An exciting week | NevadaAppeal.com

An exciting week

by Maggie O'Neill

Wow, talk about an exciting week – from tales of vandalism at Dayton Cemetery to good times, and good food, over at St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church.

But first about the cemetery, and I put that first because Armand Arnett (unrelated to Hammer) who called from out in Dayton was calling just to converse about a story.

I love that.

I’d say seven out of 10 readers call to tell you what you’re doing wrong, two out of 10 call to say thank you or good job, and about one in every 10 calls to actually talk with you about a topic.

Which is why Arnett called.

He told me that he is the only volunteer left at Dayton Cemetery and because there are just two paid people to look after the upkeep of cemeteries in all of Lyon County, the Dayton Cemetery gets a little neglected.

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Also turns out, according to Arnett, that about eight or nine years ago, Dayton Cemetery was seriously vandalized, resulting in thousands of dollars worth of damage.

Arnett said that the headstone researched by Dayton High School student Michelle Richardson, a marker belonging to a Charles Shepardson, was pushed over and broken.

“Of course, I don’t know about the history of that guy, that was interesting to read about,” he said. “But it sure is a beautiful tombstone.”

Arnett also said he’s responsible for the “Nevada’s First Settlement” written on the water tower near the cemetery. He’s a guy with a lot of history, and I’m really glad he called because he made my day.

Now onto St. Teresa’s. I stopped by the church June 13 to find out more about Discipline with Purpose.

Barbara Vasiloff, one of its founders, had flown in to train educators at St. Teresa’s, which will become the first school in the state to use the framework.

Discipline with Purpose promotes the learning of life-long skills. Nineteen people were in attendance at the two-day training, including much of St. Teresa’s staff and Principal Rick Redican.

Monday morning they finished up a discussion about the distinction between discipline and self-discipline, which Vasiloff described as the difference between telling a child what to do and allowing a child to make a decision about what they’re going to do next.

“In discipline, the adult takes the lead,” Vasiloff said. “In self-discipline, the child takes the lead. .. Discipline is rules. Self-discipline is skills.”

Each participant’s curriculum binder was filled with skills-specific lesson plans and there is a separate binder for each grade level, kindergarten through 8th, as well as a study skills binder for ninth graders and also a binder for special-ed teachers.

“I think (Discipline with Purpose) is very doable in the school,” said Cathy Smith, a kindergarten aide at St. Teresa. “We’ve waited for a year-and-a-half to learn about the program so that we can implement it.”

She said the skills could come in handy because many of today’s children have parents doing things for them, thus removing the chance to learn.

“It seems to me that we try to do so much for our kids that they don’t learn a lot of social skills,” she said. “Someone is always doing something for them. A lot of parents are always bailing their kids out of situations.

With this, kids learn to take responsibility for their own actions and how they impact other people.”

After a delicious lunch by Molly’s Catering, the group resumed their afternoon session with a session about four of the 15 Discipline with Purpose skills, which Vasiloff described as important to child empowerment: listening, following instructions, understanding rules and resolving problems.

This turned into a pretty interesting discussion about cues teachers use to get student’s attention: blowing a whistle, flicking the lights on and off, blaring a bicycle horn, moving a thumb around, counting down, counting up, saying “Salami.”

Yes, saying “Salami.”

That was one Vasiloff shared. It’s an acronym, of sorts, for “Stop and look at me.”

Thank the lucky stars, this was one time I had partaken of a delicious lunch, so the salami reference didn’t have me thinking of a lovely deli in D.C.

Anyway, if you’d like to share some of your attention-getting cues, send them in. I’d be interested in hearing all of them, but particularly partial to any that bring your students to a complete standstill when you say something like “chocolate creme-filled doughnut.”

n Contact reporter Maggie O’Neill at moneill@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.

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