It has been a successful first quarter and smooth transition into the second quarter! Fall sports wrapped up with some exciting post region matches, especially Volleyball who finished 4th in a very tough volleyball region and 7th overall in the state. Football also gave us something else to cheer about with an historic post season run after placing 2nd in region. RHS Football was beat by just two teams this season, both of which are now playing for the state championship. Additionally, Girls Soccer finished 2nd in region, Cross Country qualified two girls for the state meet, and Boys Golf ended up sending over 6 players to the state tournament. Girls Tennis had a great season as well and will be back with a vengeance next year.
We hope you had a chance to see the school musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie. Students and teachers worked countless hours on tap dances, chorus choreography, wonderful music, and the creation of amazing sets.
FFA had a very successful experience with the Ag Issues team at Nationals in Kentucky, and the National Honor Society held its largest induction ever of over 100 students. We also congratulate the following Riverton High Sterling Scholar Winners: Cole Thorpe (Social Sciences), Shelby Christopherson (Dance), Jacob Wilcox (Business & Marketing), McKay Christensen (Math), Erica Smith (English), Keegan Pitchford (Science), Marina McNeill (World Languages), Nathan Taylor (Computer Technology), Logan Crawford (Skilled & Technical Sciences), Caitlyn Stock (Family & Consumer Sciences), Megan Able (Theater Arts), Porter Bagley (Vocal Performance), Britney Johnson (Visual Arts), Rachyl Davenport (Instrumental Music).
Now that the first quarter is behind us we begin to look ahead toward “the most wonderful time of the year.” Soon Silver Rush will be underway and the whole community will be involved in the spirit of giving. Earlier this school year Riverton High accepted the Champions for Child Abuse Award, which was presented to our Student Body Officers on behalf all Riverton students for their efforts to help end child abuse. Even though Riverton didn’t work directly on that effort last year, they have provided funds to several charities that work directly with abused children in years past.
At the awards ceremony, I had a chance to review the process our student officers go through to select a charity each year. By now Riverton is so well known for their charitable fundraising efforts in December that many charities and initiatives seek us out early in the school year and sometimes in the summer.
In the fall, student officers begin studying the charities, looking for hands on opportunities to serve and perhaps a chance to work directly with those in need. As they begin narrowing their search they make visits to charities, collect and read literature, watch promotional videos, interview employees, and spend time learning about significant community issues and needs. Finally, they compile all the information and small groups make presentations to their student government peers. It is during these presentations that officers pose questions to each other to better understand the charities they studied. At the conclusion of the presentations they cast secret ballots to settle on a charity.
As I watched students’ presentations again this year I considered the authentic learning process these students experience as they prepare for Silver Rush. For years in the district office I promoted content area literacy, which is basically the ability to read, write, and speak about content in areas other than language arts. That’s exactly what these student officers do as they study, listen, interview, read, write about, create, and deliver presentations to each other and their advisors about local and global concerns and the people who are working to alleviate human suffering.
Student government loves keeping the chosen charity a secret until the big reveal which happens at a Silver Rush opening assembly. Even then, these officers prepare a promotional presentation intended to educate, excite, and enlist supporters around a valuable cause. During the three weeks of Silver Rush student leaders continue to educate their peers about the issues surrounding the charity, whether it’s information about child abuse, hearing loss, wheelchair accessibility, poverty, refugees, or children’s health, just to name a few.
Ultimately, the goals of Silver Rush are to raise money for a good cause, build unity as a school community, become better educated about issues many people face around us, and promote citizenship through service. So, while the general public may see Silver Rush as a lot of teenagers shaking bottles and cans and requesting donations, I am grateful for the teachers and administrators who have worked for so many years to establish this event as an opportunity for students to practice authentic learning as they research issues within the community and to come together to foster the life-long skill of selflessness.