January 2020

This year’s 281 Conference Hall of Fame Inductee was Superintendent Rod Weber from Woonsocket. Weber has been an important contributor to the 281 Conference for the last 24 years.

He started his education career in 1996 at the Iroquois School District coaching Head Girls’ Basketball, Assistant Boys’ Basketball and Head Boys’ Track. In 1999, he moved to Woonsocket to be the Head Girls’ and Head Boys’ Basketball Coach. Weber continued coaching both sports until the basketball seasons changed in 2002. He’s also the Superintendent, Principal, and Athletic Director at Woonsocket.

Weber retired from being the Head Boys Basketball Coach after his 20th season in Woonsocket last year. He has a combined total of seven 281 Conference Tournament and Season Boys’ Basketball championships.

Weber stated, “I am very grateful for the honor and would like to thank past and present 281 Conference coaches, administrators and especially athletic directors for all their hard work. I’d also like to thank the Woonsocket School and community for allowing him to continue enjoying these occupations for so many years.”

Rod and his wife, Tara, have two children, Tayla and Trey, who are both currently attending college, pursuing education degrees.

…See a photo in this week’s issue of the Sanborn Weekly Journal!

On Friday, Jan. 24, the students at Woonsocket Elementary got to end their week with some fun and unique entertainment. Duke Otherwise visited their school with his guitar and a few other interesting instruments, such as a tambourine, a cow bell and a dog’s chew toy. He got help from volunteers from the audience to help play the instruments and sing or dance. His songs are written by Mr. Otherwise himself, and they are filled with lessons for life within their lyrics. 

According to the Dakota Assemblies who booked Mr. Otherwise to come to Woonsocket, “Duke Otherwise is a playful wordsmith, a spirited performer, a skilled guitarist and a captivating tap-dancer. Using his distinct baritone voice, he sings his hilarious and imaginative songs that all ages will delight in together.” 

Mr. Otherwise is from Madison, Wis. and performs around 150 family shows per year. He incorporates audience participation with each show and uses dancing and a vast array of musical styles for outrageous fun. His assembly was sponsored by the Woonsocket Elementary Parents Club.

…See a photo in this week’s issue of the Sanborn Weekly Journal!

On Jan. 15, 4-H members and volunteers, totaling a delegation of forty-six, took part in the first ever “4-H Day at the Capitol.” Youth ranged in age from nine to sixteen years old. “It was really cool that so many of us could be there from our area,” said Caden Faulhaber, Aurora County 4-H member. Upon arrival 4-H members attended a legislative round table discussion with Representative Spencer Gosch of Glenham, Senator Josh Klumb of Mt. Vernon, Representative Jess Olson of Rapid City, and Representative Mary Duvall of Pierre. Youth were able to ask questions and engage their government leaders. Some of the topics discussed included funding in education, future of hemp, and issues in agriculture. Representative Gosch circled back in closing comments to remind our 4-H youth to push themselves and step out of their comfort zones each year and learn about something new. “I learned a lot more about how our three branches of government work and I really liked the round table session,” stated 4-H member Harlee Heim of Jerauld-Buffalo Counties. “It was nice to put a face with the name of who our representatives and senators are. They made the point that they are interested in hearing from the youth too when it comes to policy and laws,” remarked Carissa Scheel, also a 4-H member from Jerauld-Buffalo Counties.

The capitol scavenger hunt was a hit and challenged youth to explore the capitol building. Jenae Hansen, 4-H Volunteer Development Field Specialist, led the tour of the State Capitol. The tour had the group finding out more about the goddesses painted on the ceiling of the rotunda. Another fun fact that the 4-Hers learned was that the building floor plans for the Capitol were purchased from Montana for $15.

Of the delegation who traveled to Pierre, twenty area youth are participating in Teen Leadership Academy, a new program in Jerauld-Buffalo, Aurora, Sanborn and Davison Counties. These youth will meet once a month through May to develop their leadership skills, learn more about potential careers and engage in project areas and service projects to help them meet their goals. Teen Leadership Academy is funded in part by grants from the SD 4-H Leaders Association and Agtegra/Land O’Lakes Foundation.

If you are interested in 4-H programs, please contact Audra Scheel, SDSU 4-H Youth Program Advisor for Jerauld-Buffalo, Aurora, and Sanborn Counties, at audra.scheel@sdstate.edu or the Jerauld County Extension office at 605-539-9471.

…See a photo in this week’s issue of the Sanborn Weekly Journal.

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