From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 7, Number 39 - December 20, 2007
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

PHS ag dept. requests equipment, delivers presentation

by Trey Wilkinson

“Taking the bull by the horns,” that’s what Pinedale High School (PHS) agriculture education teacher Dusty Erchanbrack said she and her students are doing for PHS’s agriculture mechanics and welding program.

Erchanbrack and a handful of her students delivered a presentation to the Sublette County School District No. 1 (SCSD#1) Board Dec. 13 discussing the need for new equipment and the importance of the agriculture mechanics and welding program for Pinedale students. Some of requested equipment quoted includes an IronWorker, a screen curtain, a spool, a Journeyman kit, a Powermax hand system as well as a number of other viable tools for the students.

Erchanbrack, who moved to Pinedale this year, said her students share the same foresight as she does for the agriculture mechanics and welding program and requested help from the SCSD#1 Board in order to purchase new equipment for the shop.

Erchanbrack brought Jacob Ford, Tyler O’Brien, Kodi Grove, Casey Fairbanks and Becca Belton with her to the school board meeting to deliver a presentation to the board. Ford explained to the board that there are many jobs in the Sublette County area where this type of agriculture education is needed.

“We take a pride in our shop and respect the equipment,” Ford said. “We’ve done safety tests and prepared.”

Ford, along with the other students, showed the board their designed shop layout, which included equipment already in the shop alongwith equipment they feel is needed. “They (students) have spent a lot of time preparing for this project and equipment,” Erchanbrack said. “They have shop ownership and are ready to learn.”

Erchanbrack explained how her program can flourish within the community. “It will keep these kids in our community,” she said. “There are jobs here and this will help developtheir interests.”

Erchanbrack said they have received support from BOCES, the FFA Alumni Association, as well as getting the community involved. “We’ve received a quote from Gases Plus and we’re here to ask for your help,” shes aid.

SCSD#1 board member Ward Wise informed the board that he’s received a number of calls from FFA alumni who had very positive things to say about the program.

“The bidding will take a little time,” SCSD#1 Director of Business and Finance VernM cAdams said. “I’ll probably send it out at the end of the week and hopefully we’ll come back at the January board meeting and approve a bid.”

SCSD#1 Chairman Bre tKingsbury was excited about the idea of improving the program. “From the industry side, if we can get this up and running the industry support will be overwhelming,” he said.

A motion was made to approve an amount not to exceed $53,000 to purchase equipment. The motion passed unanimously.

“I’m glads he’s (Erchanbrack) trying to develop some interest in the program and I’m pleased to see they’re trying to push the program forward,” McAdams said.

In other SCSD#1 news:

• Pinedale Middle School (PMS) Principal Kevan Kennington and PHS Assistant Principal and Athletic Director Jeff Makelky updated the board regarding the proposed PMS wrestling program.

Kennington told the board that parents had raised $10,400 for mats and equipment. “The mats will be here Jan.2, as well as cleaning equipment,” Kennington said.

Makelky informed the board that the middle school season would begin after Christmas. “There are invitationals every Saturday from Jan. 12 through Feb. 9,” he said. “We’ve talked with Transportation Director Doug Northrup and drivers would be available. There is also the possibility of holding one dual meet.” Malkowski also said storage has been provided for the mats.

Board member Jim Malkowski asked if enough money had been raised to make things happen. “Yes,” Kennington replied. “It will come out of the middle school funds.”

Wise asked if the next step was bringing wrestling to PHS. “I think high school parents will come to you,” Kennington said. “The middle school program will allow us to gauge the interest,” Supt. Doris Woodbury said.

High School Principal Richard Kennedy spoke to the board, saying 65 percent of students are looking for something do participate in other than the sports that are already offered. “I think if your interest is to start at the middle school then we’d (high school) say we’re ready to proceed,” he said.

Malkowski informed the board and audience that at th ehigh school level, wrestlingw ould begin as a junior varsity program. “There is a waiting period for varsity,” he said.

Getting back to the middle school topic of wrestling, Makelky said middle school basketball just finished up and said swimming doesn’t start until March, which makes for an openg ap of time where the sport would fit right in for interested athletes.

Kennedy said this would encourage high school age students to train to be prepared, should such a program come to PHS. “We’ll know numbers in January,” he said. “The more the students are involved with activities, the better their GPA and behavior.”

Two-time All-American wrestler and PMS Spanish and ELL teacher Kendal. Horrocks was in the audience to support the middle school program proposal as well.

Woodbury explained that if the equipment is here and ready they program can get started right away.

The motion was passed unanimously.

• SCSD#1 elected board officers Dec. 13. Kingsbury was elected as chairman; Wise as vice chairman; ML Baxley as clerk; and Malkowski as treasurer.

See The Archives for past articles.

Copyright © 2002-2007 Sublette Examiner
All rights reserved. Reproduction by any means must have permission of the Publisher.
Sublette Examiner, PO Box 1539, Pinedale, WY 82941   Phone 307-367-3203