIEâï¿½ï¿½MOORE]
Published: Thursday, April 9th, 2015
For many years, it’s been a requirement for senior students to pick a project near and dear to their hearts and complete it for their Senior Project. However, more recently, that requirement has evolved from an educational requirement to a tradition and even something students look forward to, students such as Sydney Gramkow.
Gramkow hosted her senior project Wednesday, March 25, at the Custer Armory — Crisis Prevention Day.
Published: Thursday, March 26th, 2015
The Custer Youth and Alumni Foundation (CYAF) has announced its scholarship winners for 2015. CYAF, a local nonprofit organization, began in 1996 to provide financial resources to increase opportunities for Custer area youth. This year three Custer students were awarded scholarships.
Two seniors were awarded the Lynette Burke $250 Memorial Scholarships. Burke was a well-known Custer High School graduate who worked in the Custer School District and served on the CYAF board for many years. Her family established the scholarship in CYAF in her honor to be awarded on the basis of exemplary character, work ethic and personal qualities in their school, extracurricular, work and personal activities. The two seniors recognized this year are Billie Wicks and Allison Hass.
Published: Thursday, March 19th, 2015
A life in the military was a dream for Sam Mertz. Now, that dream is becoming a reality.
Last summer, Mertz was thinking about enlisting in the Navy and began looking into the ROTC program.
“I knew that I wanted a military career at the highest level, so I thought why not try for the Naval Academy,” he said.
Published: Thursday, February 19th, 2015
Logan Block of Boy Scout Troop 25 recently earned the Ad Altare Dei religious emblem from the Diocese of Rapid City. The award is the highest religious honor for Catholic Scouts. Working with local counselor Mary Eide, Block spent nearly two years working through an activity booklet and taking part in several meetings. On Scout Sunday, Feb. 8, he received the award in front of his congregation at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.
Published: Wednesday, December 24th, 2014
It was a gym full of celebrations on Tuesday, Dec. 9, after the fifth and sixth grade classes — 104 kids in total — celebrated their graduation from D.A.R.E.
“You should be very proud of all you have done,” said Custer County Sheriff’s Office deputy Matt Haugen, one of the instructors of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program in Custer.
Haugen and U.S. Forest Service patrol captain Nancy Martinz led the students in the 10-week D.A.R.E. program, where they learned how to make the safest possible choices when it comes to drugs, alcohol and violence. D.A.R.E., which was developed in 1983 to prevent drug use in young adults, is active in all 50 states and 49 countries.
Published: Thursday, December 11th, 2014
December will be a busy month for Taren Jones. In addition to finishing her first semester at Custer High School, where she is a junior, and getting ready for the holidays, Jones will be packing for an exchange trip to New Zealand, where she will live for 10 months.
“I have always been interested in veterinary school and want to go to college in Colorado. This led to me talking with a friend of my mom’s who went to college in New Zealand,” Jones said. “When we talked, I got really interested about going to New Zealand, so I looked more into it.”
Published: Thursday, October 23rd, 2014
In the early morning hours, students and staff at Custer Jr./Sr. High School are still at home, preparing for the upcoming day. But for the select few who will represent Custer at the All-State competition, their day is just beginning.
Ten students have been rehearsing over the last few weeks — with practices beginning at 7 a.m. — in preparation of the All-State Chorus and Orchestra Grand Concert. The concert will be held Nov. 1 at the Sioux Falls Arena at 6 p.m. Mountain Standard Time and will be broadcast on South Dakota Public Broadcasting (SDPB) as it happens.
Published: Thursday, October 9th, 2014
The Custer High School Drama Department is gearing up for its fall production, “The Beatles Slept Here,” which will run Friday, Nov. 7, and Saturday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m. Admission for adults is $4, students $3 and seniors $2.
“The Beatles Slept Here,” written by Craig Sodaro, is packed with hysterical Beatles references and puns that will have the audience come together to recollect all the memorable tunes.
Published: Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
While Custer High School senior Sidney Snyder’s senior project is a mandatory step toward her graduation in May, the assistance it will provide will stretch far beyond the hallways of Custer High School, the City of Custer and even the state of South Dakota.
That’s because Snyder has chosen to adopt a school in the poverty-ravaged country of Haiti and throughout this semester she will collect money and school supplies to assist children ages 4 to 14 in the school she adopted—Ecole nationale Republique des Etats-Unis. The school is a primary school with around 1,000 students.