Idaho Falls School District 91 fifth-graders wore their Sunday best and displayed some patriotism Wednesday evening at Skyline High School.

In a packed gym filled with parents, students, school board officials and military veterans, fifth-graders from every District 91 elementary school presented the annual, “God Bless America” chorus performance which includes patriotic songs like “America the Beautiful” and “I Love America” to go along with narrations of America’s previous wars and founding colonies.

The show is put on to coincide with the U.S. history curriculum the district’s fifth-graders learn, program coordinator Tammi Utter said. Wednesday night was also a tribute to former fifth-grade teacher and District 91 music specialist Leo Eaton, who died in June.

Eaton worked within the district for 25 years (1993 to 2018).

“It’s a great opportunity for our kids,” Utter said. “They come together from smaller groups in their schools to form this huge group.”

Utter said 811 children participated in the performance.

One portion of Wednesday’s chorus saw military veterans and active members stand as the “Armed Forces Medley” was sung.

Students summarized past national events in other portions, including the War of 1812 and the Battle of Baltimore in September 1814.

“As we work to make America a more kind and gentle land, let us not forget our heroes from the past who have fought for our liberty and freedom. Through the years Americans have paid the price for freedoms we enjoy. Freedom isn’t free,” Hirvin Castro-Camacho, a fifth-grader from A.H. Bush, said in a pre-recording before the 12-school chorus sang, “Freedom Isn’t Free.”

Linden Park fifth-grader Devyn Asay said she enjoyed the performance, as her father is an Army veteran.

“I think it’s a cool opportunity because we only get to do this once in our life,” said Asay, who did a quick narration about the Intermountain West region and Idaho before joining her classmates in singing Idaho’s state song, “Here We Have Idaho.”

Local artists to be honored at art reception Friday night

Taylor’s Crossing Charter School senior Olivia Harris , among other local artists, will be honored Friday night at the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho.

Harris was the winner of this year’s Idaho Second Congressional District art contest, as she and other entries will be honored. The event begins at 6:30 p.m.

Harris’ artwork will be on display in the U.S. Capitol for a year starting in June. Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper and Kathy Simpson, Rep. Mike Simpson’s wife, are expected to attend and speak at Friday’s event.

Brennan Summers, a spokesman for Simpson, said there were about 110 entries from 20 different schools inside Idaho’s second district for this year’s competition, as the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho selected six finalists before Simpson picked Harris’ artwork.

Simpson will not attend the event, Summers added.

“It’s to celebrate the students and parents,” Summers said.

Bonneville Joint School District 93 announces retirement ceremony for May

The following Bonneville Joint School District 93 teachers, administrators and staff workers will retire at the end of this school year, according to a list sent out by the district.

Those listed will be honored at an open house on May 14 in the District Office board room. The event goes from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Charles Shackett, superintendent

Janet Meyer, Sandcreek Middle School teacher

Viola Haws, Sandcreek Middle School teacher

Susan Croft, Hillcrest High School in-school suspension paraprofessional

Ione Stanger, special services coordinator

Karen Cook, Fairview Elementary School teacher

Shauna Crabtree, Hillcrest High School teacher

Brenda Curtis, technology specialist

Mike Davis, maintenance supervisor

Patricia Dixon, Cloverdale Elementary School teacher

Renee Krei, Woodland Hills Elementary School teacher

Jerilyn Maeser, Falls Valley Elementary School teacher

LaFay Oberhansley, Cloverdale Elementary School teacher

Philip Kim Sorensen, Technical Careers High School teacher

Karen Whyte, Hillview Elementary School Special Ed paraprofessional

Robin Barkland, Bonneville High School teacher

Kimberly Bermensolo, Special Services Special Unit paraprofessional

Camille Blackburn, Hillcrest High School teacher

Sheryl Lidyard, Iona Elementary School Special Ed paraprofessional

Luke O’Roark is a reporter for the Post Register. He can be reached at 208-542-6763. You can also follow him on Twitter: @LukeORoark

Education Reporter

An education reporter interested in a variety of topics — basketball, television, hip hop, philosophy. Has been working at the Post Register for close to two years.

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