NHS Induction Ceremony

The Hay Springs chapter of the National Honor Society inducted 7 new members on Wednesday. They are James Scherbarth, Gabrielle Twarling, Alexa Tonjes, Abigail Russell, Gage Mintken, Jordyn Anderson, and Lillian Dorshorst. Current members who conducted the ceremony are Mia Skinner, Samantha Toof, and Hally Johnson.

The National Honor Society is made up of 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students who exhibit the four pillars of the society; Scholarship, Service, Leadership, and Character. Students who have a 3.60 grade point average or above are asked to complete an application, and are then selected by a faculty council based on how well each applicant has demonstrated the four pillars throughout their high school careers.

Congratulations to our new members!

Elders’ Wisdom Program Rescheduled

As you may already know based on yesterday’s post, we postponed our Elders’ Wisdom program that was scheduled for Thursday, March 9th at 6:00 PM due to the blizzard-like weather that was being forecast. Last fall at the beginning of the school year, we had set both the date of the program and the alternate date in case of bad weather. However, it has come to our attention that the alternate date we had picked caused a scheduling conflict. Therefore, we have now chosen a new alternate date to alleviate that problem. The Hay Springs Public School 2023 Elders’ Wisdom Program will now be held on Thursday, April 20th, 2023 at 6:00 PM in the high school auditorium. Please add this date to your calendars and we apologize for any confusion our previous message may have caused. We look forward to seeing you there!

Nepal Presentation

Pranu Pradhan was the guest speaker on Thursday, March 2nd for the cultural presentation at Hay Springs Elementary School. Pranu introduced the students to her husband, son, mom and aunt. Pranu is originally from Kathmandu, Nepal. Some interesting facts that Pranu shared: Nepal’s population is 30.5 million people and the country is similar in size to Arkansas. Popular Nepali foods are rice and curry. She shared examples of the Nepali alphabet, numbers, and common phrases. The Nepal Flag is triangular to represent Mt. Everest. She showed the students some Nepali currency. One Nepalese Rupee is equal to .0076 US dollar. It is the year 2079 in Nepal and the students were able to see a Nepali calendar. The cow is considered sacred in Nepal so they do not butcher or consume beef. Pranu and her family all dressed in traditional attire. She showed the students a sari cloth. A sari cloth is over 6 yards long and is wrapped around the body and then draped across one shoulder. After the presentation, the Kindergarten Class played rhythm sticks and drum on a stick to some Nepali music. The students also received the “I See the Sun in Nepal” book and butter cookies for a snack. Thank you Pranu for taking the time to come and share about the culture of Nepal. Thanks also to the Snow-Redfern Foundation for the project grant that makes these cultural presentations possible.


This week’s cultural presentation for the elementary was about Sweden. Some of the things the students learned about included:

  • Children dressing up for Easter similar to Trick or Treating on Halloween.
  • Lordagsgodis is the tradition of eating candy, ice cream, and cake ONLY on Saturdays.
  • Different types of Swedish crafts including felting, dala horse, cookie stamps.
  • Allmansratten which means everyone has access to nature and can camp nearly anywhere.
  • Fika is a relaxing coffee break with Swedish pastries.
  • Swedish money is called the Krona.
  • Some inventions/businesses from Sweden are Minecraft, Skype, Spotify, Ikea, GPS, seat belt, and the zipper.
  • According to Swedish Law, every worker has the right to 4 consecutive weeks of holiday between June and August.
  • Christmas is celebrated on December 24th in Sweden with smorgasbords, St. Lucia Day, and a Yule Goat.

Mrs. Wellnitz read “The Tomten”, a book about a little gnome that is dedicated to helping out on the farm. After the book, the students watched a short video about the history of Sweden, a crayfish party, the Royal Palace, and the Speed Lottery. In Sweden, it is a tradition to watch a Donald Duck cartoon on Christmas Eve so the presentation ended with a short Donald Duck cartoon.  The students received Swedish Apple Cookies for a snack when they returned to their classrooms.

After the presentation, the preschoolers enjoyed dancing to music by the Swedish group, Caramell.

Thank you to the Snow-Redfern Foundation for their generosity. It is through their project grant that makes this cultural program possible.


Kathy Willnerd was the guest speaker yesterday for the Ireland cultural presentation at Hay Springs Elementary. Some key points that Kathy discussed were: Ireland’s flag, the national symbol (harp), the potato famine, stone fences, tin whistle, the Blarney Stone, and the Shamrock. Kathy’s husband Steve Willnerd’s great grandparents immigrated from Ireland to America after the potato famine. Kathy made soda bread for the students to try. She also read the book “How to Catch a Leprechaun” and encouraged the kids to go home and build a trap. After the presentation, Jeanie Snyder and Bev Wellnitz went to the 3rd grade classroom and helped the students write limericks. When they were finished writing, they read their limericks to their classmates. The students received the book “Maisie McGillicuddy’s Sheep Got Muddy” and banana bread muffins for a snack. Thank you to the Snow-Redfern Foundation for your generosity that makes these cultural programs possible. Thank you also to Kathy for taking the time to share with the kids about Ireland!

Mexico Presentation

Sam Orr, a Hay Springs Public School alumni, was our guest speaker today as we explored the culture of Mexico. Sam shared a presentation which covered the following topics: flag, location, size, travel requirements, weather, food, language, Mariachi music, money, homemade fireworks, and the crafters market on wheels. Mexican dishes start with these main ingredients: tomato, onion, peppers, and garlic. One of Sam’s favorite traditional foods is “Elote” (street corn). The students received the book, P is for Pinata, and Churros for their snack. After the presentation, the 2nd graders enjoyed making Mexican Mirrors. Thank you Sam for taking the time to share with the students. Thank you also to Snow-Redfern Foundation for your generosity that makes these cultural programs possible.

China Presentation

On Monday, January 23rd, Bev Wellnitz was at Hay Springs Elementary to give our students a presentation about China. Accompanying Mrs. Wellnitz as an observer was Mrs. Jeanie Snyder, who taught for 28 years before retiring. Bev read the kids a book about China, passed around some chopsticks for the kids to look at, and spoke about the Chinese zodiac. Each year of the 12 year Chinese Zodiac cycle is represented by a certain animal and many Chinese believe that a person’s personality traits are determined by that animal. The students also learned about the Chinese New Year which is on January 22nd and how this year is the year of the rabbit. Several short videos were shown to the kids as well, the first about “pinyin”, the art of paper cutting. The second video was about how about silk material is produced from silkworm cocoons. The last video was about Chinese shadow art or shadow puppetry. And what presentation about China would be complete without forturne cookies for the audience?  Thank you Mrs. Wellnitz and Mrs. Snyder!

Equine Therapy

To the Lakota people the Sunjkawakhan(horse) is a four legged friend and companion that provided transportation, friendship, and pride. The horse is revered in Sioux culture for its grace and courage. On Thursday, January 19th, Hay Springs Elementary students had the opportunity to learn about the impact the horse has had on Lakota culture and the impact the horse is making today in the area of mental health. Patty Coleman, an equine therapy specialist with St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, South Dakota, developed the school’s equine therapy program from scratch and has enjoyed watching the program grow and positively impact youth of all ages. Patty discussed with students a horse’s ability to listen and make no judgments which allows students to make a deep connection, process their emotions and become much more productive in and out of the classroom.