Bighorn news: Spelling bee, FFA, and Senior Spotlight

Hunter McNabb, left, and Duane Hughes.

Hunter McNabb, left, and Duane Hughes.
Provided to the LVN

  • Discuss Comment, Blog about
  • Print Friendly and PDF


Halloween is always a fun day for kids at school, but for senior Emily Bird it was her first day at Oasis Academy in kindergarten. She was dressed as Minnie Mouse, and it was the beginning of her education in what she said was a supportive and fun environment.

“I have always felt extremely supported at Oasis, and I am thankful for the fun, project-based learning I received here,” Bird said.

One of those projects included creating bungee jumping Barbies for math class.

“Some of my favorite memories from Oasis are the math projects I did in middle school,” she said. “I had one project where our teacher climbed onto the roof of Oasis and dropped barbies. We had to calculate the number of rubber bands to tie around the barbie to get her as close to the floor as possible without hitting. I had a lot of fun, and I will miss the creative projects we got to do to make learning more interesting.”

Along with the project-based learning, one of Oasis’ strengths is the support students receive, and she wants to make sure students take advantage of it.

“I would advise future students to fully utilize all the resources Oasis offers. There is so much support at the school if you only ask for it. I am incredibly thankful for all the guidance I received,” she said.

Bird has kept active throughout her four years of high school. She has participated in We the People, yearbook, student council, softball and National Honor Society. She has also been active in the Fallon City Ballet Company.

Bird will graduate in May with her high school diploma as well as her associate of science degree from Western Nevada College. She then plans to attend a four-year university and study bioinformatics.


Oasis Academy hosted the Regional Spelling Bee on Feb. 15. Oasis students placed high in the competition with many advancing to the State competition in Vegas next month.

Winners were:

5th grade:

1st place: Samuel Acomb

2nd place: Kason St. Amant

3rd place: Ava Hyde

6th grade:

1st place: Nickolas Sorensen

2nd place: Katelyn Smith

3rd place: Daniella Ramirez

7th grade:

1st place: Hunter Dalton

2nd place: Jack Fecht

3rd place: Duane Hughes

8th grade:

1st place: Asher Irving

2nd place: Braylon Byrd

3rd place: Valerie Antus

"Oasis Academy hosted the Churchill County Spelling Bee this year,” said Lauren Kelly, Oasis Academy Spelling Bee advisor. “It was a great representation of our local middle schools coming together to compete in academics. Students were respectful, excited, and engaged during all of the Bees. We hope our local champions from Fallon move on to the State Spelling Bees with great success."


Feb. 18-24 was National FFA Week and FFA students brought agriculture to all the classrooms at Oasis Academy. Activities were planned to engage all students in what FFA does.

The week started with high school FFA members reading agriculture themed books to the younger students. The time together was not only for valuable lessons about all aspects of agriculture but also students shared what to expect in high school FFA.

Finally, Ag Day was on Thursday. The parking lot was full of animals including goats, lambs, puppies, donkey, emu, chickens, ducks, and cattle. Several students also brought farm equipment including tractors, a gravel truck, a forage harvester, a scraper and a harrow bed. Students provided demonstrations on floriculture, pollinators, hunting, fishing and veterinary science.

The day also included a new Oasis tradition of Kiss Stinky the goat. Oasis Academy staff were nominated to kiss the goat at the conclusion of Field Day. The winner was the candidate with the most money donated in their jar. Candidates were Mrs. Berenice de Leon, Mrs. Janet Renfroe, Mr. Dane Nott, Mr. David Springfield, Coach Amanda Gilbertson and Mr. Jose Ramirez.

Mr. Nott won with the most money donated and puckered up to kiss Stinky. The runner up with Mr. Springfield, and after another $20 donation also kissed the goat. Over $300 was raised for Oasis Academy FFA with the event.

Special thanks to Churchill County Farm Bureau for donating the Ag Book of the Year, the ag magazines, and ag teachers guides that students and staff used throughout the week. They also donated delicious cookies for FFA students on Wednesday.

Also thank you to the Oasis Academy FFA advisor and FFA students for all of their hard work in making the week such a success.

“Jackie Bogdanowicz has created one of the largest and most successful FFA programs in the state,” said Rochelle Tisdale, Oasis Academy interim chief executive officer. “Oasis is the only charter school FFA chapter in the state.”

Oasis FFA also has incredible parent support.

“Behind the success of Ms. B and the kids are all the parents that volunteer their time, animals, talents and machinery to teach and support the kids,” Tisdale said. “We are very proud of this robust organization. Ag Day continues to grow each year and this year was the biggest yet and the weather cooperated.”


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment