Category Archives: Featured

BerMis FFA Members Compete at LDEs

Article written by Anna Pelton

The BerMis FFA members competed at Leadership Development Events on January 29, 2020. Members showed off their public speaking skills in Creed Speaking, and Cooperative Speaking. The BerMis FFA chapter was represented well and had many contestants ribbon.

Creed Speaking

Creed speaking is a freshman only contest. Members worked for weeks in advance memorizing the FFA Creed by E.M. Tiffany. Members that competed were Marcia Estrada, Lane Schoff, Colton Wagner, Leah Schutz, and Jersie Hermanson. Lane Schoff received a purple, placing 4th overall. Jersie Hermanson placed 10th with a blue, and Marcia Estrada also received a blue. Receiving reds were Colton Wagner and Leah Schutz.

Employment Skills

Cailey Grabenstein and Darla Thorell competed in Employment Skills. This contest consists of creating a resume and cover letter, three job interviews, and writing a thank you letter to the interviewer at the end. Prior to the contest, contestants must complete a resume and cover letter. Darla Thorell received a red and Cailey Grabentien placed 3rd overall with a purple and is a state alternate. 

Cooperative Speaking 

Abby Scholz competed in Cooperative speaking. In this event, the FFA member writes a six to eight-minute speech about Nebraska Cooperatives. Abby Scholz placed 2nd overall with a purple and is state bound! 

We are so proud of these members and their efforts, congratulations to the LDE contestants! 

BerMis FFA Members Compete at CDEs

Article written by Cailey Grabenstein and Jennica Dannehl

The BerMis FFA members competed at the second district Career Development Events on February 12, 2020. The contests that we competed in were Ag Biotechnology, Ag Communications, Ag Mechanics, Agronomy, Ag Communications, and Vet Science. The
members competed very well and represented the BerMis FFA Chapter exceptionally well.

Ag Biotechnology The two Bermis Ag- Biotechnology teams consisted of Jordan Hilmer, Leah Schutz Marcia Estrada,, Kenzy Drain, Anna Pelton, Johanna Ford and Lane Schoff

We had two teams compete in the Biotech competition. For this contest, they had to take a general knowledge test, identify tools and equipment, and they were challenged to create a new transgenic fruit or vegetable to market to everyday consumers. BerMis-1 consisted of Johanna Ford, Leah Schutz, Anna Pelton, and Jordan Hilmer. Johanna Ford received a blue ribbon and Leah Schutz received a red ribbon. As a team, BerMis-1 ended up with a white
ribbon, placing fourth overall. The second team was BerMis-2. Team members were Marcia Estrada, Kenzy Drain, and Lane Schoff. They ended up in 7th place overall.

Ag Communications

The Ag Communication team members were Landon Andersen, Natalie Johnson, Anna Pelton, and Abby Scholz. Before the competition, the team wrote up an extensive media plan about bees, an important commodity in Nebraska. During the competition, John Schroeder from Darr Feedlot Inc. talked about how they care for their cattle at the feedlot. Every member was assigned a different project from this presentation. Abby wrote an opinionated article and received 1st place with a purple ribbon, Anna created a web design and received a white ribbon, Natalie wrote a journalistic article and received a blue ribbon, and Landon created a video and
tied for 1st place with a purple ribbon. The team placed 2nd overall earning a trip to the State Convention later this year.

Ag Mechanics The Bermis Ag Mechanics team consisted of Anna Pelton, Abby Scholz, Natalie Johnson, and Landon Andersen

The Ag Mechanics team consisted of Austin Hahn, Jacob Hilmer, Jory Holt, and Joseph Pelton. This group had to take a general knowledge individual test and wire a sprayer. Individually, Jacob and Jory received blue ribbons and Austin received a red. They did very well and placed 3rd overall. They received a red ribbon and a trip to the State FFA Convention in April.

Agronomy The Bermis Agronomy Team of William DeOss, Daniel Hermanson, Emma Larson, Bryce Philips, and Hanna Stewart.

The Agronomy team had to identify plants and seeds, plant diseases and disorders, and equipment as well as answer questions about soil. The team members were William DeOss, Daniel Hermanson, Emma Larson, Bryce Philips, and Hanna Stewart. Emma placed 8th and
received a blue ribbon, and Daniel received a red ribbon. The team placed 6th overall and received a red ribbon.

Vet Science The membersof the Bermis Vet Science Team were Jennica Dannehl, Johanna Ford Cailey Grabenstein, Jordan Hilmer, Emma Larson, and Caitlynn Wahls.

The Vet Science competition consisted of an individual practicum and general knowledge test, and team identification of breeds, parasites, and equipment. The members who competed in this event were Jennica Dannehl, Johanna Ford, Cailey Grabenstein, Jordan
Hilmer, Emma Larson, and Caitlynn Wahls. Emma tied for 1st place with a purple ribbon, Jordan, Caitlynn, Jennica, and Cailey all received blue ribbons. The team received 3rd place with a blue
ribbon and qualified for the State Convention in April.

After School Club Kicks off for second semester

The BCS “After School Club”  kicked off for the second semester last Monday, Jan. 27.  In this second session of the year, the students will be focusing on problem-solving and social skills. To improve these skills, students participating will get to play interactive games that require strategy and advanced thinking.  

In the past, only students in grades 4-6 who met criteria based on testing scores were nominated for the “After School Club”.  For the spring semester, the club instructors Sheila Philips and Shauna Wilken wanted to give these advanced learning skills opportunities to any student that wanted to participate.  The club will run in three four-week sessions; one for fourth graders, one for fifth graders, and one for sixth graders. Fifth graders are tentatively set to start their four weeks on February 24 and sixth graders on March 23.  Permission slips will be sent home soon for those two groups.

On Monday, twelve fourth graders were divided into groups and had opportunities to play checkers, Yahtzee, Mancala, Blokus, and Otrio. These students will continue for three more weeks with new games being introduced throughout the session. 

ShelbY Schoene wins NETA award

The Nebraska Educational Technology Association, an organization that helps teachers expand technology into the educational setting, hosts student technology contests each year. Contests are offered at different grade levels in five specific categories including audio, infographic, interactive media, still image, and video. Students from across the state enter projects for the contest.

This year Shelby Schoene, a current sixth grade student at Bertrand Community School, was the winner of the Infographic category in the 3-5 grade division for the current school year.

Shelby completed her project on “The History of the First English Colonies” last year while in fifth grade with Mrs. Katie Holland. Unfortunately, the deadline for the submission of the contest had passed, so Mrs. Holland submitted the project along with 2 others (Thunder Nelson and Waylon Olesen) for this year’s contest. Last week, Shelby and Mrs. Holland were notified that she had won her division. NETA organizers indicated that Shelby’s award would be sent out within the next few weeks.

Mrs. Holland integrates a variety of technology apps/websites into her social studies curriculum. With this particular assignment, students were challenged with the task of creating an infographic that would demonstrate their knowledge of the first English colonies. A website called Visme was used to create their project. They were able use their textbooks and watch a youtube video that Mrs. Holland made using Powerpoint and Screencast-o-Matic to help review the lesson after it was taught in class.

Shelby’s winning entry can be viewed at the following site. Please take a moment to view this awesome project!

Trout in the classroom

Trout in the Classroom Project
Trout in the Classroom Project

The 5th grade class is eagerly expecting the arrival of 200 Rainbow Trout eggs from the Nebraska Game and Parks this week.  Approximately 100 schools statewide take part in the Trout in the Classroom program through the Nebraska Game and Parks.  This hands-on program gives students the opportunity to learn how to care for a cold water species and watch them grow from eggs to fingerlings.  Students keep weekly journals of the fish to document their growth and to monitor for any potential problems.  Students also learn about conservation and the various species of fish found in Nebraska.  This project runs from January to May.  The 5th graders will attend the Fort Kearny Expo in May where the fish will be released into the trout ponds. 

National Public Service Award Received by Bertrand Teacher

The 2019 “I Love My Librarian Award” given by the American Library Association was awarded to a Nebraska School Librarian for the first time ever.  Stephanie Dannehl was one of ten recipients from all over the United States to receive this prestigious award.  She was selected from a pool of 1,974 nominees working in public, school, college, community college and university libraries.

Mrs. Dannehl has been the Media Center librarian and Technology Integration Specialist at Bertrand Community School for the past six years.  In that time she has been instrumental in assisting teachers in learning to use technology, strategies, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) principles within classrooms. She also guides students in STEM enrichment opportunities during after-school club activities and within classrooms assisting teachers in developing student skills.

Mrs. Dannehl has helped make these opportunities possible by acquiring cutting-edge technologies.  She has opportunities to attend conferences all over the United States several times a year to learn about the newest innovations available.  Over the past few years, she has been able to add to student learning with HoloLens devices that allow students to learn through virtual reality using holographic images.  A 3D printer and recently, a Hypervsn holographic display, have been added to the list of high tech devices housed in the Bertrand Community School Media Center.

The award winners are given a $5000 cash prize and will be presented with a plaque on January 25 at a ceremony in Philadelphia.  The event will be streamed live via Facebook at