School Board

From left: Lori Stephenson, Boys & Girls Club Advisory Board president, and Amy Bruening, Webster Elementary School teacher, updated the Yankton School Board on the Power Up Summer program aimed to help young students over the summer retain what they learned during the school year. 

On Monday night, the Yankton School Board heard from the Yankton High School Trap Shooting Team and its new head coach in the wake of the death of Mike Rockne, who coached the team from its inception three years ago.

Rockne started the Mount Marty College Trap Shooting program in 2014 and the Yankton club high school trap shooting team in 2017.

“Mr. Mike Rockne was very instrumental in coming before the board and asking for the board to approve that activity for the students to be involved in, and our hearts really go out to the Rockne family with his recent passing as well,” said Yankton School Board President Kathy Greeneway.

Some of the range officers and coaches were at the school board meeting, including Randy Moderegger, Dean Anderson and Rod McCloud.

“We plan on running everything as we have,” said Jim Barger, addressing the school board for the team. “We’ve elected Randy (Moderegger) as our new head coach to take Mike’s place and I am very happy that the school board is supporting us.”

There were also two team members present, Hailey McCloud and Tanner Becker, who told the school board about their recent experiences competing in trap shooting.

Hailey McCloud has been on the team from the beginning and competed at the state level for the first time this spring in Aberdeen against up to 400 other students.

“It was a great experience. Knowing that everybody was there to do the same thing and has their coaches behind them, it was an amazing experience of community and family,” she said. “The level of competition is amazing there, but yet you know, even if you miss a couple, everybody is still going to love you there.”

Becker has also been on the trap team for the last three years.

“I had the opportunity to go up to nationals in Mason, Michigan,” Becker said. “I got to shoot with four other guys on the team at Nationals. We placed 32nd overall of about 499 teams in the nation. I also had the opportunity to shoot individuals. Out of 1,400 students, I got ninth overall.”

He added that it was a great experience and that he made many friends.

“I want to say that it is a great credit to Mike Rockne, to all the work he did, you and Jim and everybody else,” School Board member Terry Crandall said. “Mike had a passion for the program, and I saw him just before he retired from Hy-Vee and he got tears in his eye talking about you guys and the program. It’s a legacy that he is going to leave to us forever.”

“There were two clay targets in the casket with Mike, one from the high school and one from the Jim River Trap Team,” Barger said.

Also Monday, the school board got caught up on some of the summer programs in the Yankton School District (YSD).

Lincoln Elementary School Principal Paul Struck updated the school board in the Food for Thought program.

“In 2018, 16 tons of food — 120,000 pounds of food — were distributed; over 3,000 families visited the school pantry and (there were) over 4,000 hours of volunteers,” Struck said. “The second quarter of this year: 634 family visits to the school food pantry in April, May and June; 2,420 individuals served at the food pantry.”

Only those raising students who attend school in the Yankton School District are eligible for the Food for Thought pantry, he said.

Sandi Kramer, food service director for YSD, talked about food service over the summer in the school district.

During this year’s Summer Food program, the YSD served 11,143 students and 264 adults in June and July.

With some additional funds available for the summer food program, Kramer said that because the money had to be used in June and could only be used to buy fresh produce, she and her staff decided to process it in-house.

“We processed about 250 pounds of carrots, 350 pounds of celery, 100 pounds of onions, which we diced and will have ready for chicken noodle soup this year; we froze 100 pounds of tomatoes and we made it into juices and sauces, we froze over 800 pounds of strawberries, pitted and froze over 576 pounds of cherries and even froze 1,000 pounds of grapes. We also froze about 250 pounds of broccoli, cauliflower and mushrooms.”

The group also made mashed potatoes from scratch and about 200 pounds of refrigerated pickles, she said.

“It’s been a nice treat to come back at the start of school and be able to pull some of those things out and start using them for the school year,” Kramer said.

The board also received an update on the Power Up Summer program funded in part with the Yankton Boys & Girls Club. The program offers four days a week of reading, writing and math to elementary school children and is geared to students who teachers think would do better at the start of school if they had some tutoring over the summer.

The program’s aim is not that students increase their knowledge, but rather to retain it over the summer. Testing before and after, however, showed that students made significant gains over the summer and was received well overall by both students and parents.

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