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January 2018

Volume 3 | Number 1

Welcome to Rise

Welcome to the January 2018 edition of Rise Grand Island the alumni newsletter for Grand Island Senior High published every other month by the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation. “Rise” is where we connect with thousands of Islanders across the globe, keeping you and them informed on what’s happening in Purple and Gold land, and reminiscing a little bit as well.

This is Volume 3, Number 1, the first edition of Rise this calendar year, our third year as the official publication for alums of Islander Nation. Thanks for reading us and for your comments and support.

We really enjoy hearing from those of you who find Rise in your in-box every other month. Give us a shout, especially if you or a GISH alum you know has done something new, newsy, or newsworthy. You can reach us at

Our At the Top segment explores how Islanders stack up when is comes to lists of notable Nebraskans and nationally known names. Included is a link to a list of 900 famous Nebraskans compiled by former Senior High English teacher, E. A. Kral.

Check out our Milestones section for the latest installment from prolific novelist and Islander alum, Ken Aldridge.

Foundation Executive Director Traci Skalberg, as she did this time last year, is doing the math. And the numbers — in this case the audited numbers — are very good. You don’t earn a Four-Star Charity rating with bad math.

Our Class Reunion Update let’s you know who is going to party and when in case your class is on deck or maybe you just want to crash another class’s soiree and see a few old friends.

Our From the Island correspondent Taylor Keyes gives us insight on the changing of Purple and Gold, told through the eyes and experience of veteran teachers at Senior High.

Our Distant Mirror correspondent, Mike Monk, Class of 1967, makes his case for the value of Shakespeare in specific and the classics in general. Hold on to your habiliments and give Mike’s column a good read. You’ll be better for it.

My I’ve Been Thinking column tackles the lost art of keeping New Year’s Resolutions … assuming we ever did. That, plus, a suggestion to be resolved in 2018.

As usual we’ll see what songs were popular on the radio, what movies were wooing us on the big screen, and what television shows kept us from our homework each decade during January going back to the 1930s.

We hope you enjoy this Rise as we get year three off to a Grand (Island) start. Oh, yeah, I almost forgot: remember to keep pushing on. 

George Ayoub, Class of 1968
Editor, Rise Grand Island

At the Top

Tooting Islander Horns

The start of a new year is a time to make a new beginning, celebrate the past, and maybe, just maybe, toot some of our own horns.

I’m talking about notable Islanders, those we recognize in halls of fame and halls of honor, those feted in their own fields of endeavor, and those whose work has made the world a better place. Those, we fellow alums like to say, carry the Purple and Gold banner high.

We honored a new crop of Senior High Hall of Honor inductees and recognized a pair of Legendary Educators in October at a banquet in Grand Island.

The newest GISH hall of fame is the Grand Island Senior High Athletic Hall of Fame, which will be introducing its first class of inductees January 26 at half-time of an Islander basketball game. A banquet honoring them will be held the following day at Balz Banquet Hall in downtown Grand Island. Tickets for the event are available at the Senior High Activities office (308-385-5581) or at the door.

The Athletic Hall of Fame’s inaugural class of inductees include Wes Wilkinson and Paul Trieschman, boys basketball; Kelli Benson Jeffries, girls basketball; Andrew Reidy, wrestling; Scott Usher, boys swimming; Melanie Jacob, girls swimming; Ann Armes and Jeri Walkowiak, volleyball; Logan Mendez, boys soccer; Tom Millsap, boys track: J.C. Stevenson, girls golf; Tammy Wang, girls tennis; Heidi Foland, softball; Jeff Richardson; baseball; Tony Burtle, boys gymnastics; coaches Rod Shada (wrestling) and Ed Bills (girls basketball); teams, 1979 girls basketball, and 2002 boys basketball; and contributor, Al Satterly.

Islanders have also made the grade on other lists.

Retired Senior High English teacher, E. A. Kral, has put together a list of 900 notable Nebraskans. He published the list in a 2012 book entitled, “Nationally Distinguished Nebraskans.” You can find 18 names from Grand Island among the famous and significant on his roster. Kral was meticulous in his research and scholarship — nothing new to those who had him for English at GISH — and uses the following to determine inclusion:

“Any nationally distinguished person who was born in Nebraska or who resided in the state for any length of time after 1854, the year the Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed. Selection criteria for inclusion involves meeting most, if not, all, of the following conditions or traits:

A pioneer in a field, a founder, inventor, developer, creator, opinion maker, significant leader, record holder, performer or major philanthropist; 2. Listed in reliable, reputable national references or publications; 3. Longevity of accomplishment, preferably a major portion of one's lifetime; 4. Magnitude of accomplishment (the pinnacle or near-pinnacle of one's field or expertise) and contribution to society; 5. Recognized as distinguished by peers and audiences elsewhere; 6. Recipient of major national awards, honors or recognition. (The names of individuals who have been known to perpetrate harmful or significant fraud or were convicted of a felony are not included.)”

You can find Kral’s entire list of famous Nebraskans with an explanation the process of gathering the names and a short bio of each person at 900 Famous Nebraskans.

I checked Wikipedia, too, that endless font of information — more or less accurate depending on how much you trust the informer. That said, I’m convinced Wikipedia would not live up to Mr. Kral’s standards.

Nevertheless, it lists “notable alumni” from Grand Island Senior High as former NFL players Tom Rathman and Bob Smith, former Major League Baseball player Jeff “Whitey” Richardson, and MacArthur Fellow and subject of a “Rise” feature last year, Rebecca Richards-Kortum.

Here at “Rise,” we try to mark notable achievements in our “Milestone” section, where we feature Islanders who have recently done something notable. To that end, let us hear from you if you or an Islander you know has raised the bar a little. If it fits, we’ll gladly toot your horn … any time of year.


Pushing On

Ken Aldridge (Class of 1960), a retired Special Agent for the FBI, has written his seventh novel, ”The Fatal Fall." Set in a small Texas town, “The Fatal Fall” follows the wealthy heiress to a French soap company as she moves to Texas to refurbish an inherited estate. Within weeks she is found dead on the ground below her backyard balcony. The police have trouble deciding if it was murder, suicide, or an accidental death. Alcohol abuse, illegal drugs, and a marriage on the rocks all play a part in a complicated and challenging case for the small town Texas police chief.

Aldridge and his wife Vicki (Varvel) Aldridge (Class of 1961) live in Texas.

I've Been Thinking

To Resolve ... Or Not to Resolve

Apparently, as 2017 became 2018, we should have skipped the phrase “be it resolved.” I saw no less than a half dozen articles in the run up to the new year offering statistical proof that we are overwhelmingly weenies when it comes to keeping New Year’s resolutions.

While my respect for Islander alums remains unmatched, my guess is even though our purple sweatshirts are trimmed in gold we, too, are casualties of such numbers.

Full disclosure: As a member in good standing of the mass of people who break their New Year’s resolutions by Valentine’s Day, I already knew the hard facts. But I’ve done something about it. Some years ago I gathered my courage … such as it was. I decided to face my weakness squarely in the face. I summoned what strength I had. I took the plunge.

I quit making making New Year’s resolutions.

Of course, one weakling with “GI” on his cap is an extremely small sample size to cast resolution-making aspersions on the entire human race. Smarty pants researchers in white coats have all kinds of numbers to back me up, however. Depending on whom you read, anywhere from 60 to 90 percent of resolvers fail before they are able to make another New Year's resolution. Statistically, most call it quits before the Ides of March. Had Brutus just kept his resolution not to conspire to assassinate men named Julius Caesar . . .

I’ve also read that we find much less success accomplishing the generic “lose weight,” “get more sleep,” or “exercise more” compared to something specific such as resolving to quit stealing paper clips from the office or start driving the speed limit.

Perhaps you’ve also run into the saintly wags who profess to leading lives of such unreconstructed virtue that resolutions are unnecessary. Perhaps they should consider resolving to be more honest or at least less smug. And perhaps we should resolve to quit rolling our eyes when they wax on. Hey, nobody said resolution making should be easy.

Sometimes institutions offer up their own resolutions, marketing themselves as human and capable of change. So the local Five and Dime may resolve to increase its customer service. Or the Big Box out on the highway may promise even lower prices. Or maybe the Megahugebigness Corporation will pledge that this is the year they will have actual humans answer its phones. (Even money says no way.)

Here at “Rise, Grand Island” we’re passing on any resolutions primarily because, well, we’re a newsletter, and I’m not exactly sure newsletters can make resolutions. That and the convenient (or inconvenient) truth that I’m the editor and … well … see above for further details.

If pressed, however, I did have one idea for a New Year’s Resolution based solely on my observation of 2017, during which I had resolved neither to subtract anything nor to add anything nor to emend or change anything. Not that I was above any of those fine displays of making one’s life better. Nor was it a fear of failure, documented above. Laziness was more than likely the underpinning of my irresoluteness.

Here then, in theory only, is my New Year’s Resolution: To practice a genuine kindness.

I say practice because I’m a little too smart alecky and a little too judgmental to achieve an actual, genuine kindness. But I know a few people who are, so I have some role models. Some of them are reading this.

My “Rise” writing buddy, Mike Monk, and I often regale you with the past, trips down a memory lane paved in purple and gold. Any alumni newsletter worth its salt would do the same.

And one of the things I remember about the past -- or at least my version of its slice of history -- was that we were a lot kinder to each other than we are today. Sure we had a few bullies in the hallways and the occasional duke out in the parking lot, but my recollection was that we did indeed live in a quieter, more genial, more civil time. Some may call such mores the stuff of Pollyanna. They would be wrong. Civility was -- and is -- a social smoothing that allowed for even the most hardened disagreements to be broached and debated.

Today, when we have more and faster ways to communicate exponentially, a segment of society -- a very loud one -- wants to use such technological wonders to display what my mother would have called simple bad manners. Our public discourse, even among our leaders, is fraught with name calling, ad hominem attacks, and a streak of nastiness.

So be it resolved, that I will not add to the negative noise but rather see where I can -- with kindness -- increase the peace.

I’ll let you know if I make it to March.

Happy New Year, Islander Nation.

Alumni Reunions

Planning a class reunion?

We can help get you started!
Contact us for your class list and send us information about your reunion. We will post it to our website.

Kari Price, Alumni Coordinator
308.385.5900 ext. 1148


NOTE: Reunion information in this newsletter is current as of the publication date. To see Reunion updates and additions go to our Alumni Reunions page.

Class of 1956

The Class of 1956 wishes to extend an invitation to fellow classmates to join them at their monthly gathering. They meet on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Midtown Holiday Inn at 6:00 pm. For more information please contact Ed Felske at (308) 382-3111.

Class of 1966

The Class of 1966 wishes to extend an invitation to fellow classmates to join them at their monthly lunch gathering. They meet the 3rd Wednesday of each month at the Platt Duetsche at 1:00 pm.

Class of 1968

The Class of 1968 will hold its 50th Reunion on June 22-23, 2018. Both nights will be at Riverside Golf Club. Hotel information is below. The cost for the weekend is only $50 a person including dinner each night. ($60 after May 1) A class booklet with information and addresses of classmates is also available for $10. Check out and like our Facebook page — “GISH Class of 1968.”

Registrations should be sent to Class of ‘68 50th Reunion, PO Box 5201, Grand Island, NE 68802. Make checks payable to Class of 1968. Be sure to include the additional $10 if you want a booklet. Please include a short (100 words or so, at most) newsy “update” on your life and include any contact information you want to share: phone, address, email, social media.

Pictures! We need them for a slide show we want to run on big screens both nights at the reunion, so please forward them hard copy to the PO box or electronically to the email below.

Questions should be directed to or via Facebook.

Here’s to ’68 and seeing everyone in June as we celebrate our 50th Reunion.

Hotel Info: Rooms are blocked at Best Western Plus, 2707 S. Locust Street 308-381-8855 (15 rooms @$112.46); Grand Hotel, 2503 S. Locust Street, 308-384-1330 (15 rooms @$114.95); MainStay Suites, 3051 S. Locust Street, 308-382-9280, (11 rooms @$128.99 for a single queen bed, 9 rooms @ $138.99 2 double beds); and Rodeway Inn   3205 S. Locust Street, 308-384-1333, (7 rooms @$97.99  for a single queen bed and 13 rooms @ 97.99 for 2 double beds).

These are all close to Riverside. There are also hotels on Highway 281. Either way,  reservations should be made early as the hotels will only hold them at these prices until a few weeks before the reunion. It’s a very busy weekend in Grand Island.

Class Reunion information can also be found on the Grand Island Public Schools Foundations page at

Shaking the World

Find it on Page 6

The answer was on page 6. It is always on page 6. Every year in November, I anxiously dive into the audit report provided by the external accounting firm. I thumb through the report, not really seeing any of it until I get to the number. This year’s number was $1,228,210. That isn’t income, assets, or restrictions…that number represents how much YOUR GIPS Foundation invested into programs, scholarships, and projects directly benefiting students last school year.  

It takes my breath away. That number means that for each student in the district last year (9,713), YOUR GIPS Foundation invested $126.45. That is above and beyond the tax-funded education. It means that donors are helping students achieve a well-rounded and meaningful educational experience. Now, we all know that it doesn’t happen that every student gets that kind of investment every year. We don’t live in a world of averages and equals. However, over the course of a student’s educational journey with the Grand Island Public Schools, it stands to reason that each student will benefit multiple times from the philanthropy made possible by donors to the foundation, and that is uplifting.

What do these opportunities look like? They look like payments for academic, athletic, and music camps. They look like classrooms of students learning to code using ozobots purchased by a Foundation grant. They look like a school full of students who get to see a live production in the theater. They look like the senior class applying for college scholarships. They look like these opportunities and so many more, thanks to donors who invest in our Foundation and invest in our students.  

There is another number that I am always curious to see. That number isn’t found on the audit report but it represents a source of pride and community. This number is 2,221. This is the number of unique donors or households who decided to invest in our students last year. How comforting that so many people understand the importance of investing in our students. We receive gifts from those who live and work in Grand Island. But, we also receive gifts from alumni all over the country who remember their time as Islanders and want to give that enhanced Islander experience to the students who followed in their footsteps. To all of you, I say thank you for your investment. You make page 6 possible.

Your Legacy. Their Opportunity.

When Your Gift Gives Back

“A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected!” This was a quote I found on the Glow 4 Gabby Facebook page.  It was in reference to a visit from 2017 GISH Graduate Manuel Corado.  Manuel was selected as the Gabby Ayala Memorial Scholarship winner last spring.  He met the Ayala family at the GIPS Foundation Scholarship donor reception.  They hit it off.  Because donors who give to invest in the next chapter of our students lives…really do care about that next chapter.  

This December, Manuel was back from college on break.  He knew he had important people to see.  He not only came back to see the Ayala family, but he came to Howard Elementary School where Bianca Ayala (GISH 05) works as a English Language Acquisition Teacher and Lluliana Ayala (Mama Ayala) works as a para educator.  

Manuel visited with students about his college journey and gave encouragement to them. Here is more of the Facebook post: “Manuel Corado definitely does more than expected! Came back to visit the Ayala Family when home during winter break! He is doing great at UNL and excited for the Spring semester!”

The Ayala family offers an annual scholarship in memory of their daughter and sister, Gabby Ayala. Gabby, was a 2008 GISH graduate.  She played soccer and softball during her 4 years at GISH. She had an outgoing personality, and was a friend to all. Gabby had a tenacious spirit, pushing herself to be the best she could be both on the field and off. She was strong in academics and the will to succeed. Her senior year she filled her schedule with AP classes and graduated high school with 12 college credits. She was so passionate about everything she did and never allowed anyone to bring her down. She is greatly missed by those who knew her.

Manuel, thank you for paying your gift forward!  And, to the Ayala family, thank you for Gabby’s Legacy.  It is indeed opportunity!

On the Island

News From the Halls of Senior High

The high school experience comes and goes within a matter of four short years. As a senior, I have begun my reflection of the time I have spent here at Grand Island Senior High: what I have learned and what has changed. As a student, you really only witness the short term changes no matter how big or small; it makes you wonder what the long term looks like.

Several teachers and staff members have committed large chunks of their careers to this wonderful school. To get an insight into the long term changes through different perspectives, I spoke with a few deep-rooted, well-known staff members, asking them to reflect on their time here as well.

To make things easy I asked four general questions that triggered many varying responses: What year did you start at Senior High? How has the atmosphere of the school changed since then? How has the building changed physically? How has the student body evolved?

Talking with Judy Lorenzen, English teacher and staff member at Senior High since 2004, she noted many changes that she has recognized throughout her fourteen years on the job. She believes the atmosphere has been most altered by the addition of technology in the classroom. It has opened a lot of doors for teachers and students alike. Around the year Lorenzen started, the “administration was installing 64 cameras around the building.” This was a huge jump into the modern era for the school and improved the overall security of the building. The football stadium and theater both saw renovations since 2004. The building also grew in character with the addition of an outdoor classroom, Hall of Fame, and student lounge area. Lorenzen has also seen the minority student population grow.

Social studies teacher Montie Fyfe, another dedicated teacher, transitioned from Barr Middle School to Senior High in 1998-1999 when he took over the head boy’s track position. Fyfe also sees considerable differences between 20 years ago and now. Fyfe said that this was the second year of moving 9th graders to the high school and was a “period of adjustment for everyone.”

The school was looking to incorporate opportunities for the new class. “The more we tried to embrace the past, it became evident that we had to recognize that GISH was a different school and some of the old traditions were going to change,” he said. At the beginning of Fyfe’s journey at Senior High, the lack of a well-established ELL program was making things difficult for teachers and students alike. The school was clearly unprepared for the influx of new immigrants. Fyfe spoke volumes of the proactivity of the school: “The great thing about GISH is we have this strong tradition of ‘never sitting on our hands.’  When we are faced with struggles, we are always looking for ways to solve those problems -- and it has always been that way.” He believes it is that desire for solutions that has gotten us to where we are today, with many well-established, specialized programs to help those who need it. Fyfe agrees that the biggest change has been the impact of technology. He feels as though today there is an expectation of properly preparing students for the 21st century by growing with the technology. “In the end, the student of today is the same as the student of yesterday. They have the same interests, stresses, and outlooks as they did 20 years ago. The world will continue to change around us and we are always in need of preparing our students for those changes”.

I also had the opportunity to speak with Cynthia (Cindy) Wells, former teacher and assistant principal and GISH’s current Activities Director. She is one of the more well-known staff members among alumni. Wells has been employed by Grand Island Public Schools since 1981. She has seen the school evolve more than most. She believes the most significant changes have been brought about by the new academic opportunities and activities. Wells recalled the new addition of the 500 and 600 wings, weight room, and gymnasium. The Career Pathways Institute building on South Adams followed those. The 100 wing has recently been remodeled as well. She said, “Students are students wherever you go. Love them all. What has changed in my opinion is they challenge themselves to get ready for the real world. Education is forever changing and we have a wonderful community and school district that supports the changes that need to occur.”

Grand Island Senior High has been modified significantly over the past several decades to adapt to the needs of the ever-changing student body. The school I know and have grown to love today will be completely different in another decade or two, but that is perfectly okay. Although it can be scary, change is necessary to make Senior High the greatest it can be.

A Distant Mirror

William Shakespeare

Peering into the Distant Mirror of the past, I recall my first experience with the Bard, William Shakespeare. I think it was sophomore year, 1965 or so, when we read “Julius Caesar.” It was new, different, and not so easily understood. But the stabbing of Caesar in the forum, so bold and vivid, had a great impact on me and my fellow sophomores. And there were great speeches, like Mark Antony’s “I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him,” maybe the best known line of irony in English literature. As you recall, Antony then rouses the citizens against the conspirators and defends the honor of Caesar. Some phrases, like the description of “yond Cassius” who has “a lean and hungry look,” and “Beware the Ides of March,” had a resonance even to the youthful ear.

Two years later, in Mr. Kral’s 12th grade English class, we were taught “Hamlet,’ in much more detail, and with far more understanding. I remember reading it with interest on the varsity basketball team’s bus trip to Kearney (I was the 12th man and rarely played). Some of these speeches were mesmerizing, and somehow seemed familiar, like the “To be or not to be” speech, and the wonderful couplets,

The time is out of joint - Oh cursed spite,
That ever I was born to set it right.  

and this about Hercules …

Let Hercules himself do what he may,
The cat will mew and every dog will have his day.

When one becomes familiar with sentences in which the word order is unusual, the meaning starts to become more clear.  Also the Shakespearean meter, blank verse, or “iambic pentameter,” with 5 iambs, provides a pleasing rhythm throughout:  da DA, da DA, da DA, da DA, da Da. A soft syllable followed by a hard one, five times each line.

With Mr. Kral’s influence, I grew fond of Shakespeare and in college I majored in English Literature. I grew to love Dickens and Shakespeare, along with Geoffrey Chaucer, which we learned in the original Middle English. I thought of graduate school in English, but finally opted for law school.

During law school and for the next decade or so, I did so much legal reading that I had little energy for classic literature.  But as the years passed, I returned to the writers I loved, from Dickens to Jane Austen to George Elliot and of course Shakespeare. I gained a renewed and even stronger appreciation for Shakespeare. In the late 1990’s I reread most of the Shakespeare plays I had read, and most that I had not previously enjoyed. I was hooked. The more one reads, the easier the plays are to comprehend. And the real beauty are the images, the meter, and the wisdom. At times, when I am reading, often aloud to myself to hear the meter, and I think “this is ridiculously beautiful. How can he have been so brilliant.”  

Now, I give a “shameless self-serving praise” trigger warning. This renewed appreciation also caused me to write a play in the style of Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Orenthal, Prince of Brentwood,” a play that tells the story of the O.J. Simpson murders. I was honored when it won one of eight “Outstanding Book of the Year” awards by the Independent Publisher Book Awards in 2014. It is available on the Amazon and Barnes and Noble web sites.

But the focus of this little essay is the fear that the modern world will deem the Bard too difficult and not worth the effort.  I am convinced that with a wee bit of effort, the words become clear, and the complex thoughts and ideas come tumbling forth.  I see some colleges, including my own college and law school, Harvard and Penn, crumbling to the cries of a few that we should ignore the old, dead, white men and focus only upon diverse modern literature. This, in my view, is a horrible mistake. Embrace the new and the diverse, no question, but do not discard the past. I love Shakespeare not because he is male, or dead, or white, but because he is a genius. To see far lesser literary works drastically reduce the emphasis on the Bard is sad and a loss to all students. Isn’t the point of scholarship to read the best that mankind has written?  

Even more distressing is the nascent effort to rewrite the language of Shakespeare to make it more accessible. This is a far greater crime in my view even than brushing Shakespeare aside. We should not repaint the Mona Lisa, rescore Mozart’s “Marriage of Figuro,” rebuild the Eiffel Tower, or revise the Gettysburg Address. And we should not rewrite the most beautiful language ever written. To destroy the meter, toss aside the metaphors, and “dumb down” the works of Shakespeare is neither wise nor necessary.

The Prologue to “Romeo and Juliet” reads, verbatim, as follows:

Two households, both alike in dignity,
     In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
     Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
     A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
     Doth with their death bury their parent's strife.
The fearful passage of their death-marked love,
     And the continuance of their parents' rage,
Which, but their children's end, nought could remove,
     Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toils shall strive to mend.

Is this really that impossible to comprehend? I think not.  When you read the original Shakespeare with even a modicum of attention, it is not impenetrable. There will be an occasional word that will be footnoted to show the meaning in Elizabethan English, which may be different from the current meaning. But this is a small price to pay. The original, particularly when read out loud, has the pleasing meter, the iambic pentameter, and is lilting and calming somehow. The sonnet form in which it is written is also pleasing with the rhyme scheme of:  ABAB CDCD EFEF and GG.

Then compare a version of this Prologue that is simplified to make it more accessible:

Our story takes place in Verona
     Involving two prominent families.
Long standing disputes existed
     Which broke out into new violence among citizens.
A romance between youths of the different families
     Ended when each committed suicide.
This tragic result and their deaths
     Ended the feud and brought peace.
The story of their love and death
     And the anger of each family,
Which ended only with their deaths,
     Is the story we tell today.
And if you listen closely
You will learn more details of this tale.

The simplification, which admittedly I myself wrote, is, by comparison, incredibly wanting. It lacks the rhythm of the meter and the comforting rhyme scheme of the sonnet form. It also lacks the more precise and expressive words, some of which are less frequently seen today.

So I encourage each of you to give the Bard a chance. Pick a fun play to begin with, like “Romeo and Juliet,” or “Midsummer Night’s Dream.” For just a bit of effort, you will be lavishly rewarded. And let us all revolt against the bastardization and simplification of the Bard’s plays. Why change the best words ever written?

In closing, I encourage readers of Rise to email me with your comments, objections, corrections, and thoughts.  I would love to hear from you. I can be reached at

In Memoriam

November and December memorial list of GISH Alumni

LEAH (GEIL) MEYER, Class of 1945, died Nov. 2, 2017, in Mulvane, Kan. She was 90.

ROBERT HOLMES, Class of 1952, died Nov. 5, 2017, in Cozad. Robert lived in Kearney. He was 83.

DOROTHY (RAUERT) SHARP, Class of 1938, died Nov. 5, 2017, in Grand Island. Dorothy lived in St. Paul. She was 96.

RANDY KROLIKOWSKI, Class of 1988, died Nov. 6, 2017, in Lincoln. Randy lived in Grand Island. He was 48.

BOB LEE, Class of 1977, died Nov. 6, 2017, in Omaha. He lived in Grand Island. He was 59.

PAT (DICKMAN) SWARTZ, Class of 1964, died Nov. 11, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. She was 71.

NEVA (LUNDY) HOLMES, Class of 1956, died Nov. 15, 2017, in Wood River. She lived in Kearney. She was 79.

FAYE (KUMM) WAGNER, Class of 1970, died Nov. 17, 2017, in Grand Island. She was 65.

ANDREW MITCHELL, Class of 2008, died Nov. 18, 2017, in Grand Island. He was 28.

RICK SMITH, Class of 1968, died Nov. 24, 2017, in Grand Island. Rick lived in Boelus. He was 67.

RACHEL RIVERA, Class of 1965, died Nov. 24, 2017, in Grand Island. She was 71.

CHARLENE (MOORE) METTENBRINK, Class of 1952, died Nov. 29, 2017, in Valley. Charlene lived in Omaha. She was 82.

KAY KRUEGER, Class of 1949, died Dec. 1, 2017, in Grand Island. He was 86.

STEVE SMITH, Class of 1969, died Dec. 8, 2017, in Grand Island. He was 66.

NEVA (RUHE) BOYD, Class of 1947, died Dec. 9, 2017, in Grand Island. She was 88.

ED CUMMINGS, Class of 1974, died Dec. 12, 2017, in Grand Island. He was 61.

MARION SCHUTTE, Longtime Senior High counselor, died Dec. 12, 2017, in Grand Island. He was 85.

JEREMY L. CLARK, Class of 1998, died Dec. 13, 2017, in Omaha. He was 37.

DON NICHOLS, Class of 1951, died Dec. 15, 2017, in Grand Island. He lived in Wood River. He was 86.

LYNN RUPLE, Class of 1955, died Dec. 17, 2017, in Lincoln. He was 80.

ROBERT SCHOENSTEIN, Class of 1957, died Dec. 18, 2017, in Grand Island. He was 78.

WILLIAM STAHLNECKER, Class of 1958, died Dec. 20, 2017, in Grand Island. He was 77.

TOM RINDER, Class of 1966, died Dec. 20, 2017, in Phoenix. He lived in Scottsdale. He was 69.

JOSE ORTIZ, Class of 2009, died Dec. 20, 2017, in Grand Island. He was 27.

BOB ROBERTSON, Class of 1971, died Dec. 23, 2017, in Grand Island. He was 64.

DENNIS ENGLE, Class of 1970, died Dec. 30, 2017, in Berryville, Va. He lived in Harper’s Ferry, W. Va. He was 65.

GARY GRAF, Class of 1956, died Dec. 31, 2017, in Grand Island. He was 79.

To report an alumni death since December 31, 2017, please send an email with the first name, last name, class year and maiden name if applicable to

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