NFL Hall of Fame & US Army Tabs MSHS Senior!

February 8th will forever be a special day for Mt. Spokane senior Makenzie Funk.

While sitting in her 5th period AP Literature class, Makenzie received a phone call and stepped quietly in the hall to answer. The voice on the end of the line was from the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Producer of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, George Veras, and he was calling with a special news.

Makenzie was chosen as a finalist for the 2017 US Army Pro Football Award of Excellence. This is the fifth year of the program, and Makenzie is only one of 25 honorees selected nationally – what an honor!

What happens next is truly spectacular. As stated by the NFL:

“With this honor, a Pro Football Hall of Famer, and a representative of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, will come to your high school this spring to present the student with a Finalist Plaque of Excellence during a special recognition ceremony.”

Additionally, Makenzie and her family will travel to Canton, Ohio for the 2017 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony where she will be treated to lunch with the 10 inductees and an invitation to the weekend’s festivities.

Congratulations, Makenzie, on this incredible honor!  I can’t think of a better person to represent Mt. Spokane High School on a national stage!

The US Army Award for Excellence – Click HERE

Go Makenzie!

Go ‘Cats!


MSHS Seniors Honored by Boys & Girls Club

Congratulations to MSHS seniors Heather Becker and Brennan Jumbo! Both were recently awarded designations by the Spokane County Boys & Girls Club, and we are extremely proud!
Heather Becker was named as the “Boys & Girls Club of Spokane County Teen Youth of the Year” and is the first Mead School District student to earn this designation.
Heather will travel to the state competition in Seattle on March 22nd to compete with 16 other teens for the honor of potentially winning the “Boys & Girls Club of Washington State Youth of the Year.” Heather will also receive a $1,000 college scholarship from our local Boys & Girls Club of Spokane County.

Brennan Jumbo was chosen as the BGC “Lisa Stiles-Gyllenhammer Teen Youth of the Year.” He is a selfless young man who is extremely deserving!

Congratulations to Heather and Brennan!  We are proud!

Wildcat History Bowl

Lindsey Carlson, Anthony Torchia, Kellen Fitzgerald and Joey Roach. Fantastic Mt. Spokane High School students.  All dedicated to National History Bowl.

Competing for two years together, these students are hoping to compete at the national competition in Washington DC. To help defray part of the costs, they have started a gofundme page specific to their team.

We are PROUD of these students and their desire to continue to nationals!  (Click HERE for the gofundme site.)

Great job, ‘Cats!

Wildcats Shine at Festival

What a weekend for Mt. Spokane High School at the Solo & Ensemble Festival at Rogers High School. Highlighting the regions best student musicians, our Wildcats performed extremely well! Here are the results:

Josh Zacharias (Basoon) – winner
Jacob Zacharias (Euphonium) – winner
Jared Crider (Tuba) – winner
Camilla Fettig (Clarinet) – winner
Brass Quintet (Brass Ensemble – Large)  – winner
Connor Brennan (Alto Sax) – winner

First Alternates:
Jacob Zacharias (Trombone) – 1st alternate
Seth Reed (Euphonium) – 1st alternate
Jared Crider (Trumpet) – 1st alternate
WW Quintet (Woodwind – Large Ensemble) – 1st alternate
Leo Araiza (Snare) – 1st alternate
Percussion Sextet (Percussion Ensemble – Large) – 1st alternate
Davis Molgard (Vocal Bass) – 1st alternate

Second Alternates:
Sax Quartet (Woodwind – Small Ensemble) – 2nd alternate
Flock of Saxes (Woodwind – Small Ensemble)​– 2nd alternate
Chase LaPlante (Snare) – 2nd alternate
Percussion Ensemble I 
(Percussion Ensemble – Large) ​– 2nd alternate
Tannor Glumbik (mallets) – 2nd alternate
David Stephens (multiple percussion) – 2nd alternate

Special thanks to James Layman, Scott Jones and Dale Emery for all of their work and support of students!  Fantastic job, ‘Cats!

Semester Ends + Pack the Palace

What a way to end a semester!

While it’s entirely possible that a semester end has coincided with ‘Pack the Palace’ in the past, last night was a unique one, in many ways, for our students and community.

First our booster club joined forces with Mead High School to provide a free indoor tailgate, and it didn’t disappoint. Spectators were treated to the summer smell of BBQ immediately when they entered our doors, and I’m so very thankful for the time and care that these people spend to support our kids. Thanks to everyone who flipped a burger or dog, set up a table, manned a table for donations to the Ronald McDonald house, or cleaned up a mess. I am very appreciative.

Then, entering our gymnasium, our amazing pep band of current students, alumni and 8th graders set the tone with their moving performance of the national anthem. An emotional and intense girls game came down to the final shot. Halftimes provided both perspective and entertainment as our Unified basketball team joined with Mead’s to highlight the joy of sport with both student bodies cheering loudly in support. Our district qualifying dance team then performed to a packed house during intermission of the boys game, and I found myself marveling at the number of students who were involved. This is what high school should be about.

The night ended with our boys defeating Mead High School, winning the two-game series for the first time in many years. As I worked with our Athletic Director, Paul Kautzman, to pick up the remnants of a memorable evening, I was tired for all the right reasons. Thank you Mt. Spokane High School. That was a good night.


Bailey Nowlin – One Cool ‘Cat

Bailey Nowlin is one cool Wildcat.

In addition to being a dedicated sophomore student at MSHS, Bailey is also an accomplished when it comes to all things rodeo. Most recently Bailey was awarded as the 2016 EWJRA (Eastern Washington Junior Rodeo Association)Intermediate Cowgirl Champion. She received 1st place Barrels, 1st place Breakaway roping, 1st place Goat Tying, 1st place Cow Riding, 1st place Steer Daubing, and 2nd place Pole Bending.

Congratulations, Bailey, on all of your accomplishments! We are proud!

Go Bailey!
Go ‘Cats!

Stagecraft Final Projects – Simply Fantastic!

Ever wonder how scenes are constructed for our productions at Mt. Spokane?  Curious as to who runs the lights and sound when concerts are presented in our theatre?  The answer, in large part, lies within our 6th period Stagecraft class that is led by Theatre Arts Director Jessica Rempel.

As final projects are currently getting ready for submission in many classes, students in Stagecraft were given a unique, (and I’d argue cool), challenge. Consider the following:

1. All of the students were asked to select a “space” that they would be interested in designing their own version of and potentially building (this could be a room from a movie, video game, play, book, tv show, etc.).

2. They created digital research boards where they compiled images of their space, the furniture, characters, etc. that would be present in it.

3. In groups of about 6, they had to present their digital research and “sell” their idea to their group. Each group voted on the design they would continue to work on.

4. Each group created a design portfolio for their space, including a ground view of their room, a front view of their room, two costume designs, props lists, and lighting and sound concept designs.

5. Each group built their set (including fleshing it out with props and set dressings) working with materials in-house, a $30 budget, and items brought from home.

The final result? Boo’s bedroom from the Monsters, Inc. movie, The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party from Alice in Wonderland and Jack Sparrow’s cell from The Pirates of the Caribbean.

GREAT job to all of our incredibly creative and talented students! Special thanks to Jessica Rempel for providing the opportunity!

Wildcat Dance – Congratulations!

The Wildcat Dance Team has worked all year long to qualify for districts, and this past weekend was a complete success!

Taking place at Rogers High School, our team competed in their second invitational of the year.  When the results were tallied, our ‘Cats qualified both their Hip Hop and Pom routines for Districts!

The girls will perform again at Pack the Palace this Friday night at Mt. Spokane and again at districts: March 11th at Lewis & Clark!

Congratulations to advisor Nancy Butz and our girls!

Wildcats Tackle Hunger

The Mt. Spokane DECA chapter certainly was in the giving spirit this holiday season.

Taking part in 2nd Harvest’s Tackle Hunger drive, our Wildcat DECA program raised a record $5300.00. This money translated into 26,500 meals for the Spokane community. . . what a gift!

To celebrate this accomplishment, Mt. Spokane DECA won the traveling “Tackle Hunger” trophy and a very generous $1500 donation from Darigold. This is the 3rd year in a row our DECA program has earned these honors!

Congratulations to our DECA students and their advisor, Dave Whitehead, for this fantastic accomplishment!

From left to right in picture. Chris Sloan 2nd Harvest, Haley Milligan, Devin Wiseman, Jonny Douglas, Ashton Wilber, Shannon Kinney, 2nd Harvest, and Scott Killsgaard from Darigold.


“Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it.”
Ralph Marston

As we now enter Winter Break as a school community, I found myself reflecting on this quote as students and staff were leaving for a much deserved reprieve. The silence of an empty high school is an eerie thing, and it was within this silence that I found the opportunity to be thankful for those with whom I spend my days.

I am thankful for our amazingly dedicated staff. Regardless of the job people hold at Mt. Spokane, the level of care and excellence they bring each and every day is inspiring. They motivate me to bring my best self each day.

I am thankful for our empathetic, diverse and talented student body. 1500 students from ages 14-18 bring an energy that is indescribable, and their achievements and challenges make me excited to do what I do each day. Truly, they are the best.

I am thankful for a community that supports our students passionately. The packed attendance at concerts and athletic events that took place over the last few weeks cemented this truth. It is this kind of support that allows our school to evolve in our mission to serve students.

And so, as I make my way from the office for some time with my family, please know I am thankful beyond measure. I am the lucky one.

I wish everyone in our community a safe, memorable and joyous holiday season. While a few days away will be a needed time to rest and reflect, I’m excited and confident that 2017 will be our best year yet at Mt. Spokane High School.

Happy Holidays!

Go ‘Cats!

“Mr. Nelson”

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