Bighorn news: ACT prep, blood drive, and Senior Spotlight

From left: Sara Aguiar, Cory Todd, Alyssa Partridge and Lyly Daigh.

From left: Sara Aguiar, Cory Todd, Alyssa Partridge and Lyly Daigh.
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The middle school years at Oasis Academy were graduating senior Sarah Polish’s favorite. She credits the teachers she had during that time for creating a supportive and innovative educational environment.

“I would like to give a special thanks to my middle school teachers, Mrs. Berenice De Leon, Mrs. Shayna Byrd, Mr. Jake Lewis and Mrs. Jill Rosario. They always encouraged me to think outside the box and go above and beyond,” Polish said.

Polish is one of nine in the graduating class of 2024 that started at Oasis when the school opened in 2011.

“I started at Oasis in kindergarten the year it opened. I've seen how the school has grown and changed. I’ve watched teachers come and go. I feel like my education has been accelerated by attending Oasis, and I'm grateful for that,” she said.

She will graduate in May with her high school diploma and Associate of Science from Western Nevada College.

“After graduation, I plan on attending BYU-Provo to earn a bachelor's degree in psychology. I hope to start classes next fall,” Polish said. “The following year I plan to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Then, I will return to school to finish my degree. I want to get a master's degree in school counseling and be a school counselor one day.”

Her career goal came from the support of Oasis Academy College Prep Counselor Andy Lenon.

“I want to thank my school counselor, Mr. Andy Lenon. He was the one who inspired me to pursue school counseling as a career,” she said. “Mr. Lenon is one of the most supportive people I know.”

Finally, Polish has two special people left she’d like to recognize for all they’ve done.

“I want to say how grateful I am for my parents. They taught me to be a hard worker and a self-reliant student. I love them so much,” Polish added.


Oasis juniors started back from Christmas break with the Oasis ACT Prep class. The one-week class is designed to prepare students to take the national exam in February.

The two-and-a-half-hour daily class consisted of math, reading, writing, science and test-taking skills sessions. The in-depth sessions were taught by an Oasis teacher in the subject. The class has proven effective in preparing students to take the test.

“This is the only assessment that our high school is measured on, so it is very important that students do their best,” said Rochelle Tisdale, interim chief executive officer.

Oasis teachers create the curriculum for the course.

“The teachers are the ones who have designed this prep course. I applaud their hard work and dedication to the students and the school,” she said.

Tisdale and Counselor Andy Lenon know the value of the preparation and what it means for students as they look toward college.

“This is also a great opportunity for the students to be able to take the test and get a detailed report of their results so they can study and take it again on their own to improve their scores,” she said. “Contrary to popular misconception, colleges do consider ACT scores when considering admitting a student.”

Meeting the requirements comes from a plan.

“Throughout their time at Oasis Academy College Prep, these students have dedicated themselves to thorough preparation for the ACT,” Lenon said. “I love instructing this class, guiding our students in test-taking strategies, visualization techniques, and ensuring they show up on test day fully ‘primed.’ The section I teach spans from discussions on nutrition, hydration, and sleep to insights into college admissions, institutional priorities, and academic merit aid. It's a privilege to be part of their journey.”


High school student council will host its annual Blood Drive Tuesday, Jan. 23 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the high school parking lot.

To register to donate, visit or call 775-329-6451.

Students 16 years and older may donate blood with a parent permission slip.

“One donation saves four lives,” said Eric Grimes, student council adviser. “That is a statistic most people don't know, but your gift of a blood donation can help so many people. If you have a chance, please sign up for the Oasis Blood drive and donate. The life you save could be a friend or family member.”


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