January 17, 2018~Year 10, No. 21

Nazareth Graduate Creates History

Nazareth graduate Rebekah VanDijk is a senior at the University of Texas at Arlington. VanDijk is the first player in UTA’s basketball history to reach both 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds! She has 1,437 points and 1,000 rebounds in her career!

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Nazareth Music Receives Grant

This year, band director Angela Fulkerson applied for and received a grant from the Texas Music Educators Association executive  board. Fulkerson received an $800 grant to use for the elementary music program at Nazareth ISD. With the grant, she bought various percussion instruments including finger cymbals, egg shakers, tambourines, jingle bells, woodblocks, claves, xylophones, rhythm sticks, and shape drums for the elementary students to use.

“I heard about the grant through the new online elementary curriculum, called Quaver,” Fulkerson said. “The new instruments will be used with the Quaver lessons to help expand students’ understanding of music and to help them learn how to read and play music. This will help prepare students to play band music in years to come. It will help the future of the high school band with a strong foundation.”

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The third grade with the instruments

An Eye for Beauty – Fr. Jim Schmitmeyer

The father of a friend of mine died last week. The man’s name was Eldon and he ran a feed and veterinary supply store in Friona.

The hallway to Eldon’s office at the Veterinary Supply Company was lined with 8×10 prints of photographs he had taken of life West Texas. Eldon had an eye for beauty but his artwork conveyed more than beautiful landscapes. The scenes he captured on film contained more than color and perspective. They also revealed his love and reverence for the people of his town, the virtue of hard work and the neighborly cooperation and community spirit that so characterizes rural life in this part of the country.

In addition to the prints hanging in the hallway of the feed store, Eldon also published a yearly calendar. Each month of the year featured a print of one of his photographs, many of which illustrated some scene or event from around Friona. Needless to say, the calendars were very popular.

A wise theologian once said, “When we no longer recognize beauty, we will soon forget how to pray.” Eldon’s photographs are beautiful and their beauty reflects the beauty of the Creator. How fortunate we are to have artists in our midst.

Eldon, the owner and manager of a feed store, was indeed an artist. He looked at the world around him and saw the beauty of God’s light shining brilliant in the Texas sunsets, breaking through the clouds, dancing on the prairie flowers and sparkling the surface of water in rusted cattle tanks. He saw the smile of God in the faces of people gathered together for community dinners and stock shows.

If we could but take one of Eldon’s calendars, chose just one month, gaze at the picture, then go through the days of that month reflecting on the beauty and goodness that each day offers, how much closer we would grow to God during the rest of days remaining on the calendar of our own individual lives?

If one ordinary man can help us see beauty in this life, how much more can we see the hope of Glory in the life, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ?

Eternal rest grant unto Eldon, O Lord. And may perpetual light shine upon him.

Community Announcements

Home Merc Gala

The Home Merc Gala will be February 10, 2018, starting at 6:30. Food will be provided as well as a band for entertainment and dancing. The highest bidder for the College Flag Auction will be able to fly their college team’s flag at Nazareth ISD every Friday. Tickets are $150 per couple or $75 per individual. For additional ticket information, contact the Home Merc board members: Lesly Annen, Mac Annen, Ann Nelson, Matt Olvera, Toni Waldo, Glen Waldo, Karen Wanjura, John Wanjura, and Hugh Wilhelm.

All Region Band

Two students from Nazareth will be performing in the junior high and high school All Region Bands. Sixth Grader Chloe Birkenfeld and senior Katherine Fulkerson will play at Mary Moody Hall at the WT campus on Saturday, January 20, at 2:00 and 4:00, respectively. Come out and enjoy the music!

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January 10, 2018~Year 10, No. 20

Father Ken’s Letter of Thanks

Taking Nazareth With Me When I Go

Like pilgrims of old who took a small rock with them from sacred places, I thought a few rocks of Nazareth could go with me. When I high-centered my car on the new rock mounds at Naz Stop, I decided grateful memories pack better than rocks! Three brave musketeers got me going again—my gratitude to them was this morning’s symbol of this parish’s times of help to me during these last 14 years.

In Old Testament, it tells the story of “Moses’ hands growing weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands to help the battle” (Ex. 17:12). Starting with the many years of celebrating with me almost daily Eucharist to the most recent retirement celebration on Saturday evening, I have so much to be thankful for all your helping to “hold up my arms to win the battle!”

I use this opportunity to offer my gratitude and prayers for all of you “helpers” in the parish as our journeys of faith continue. Depending on these next few weeks of change for me, it is my hope to contact you by personal notes to thank you for your help, prayers, support, and love. For now, may this note let you know that my gratitude and prayers are with you as the parish journeys into 2018.

May God bless you “real good”!                                                – Fr. Ken Keller

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Father Ken received this picture painted by Randy Friemel from the Parish Council.

No Rest for the Champions

                The Swift and Swiftette basketball teams kept busy over the Christmas break! Both teams had several games over the two week break. The Swifts played and defeated Smyer, 62-26, and Farwell, 49-40. The Swiftettes played Springlake Earth, 68-14, and Farwell, 66-30.

The junior varsity Swifts played Smyer and defeated them with a score of 36-29. The junior varsity Swiftettes played Farwell and won with a score of 42-12.

Remodeling the Church

                The renovations of Holy Family Church began this week with the removal of the trees and greenery from around the building. After years of discussion, the parish decided to remodel in order to provide newer restrooms and additional gathering space to restore reverence and quiet to the nave.

The project is expected to take five to six months and be completed in time for the summer wedding season, weather permitting. The design extends the south side of the building for the new gathering area and bathrooms. It also adds a new handicap accessible sidewalk on the west side to accommodate those needing easier entry to the church.

“At first I wasn’t sure that this was the right thing to do,” said Glenn Ramaekers, head of the building committee. “The community has been supportive, and the bishop gave his approval as well. I think today has proven that God has a hand in this and that the renovations were necessary. Everything ran smoothly today, and we had plenty of help.  We all expected it to take several days to pull down and clear the trees, but we were able to complete it in one day.”

 

Community Announcements

Nazareth Area Farm Sale

The Nazareth Area farm sale will be February 10, 2018. To consign, call or text Alan Birkenfeld at 570-6328. All items must be submitted one month prior to the sale date if you want them listed on the sale bill. Auction fees will be 8% on sold items, and 2% if passed out. There will be a $10 minimum charge. Call to discuss fees on high-value items. The deadline for turning in items is January 10th if you want them listed on the sale bill. Call Alan at 806-570-6328 if you want to get anything listed.

All Region Band

Two students from Nazareth will be performing in the junior high and high school All Region Bands. Sixth Grader Chloe Birkenfeld and senior Katherine Fulkerson will play at Mary Moody Hall at the WT campus on Saturday, January 20, at 2:00 and 4:00, respectively. Come out and enjoy the music!

CCD Schedule

There will be CCD classes on Wednesday, January 10, but no classes on January 17.

Holy Family Youth Group

The youth group will meet on Sunday, January 14. They will attend the 9:15 morning mass and take down the park decorations. Immediately after, they will travel to Hereford for their bowling night.

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December 20, 2017~Year 10, No. 19

Father Ken Keller’s Ministry at Holy Family Church: A Reflection

In late November 2003, when Father Ken arrived to begin his parish assignment at Holy Family Church in Nazareth, it was a different world than today.  There were no I-Phones, no Facebook or YouTube videos.  Closer to home, Holy Family had celebrated its centennial a year earlier, but as a new century was underway, there was some lingering questions: What would become of our parish…our school…our community?  Then, something happened that no one could have predicted in 2003—Father Ken has remained as pastor of Holy Family for 14 years!  That is a rare tenure for a pastor in a rural church anywhere in the entire country.  Looking back, here are three key accomplishments of Fr. Ken’s ministry that greatly impact Nazareth and Castro County, now and into the future.

First, Fr. Ken’s pastoring brought stability to Nazareth, and that stability arose out of the spiritual care that he provided for people of all ages.  On nearly every day of the week or month, folks could rely on morning Mass or Communion Services for spiritual nourishment.  If children needed Sacraments or youth needed retreats, if the elderly needed healing visits or prayers, if families gathered in baptisms, weddings or funerals—we knew that these services would be celebrated beautifully and meaningfully.  Liturgies and services at Holy Family wove people together, at times of joy and times of sorrow and loss.  Father Ken did not attempt to do everything by himself, but rather, he continually encouraged and involved the parishioners (the baptized) in doing Christ’s work.  Guided by his servant leadership, ministries and parish life flourished.  Over the past decade and a half, 3 permanent deacons have been ordained, hundreds of children and teenagers have celebrated the Sacraments and attended the Steubenville Retreats, lay organizations have been maintained and strengthened, and dozens of adults have joined the Catholic Church through the RCIA process at Holy Family.

Second, Father Ken fostered a deep appreciation of our history.  It is one thing to build a hopeful present and future, but in Nazareth, that cannot fully take place without remembering our heritage—connecting with the people whose shoulders and sacrifices we stand upon.  Early on, Fr. Ken arranged for historical exhibits at Holy Family Church during German Fest and Labor Day celebrations, so that young and old, residents and visitors, could learn about and be inspired by the priests, the nuns, and veterans who have given us their service.  Years of working with volunteers and councils to make Holy Family Cemetery a more beautiful and accessible place to any visitor, is one of the greatest blessings that Fr. Ken has bestowed on Nazareth.

Third, Fr. Ken’s ministry not only nourished Holy Family Church—it flowed outward to embrace all citizens of Nazareth, as well as the people of Dimmitt, Hart, and elsewhere–especially those who were hurting or in need of help. Through promoting Holy Family Food Pantry, Lenten almsgiving to build homes in Haiti, Christmas meals and gifts to elders and home-bound, Fr. Ken led us in establishing a sense of solidarity and social responsibility for Castro County and the wider world.

In less than two weeks, Fr. Ken will be retiring from full-time priestly ministry to take up a new chapter of life in Albuquerque, New Mexico, volunteering at Catholic Charities and assisting with Masses in a nearby parish.  Let us honor him at his retirement Party on Sat. evening, Dec. 30th at 6:30pm in the Nazareth Community Hall—and give thanks for the “time of favor” that he has shared with us.

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Party for Father Ken

The retirement party for Father Ken is scheduled for Saturday, December 30 after mass. Everyone is invited to attend.

 

Community Announcements

Nazareth Area Farm Sale

The Nazareth Area farm sale will be February 10, 2018. To consign, call or text Alan Birkenfeld at 570-6328. All items must be submitted one month prior to the sale date if you want them listed on the sale bill. Auction fees will be 8% on sold items, and 2% if passed out. There will be a $10 minimum charge. Call to discuss fees on high-value items.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to everyone! I sincerely hope you have a fantastic Christmas break. The next edition of Swift Kicks will be on January 10, 2018.

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December 13, 2017~Year 10, No. 18

Youth Spread Holiday Cheer

                Last month, the Holy Family Youth Group decorated the flower park for Christmas. This month, the decorations have helped make Nazareth just a little bit brighter. Thanks to the teens who helped with the project.

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Local Student Dances into a Panhandle Tradition

                Sixth grader Ainsely Schultz has been dancing ballet since first grade at the Star Ballet in Hereford, Texas. Over the last six years, she has danced a total of thirteen performances.

This year, Schultz danced in the Lone Star Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker. She completed a total of eight performances and countless hours of practice. She danced as a soldier and a balloon girl during the weekend performances.

“My favorite show that I’ve done was The Nutcracker because it was an amazing experience,” Schultz said. “I loved meeting new people and being taught by new people. It was fun to dance on the stage with a full orchestra.”

 

Community Announcements

Retirement Party

The retirement party for Father Ken is scheduled for Saturday, December 30 after mass. Everyone is invited to attend.

Band Christmas Concert

The Nazareth band’s Christmas concert will be Thursday, December 14, at 6:00 p.m. in the New Gym. All the community is encouraged to attend.

Annual Penance Service

The annual Penance Service is scheduled for Thursday, December 14, at 7:00 p.m.

Catholic Daughters Bake Sale

The Catholic Daughters bake sale will be December 16-17 after church. The funds they raise will be for charity.

Christmas Choir Practice

The choir for the 4:00 Christmas Eve mass will practice on Sunday, December 17, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. All students from sixth to twelfth grade are encouraged to sing. Pizza will be provided!

 

Basketball Season Continues

                This week was busy for the junior high and high school Swifts and Swiftettes.

The junior high teams played against Lazbuddie. Both teams defeated the Longhorns. The girls’ score was 31-17, and the boys’ was 36-16.

The high school teams traveled to Dimmitt to play in the Dimmitt tournament held on December 7-9. The boys won against Bovina, 60-40, and placed third in the tournament. The girls lost 28-30 against Bushland and placed second in the tournament. Congratulations to everyone!

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April Schmucker

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Jake Gerber

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December 6, 2017~Year 10, No. 17

Nazareth FFA Competes in State LDE Contests

                Six students from Nazareth ISD competed in two events at the State Leadership contest in College Station. Seniors Garrison Kleman, Faithe Huseman, Riley Durbin, juniors Kristi McAlister, Emily Heitschmidt, and Bryson High competed in Senior Quiz and Senior Creed Speaking.

The Senior Quiz team placed fourteenth out of 620 teams in 1A trough 6A. Kleman placed first out of 725 Senior Creed speakers from 1A to 6A schools.

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Garrison Kleman, Kristi McAlister, Emily Heitschmidt, Faithe Huseman, Riley Durbin, and Bryson High

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Garrison Kleman, and teacher Mr. Heck

 

Basketball Season Continues

                The Swifts and Swiftettes played well during the Nazareth Tournament. The Swiftettes played Slaton for the championship title, and won 46-42. The Swifts played Shallowater in the championship match, but lost the hard fought battle 51-52.

Monday, December 4, the junior high boys’ and girls’ teams traveled to Kress. The junior high Swifts won 24-19, and the junior high Swiftettes won 28-9.

Tuesday, December 5, the junior varsity and varsity teams played against Slaton. The junior varsity girls won 33-17, and the junior varsity boys lost 26-35. The varsity girls defeated Slaton 48-33. The varsity boys won 46-35.

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Traytan McLain

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Blakely Gerber

 

Community Announcements

Christmas Open House

The Peoples’ Bank in Nazareth will have a Christmas Open House on Wednesday, December 6, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Santa at the Inn

Santa will be visiting the Yellow Rose Inn on Sunday, December 10, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00p.m. Children of all ages are welcome. There will be cookies and beverages for everyone to enjoy!

Retirement Party

The retirement party for Father Ken is scheduled for Saturday, December 30 after mass. Everyone is invited to attend.

Band Christmas Concert

The Nazareth band’s Christmas concert will be Thursday, December 14, at 6:00 p.m. in the New Gym. All the community is encouraged to attend.

Annual Penance Service

The annual Penance Service is scheduled for Thursday, December 14, at 7:00 p.m.

Catholic Daughters Bake Sale

The Catholic Daughters bake sale will be December 16-17 after church. The funds they raise will be for charity.

Boxes for the Elderly

The gift boxes for the elderly are due this weekend at church. Please turn them in on time so they can be delivered!

 

Two Earn a Place in the Spotlight

                Eight junior high students and one high school student tried out for the All Region band last week.

On Tuesday, November 30, sixth graders Samantha Fulkerson, Chloe Birkenfeld, Tanner Wethington, Harley Gerber, Mattie Coberly, seventh graders Iris Schilderink, Mary Nelson, and Caroline Myrick traveled to Pampa to compete against other students from 1A to 6A schools. Sixth grader Chloe Birkenfeld earned the sixth chair in the concert band on French horn.

On Monday, December 4, senior Katherine Fulkerson competed at Panhandle against sixty other flutists for a spot in the bands. Fulkerson earned eleventh chair in the concert band.

The two band members will perform with the bands at WT A&M campus in Mary Moody Northern Hall on January 20.

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November 29, 2017~Year 10, No. 16

Community’s Bright Light Remembered in Season’s Lights

“Bright with hope and joy” was the way so many of us encountered the wonderful new neighbor that joined Nazareth community and school in the last couple of years.  Jo Pierson, struggling with her health, never struggled with sharing her light and love with others, especially her family and all the new friends in Nazareth.

Jo, 43, passed away on November 21, 2017 at home with her family in Nazareth, Texas.  She was born June 25, 1974 at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma to Terry and Sherri Moore.  She married Wayne Pierson on July 8, 1995 and they have lived life together in Oklahoma Lane, Muleshoe, Hereford and Nazareth.  She was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Hereford.

Jo is preceded in death by her mother, Sherri Moore, and is survived by her husband, Wayne Pierson of Nazareth, son, Tobin Pierson of Nazareth, daughter, Megan Pierson of Canyon, father, Terry Moore and Vicki Moore of Amarillo, brother, Shawn Moore of Spearman and in-laws, Steve and Bobbie Pierson of Oklahoma Lane.

Celebration of Life service will be held on Friday, December 1, 2017 at 3:00 PM at the Holy Family Catholic Church in Nazareth, Texas with Deacon Bob Birkenfeld and Pastor Kevin Bushart officiating.  The family will receive guests afterwards at the Nazareth Community Hall.

Memorials can be sent to The Opportunity Plan Inc., P.O. Box 1035, Canyon, Texas 79015 or the charity of your choice.

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Community Announcements

Santa at the Inn

Santa will be visiting the Yellow Rose Inn on Sunday, November 10, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00p.m. Children of all ages are welcome. There will be cookies and beverages for everyone to enjoy!

Painting at the Home Merc

There will be a painting class for elementary students on Friday, November 30, from 3:45 to 5:15 p.m. taught by Carolyn Bloodworth. All students from kindergarten to fifth grade are welcome, and a small snack will be provided. It is $20 per person.

Basketball Season Continues with Nazareth Tournament

On Monday, November 27, the junior high girls’ and boys’ teams played against Silverton. Both the Swifts and Swiftettes defeated their opponents.

Tuesday, November 28, the junior varsity and varsity boys’ and girls’ teams played the Tulia Hornets. The junior varsity girls won, and the final score was forty-eight to nine. The junior varsity boys’ were also victorious, with a score of thirty-three to twenty-seven. The varsity Swiftettes defeated the Hornets; the final score was seventy-seven to thirty. The varsity Swifts had a close first game and defeated Tulia. The final score was fifty-eight to fifty-four. Congratulations on a great start to the season!

The 2017-18 Nazareth Basketball Tournament will start on Thursday, November 30. There will be twelve girls’ teams and thirteen boys’ teams participating in the tournament. The first teams will play at 10:00 a.m.

On Thursday, the Swifts play Hale Center at 7:20 p.m., and the Swiftettes play Lockney at 6:00 p.m. Come out and support these teams throughout the tournament!

Football Honors

The end of the district football games brings the announcement of the All District Honors Teams. Congratulations to all these players for their achievements!

1st Team

#1 Garrison Kleman – Sr: Wide Receiver, Defensive Linemen

#2 Traytan McLain – Sr: Offensive MVP, Cornerback, Punter

#4 Aidan Moore – Fr: Newcomer of the Year, Tight End,

#14 Jacob Moroney – Jr: Spread Center, Defensive Linemen

#22 Nathaneal Van Dijk – Soph: Full Back, Cornerback

#15 Jake Gerber – Jr: Utility Back, Safety

#75 Garrett Annen – Sr: Noseguard

2nd Team

#13 Luke Betzen – Fr: Quarterback, Utility Player

#35 Bryson High – Jr: Defensive Linemen

#4 Aidan Moore – Fr: Safety

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November 22, 2017~Year 10, No. 15

Nazareth Swifts Finish Playoff Run

The Nazareth Swifts ended the 2017 season with a game against McLean on Friday, November 17. The Swifts fought hard but were unable to defeat McLean and the game concluded with a score of 89-49. The team completed the season with a 7-3 record. Congratulations to the Swifts on a fantastic season!

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Traytan McLain and Nathaniel VanDijk

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Jacob Moroney and Luke Betzen

Basketball Season Begins

On Saturday, November 18, the Nazareth Swiftettes traveled to Abernathy to play the Abernathy Antelopes. The Swiftettes were victorious, ending the game with a score of 51-27.

Monday, November 20, the girls’ varsity and junior varsity teams competed against Happy. Both teams added a victory to their record. The score of the junior varsity game was 28-26, and the varsity finished with a score of 57-29.

The junior high boys’ and girls’ team also played on Monday against Lubbock Home School. The junior high boys were defeated, and the final score was 16-38. The junior high girls started the season with a 23-14 victory.

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JV vs Happy

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Varsity vs Abernathy

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JH boys vs Lubbock Home School

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JH girls vs Lubbock Home School

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Varsity vs Happy

Nazareth Junior High and Elementary Dominate UIL

The elementary and junior high students traveled to Silverton on Thursday, November 16, to compete at the district UIL competitions. The students competed in over fifteen events to bring home another victory for Nazareth ISD.

The junior high students accumulated a total of 704 points and earned first place as a whole. The elementary students received 1030.3 points and also won first place for the school.

Nazareth FFA Competes at Area

The Nazareth FFA competed in 9 different events at the Area 1 LDE contest on Saturday, November 18. Two of the teams will advance to the state competition. Congratulations to all who competed and good luck to those who advance!

Senior Creed – Garrison Kleman first place and state bound

Senior Quiz team – team 2 was 2nd and state bound

Team members – Emily Heitschmidt -2nd overall

Faithe Huseman

Garrison Kleman – 3rd overall

Riley Durbin

Team 1 placed 6th overall

Kristi McALister

Bryson High

Madelyn Smith

Chandler Schulte

Greenhand creed – 7th

Kari Schulte

Greenhand Quiz team placed 4th

Grace Huseman – 3rd overall

Tye Schulte – 8th overall

Emma Kleman

Maggie Nelson

Kylee Moroney

Greenhand Skills – 8th

Maggie Nelson

Kylee Moroney

Emma Kleman

Merry Gerber

Radio – 7th

Amy Schilderink

Caitlin Kleman

Ryan Hietchmidt

Grady McAlister

Senior skills – 6th

Hydie Dyer

Hattie Robb

Jacob Moroney

Brady Robb

Ag Advocacy – 11th

Hydie Dyer

Hattie Robb

Brady Robb

Jacob Moroney

Public Relations – 9th

Chandler Schulte

Bryson High

Riley Durbin

Molly Johnson

Emily Heitschmidt

Nazareth ISD Canned Food Drive

Last week, Nazareth ISD held a canned food drive for the local food pantry. The school raised a total of 1,808 cans. The third grade class raised the most, and Tye Schulte and Bradyn Bullard brought the most in junior high and high school. They were allowed to throw a pie at a teacher of their choice.

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Teacher Cindy Huseman

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Bradyn Bullard and Coach Moore

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