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The North Bend Eagle


Dodge-Howells school applies for EHC membership

by Cheryl Sudbeck of the Howells Journal
Published in the Eagle 10/26/11 with permission

Two things were decided at the October meeting of the Dodge-Howells Unified Board of Education. The board decided to join a new conference and decided not to make a decision on a new name, mascot and colors for the school at this time.

East Husker ConferenceThis will be Howells and Dodge’s final year participating and competing in the Cornhusker Conference. A committee has of school administrators has met to discuss the school’s fate in the existing conference and recommended at last week’s meeting that the new consolidated school join the East Husker Conference.

Prompting the move was the uncertain future of the Cornhusker Conference. At a meeting held last week, Clarkson and Leigh voted to consolidate all athletic programs for the 2012-13 school year. Two other current schools in the conference are discussing possible athletic co-ops with other schools outside of the conference. Add to that mix, the consolidation of Dodge and Howells and the Cornhusker Conference picture becomes very complicated.

Meanwhile, a move to the East Husker Conference offers good athletic and academic competition from schools that are all close in location to Dodge and Howells. Schools in the East Husker include Stanton, Oakland-Craig, Lyons-Decatur, North Bend Central, Pender, West Point-Beemer, Wisner-Pilger, Logan View, Scribner-Snyder and Tekamah -Herman. Bancroft-Rosalie is also considering a move to join the conference.

The schools currently in the Cornhusker Conference are Clarkson, Dodge, Fullerton, Howells, Humphrey, Humphrey St. Francis, Leigh, Lindsay Holy Family and Newman Grove.

The board unanimously approved the recommendation and a letter will be sent to the East Husker Conference committee requesting admission. Howells superintendent Tom McMahon said the EHC has indicated they looked forward to including Dodge-Howells and approval is likely at the conference meeting in early November.

McMahon said the new Dodge-Howells school would fall roughly in the middle of the East Husker Conference schools in regards in size.

When the board began discussing the new name, mascot and color options brought to them by the committee comprised of students and school athletic directors, they decided that perhaps they should take more time and look at more options before making a decision on the matter.

Principal Ridder said that the Nebraska School Activities Association has said that they are content to refer to the school as Dodge-Howells Unified School until Aug. 1, 2012. Therefore, the new issue becomes having a decision in a timely manner so that uniforms can be ordered and the gyms, gym floors and football fields can be altered with new graphics.

With that in mind, the board decided that perhaps they would delay the decision to allow the new Dodge board members to have input.

Dodge will elect three new members on Dec. 13 to replace the three that were recalled. On that same date, voters will also decide if they want to recall current member Al Rolf.

With full or nearly-full representation in January, the board felt it might be a better time to make a decision on the name, mascot and colors.

The board would also like to hear from the public as far as their ideas. The committee offered name suggestions that were both neutral and referred to general location and those that kept Dodge and Howells in the name.

The board is asking the public to submit their ideas for a new name for the consolidated school and a coordinating mascot and color scheme.

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