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Red Carpet Shindig celebrates Americana

WILLCOX — Saturday night was filled with glitz and glamor as the stars took to the red carpet for the annual shindog fund-raiser for the Willcox Historic Theater and Arts.

This year, the theme of the Red Carpet Shindig was Americana, celebrating everything from the iconic cowboy to hamburgers and apple pie. Locals from within the community dressed up as historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln as well as actors.

Shirley Temple, who was portrayed by Arya White, won the celebrity contest as she tap-danced on stage with master of ceremonies Eddie Browning.

This year, the live auction made roughly $3,000 more than last, generating about $16,200 to help fund the theater’s youth activities, STEM classes and live performances.

The one mishap of the evening occurred when the electrical in the building made it difficult for the staff to cook the dinner, making it impossible for the kitchen crew to be able to serve half of the audience. However, the theater crew persevered, and everyone was fed before the end of the evening.

“It was pretty stressful for the kitchen folks. I will just say the server kids, Gary, and Nicky, and the kids they were helping, they did a tremendous job. We told them we would be done by 8 p.m. and, obviously, it took much longer than that. But they stayed there like troopers and did an excellent job. I can’t praise them high enough,” said Gayle Berry, director of Historic Willcox Theater. “The theme, Americana, seemed to have so much scope for celebrities. You have 200-plus years of history, so you have celebrities all over the place. It just clicked. I’d love to give a heartfelt thanks from all of us on the shindig committee for the support from WiIlcox and the Willcox community. We hope everyone had a great time, and we’re going to start on next year’s event.”

As a special treat, Corinne Stout was invited to this year’s celebration as an authentic Rosie the Riveter. Corinne worked on planes during World War II. Berry had met Stout, a Willcox local, several years before and invited her to the event as a special guest. Stout received a standing ovation, and several individuals asked for her autograph.

Bowie schools improve to ‘B’ letter grade

BOWIE — Bowie schools received a new report card from the Arizona State Board of Education, and there was cause for celebration.

Bowie schools showed significant improvement, jumping from a “D” grade to a “B.”

Wendy Conger, superintendent for the district, was notified on Halloween night about the new grade and shared the information with the Range News. The Arizona State Board of Education requires the Department of Education to develop achievement profiles annually for every school in the state. Arizona schools can receive a grade anywhere from “A” to “F.”

“Bowie School District continues to evolve and grow, providing students with excellent education opportunities while providing them direction, motivation and significance,” said Jacqui Clay, Cochise County school superintendent. “Superintendent Wendy Conger and the governing board continually collaborate with their community members, keeping them informed as they develop common goals. They are visionaries who are leading their community in making Bowie one of the best school districts in the county.”

What are the schools graded on?

The system measures year-to-year student academic growth, proficiency in English language arts, math and science, the proficiency and academic growth of English language learners, indicators that an elementary student is ready for success in high school and that high school students are ready to succeed in a career or higher education and high school graduation rates.

“Throughout the many challenges we’ve faced as a school system, the people of this community have stood behind and supported the administration and staff as well as the school board,” said Bowie School Board President Mike Myers. “We can now start to enjoy the patience and faith this great community has placed in us. We will not let up, however. We can always do even greater things, and the staff of Bowie Unified School District No. 14 will strive even harder to continue to keep and expand the public’s faith and support.”

What do the grades mean?

A: Excellent performance, significant growth, high graduation rates and higher performance than the state average.

B: High performance on the statewide assessment. This grade includes significant student educational growth as well as higher graduation rates and proficiency than the state average.

C: Performing. This grade is given to the schools that are adequate but need improvement in growth, graduation rate and proficiency.

D: Performing minimally. This grade is given to schools performing inadequately in proficiency, graduation rates and growth.

F: This grade is a failing grade, which means the school is below 67-percent performance, and the performance in graduation rates and growth is in the bottom 5 percent of the state.

“My family has always attended and supported the Bowie School District and are very pleased with the positive direction the school is going,” said Bowie School Board member John Klump. “We thank the community of Bowie for supporting our school. I would like to thank Wendy and our staff for doing what’s best for our school and our kids.”