WHS Students Make ‘Wizard of Oz’ Come to Life

wizard of oz cast

By Dan Bechtold, Editor

The mighty Oz has spoke and mesmerized audiences that packed the Winner Community Playhouse for three nights this weekend.  Winner High School presented “The Wizard of Oz” as the all school play Thursday through Saturday. This is one of the largest casts for an all-school play in several years. It was an amazing show.

We all know the story line about Dorothy and her dog Toto who are caught in a tornado’s path and somehow end up in the far away land of Oz. She meets some characters who accompany her on her journey. She is on a quest to see the wizard who can help her return to her home in Kansas.

Directors Kara Connot and Kelly Assman put together a cast that played their part like pros. Connot and Assman are to be commended for their efforts.

Kenzie Irick played Dorothy and did a wonderful job. It was a part that required a lot of lines to learn and a lot of acting. Irick is no stranger to the stage so she felt comfortable. 
Dorothy’s ever faithful companion is her dog, Toto. And who could play a better Toto than John Kludt. Though his speaking lines were limited to a bark here and there, he was animated and made his role believable.
Along her journey, Dorothy meets the scarecrow played by Duncan English, the tin man played by Grant Winter and the Lion played by Jacob Woods. All were very good in their part.

There is a historian who helps narrate the play and Molly Connot played this to perfection. At the end of the play, Connot is revealed as the voice of Oz.

Of course, there is Aunty Em played by Sydnie Peters and Mary Calhoon and Uncle Henry played by Matthew Hartley.
The land of Oz is full of witches and munchkins, little people who live in this enchanted land.
The good witch of the North is played by Molly Sperlich/Liz Jankauskas.   The Wicked witch of West was played by Brielle Bachmann and Hayley Halverson played Glinda, the Good Witch.  The Munchkins were played by: Emily Moser, Shannon Duffy, Sadie Woods, Gracie Littau, Alex Meiners, Bethany Cable, Jace Voegeli, Andrew Taylor, Angel Shaw, Taylor Headrick, katy Lantz Shelby Scott and Arista Kaiser.

In the story of “The Wizard of Oz” the wicked witch sends winged monkeys to attack Dorothy’s party.

I loved the winged monkeys. Big football and basketball players filled with energy swoop down on the stage. They even did a little ad lib Friday night playing their role as monkeys. Nick Blare was the king of the moneys. The other enthusiastic monkeys were Mason Schuyler, Ty Bolton, Jonas Brill, Isaac Naasz, Luke Engel and Hunter Shopene.

The play moved swiftly thanks to the excellent work of the stage manager and stages hands who moved props around with easy and did not make the audience wait for lengthy scene changes.

The costumes and the set were excellent. Under the guidance of technical director Dan Patmore all the technical aspects of this play came together.

The directors used the artistic talents of Ruth Novotny to design the set, paint the wizard and backdrop build aunty Em’s and Uncle Henry’s house.

We have such great talent in this community and this play is proof of that fact.

If it seems I might be just a little biased that this was a great show. Well, you are right. I loved it, from the time Molly Connot engaged the audience in the opening scene to the time Dorothy clicked her ruby red shoes three times saying “there is no place like home.”

Well, there was no place like the Winner Community Playhouse as Oz made us all believers in heart, courage and brains to do the right thing.
Bravo to all.

Winner Airport Wins Award

award to winner airport

The Best Maintained Medium / Large General Aviation (GA) Award for 2015 was presented to the Winner Airport on March 19 during the South Dakota Airports Conference. The award was accepted by David and Tessa Howard. The conference was held at The Lodge in Deadwood and was attended by about 130 people. The award was presented by Colton Stahl of the SD Department of the Transportation, Office of Air, Rail & Transit. Jason Engbrecht, SD DOT, inspected all public airports in South Dakota annually and evaluated them based on the criteria below before selecting the winners. Engbrecht could not be at the award presentation.

VFW Aux Honors 50 Years Members

50 year member of vfw aux

Women who have been members of the Winner VFW Auxiliary for over 50 years were honored at a spring social on April 8.

The women honored and their years of service are: Marian Jorgensen, 66 years; Florence Kirkpatrick, 63 years; Inez Woolhiser, 63 years; Eleanor Johnson, 60 years; Clarine Black, 59 years; Norma Storms, 58 years; Betty English, 57 years; Joan Brunkow, 56 years; Dorothy Berger, 54 years; Irene Anderson, Evelyn Boortz and Lorraine King, all 54 years; Velda Kindt, 53 years; Doris Rysavy, 53 years; Margaret Legge, Adeline Vavra, both 52 years; Bessie Moeller, 52 years; Dorothy Edwards, 51 years; Connie Steinke, Mary Stevicks, Violet Kaiser, Lois Bell and Maxine Larsen, all 50 years.

Clint Woods, City Council Candidate

Clint Woods

Occupation: Carpenter

Family: Wife: DeAnn Sons: Tim, Brody, and Jacob Daughter: Sadie

Why I’m running: Government, in our country, is supposed to be “Of the People, By the People, and For the People.” I believe the current administration has lost sight of these basic tenants and if I have learned anything in my 10 years of military service; it was that you can LEAD, FOLLOW, or GET OUT OF THE WAY!


Greatest Challenges: I believe our biggest challenges lie in the area of budget and finance. Just like you or I, if you don’f forecast and adhere to a strict budgeting process difficulties aren’t far behind. I feel the current administration is far too reliant on the “cash cow” utilities department and we owe it to the residents of Winner to work under a balanced budget and be better stewards of their tax dollars!
Infrastructure is good; road, water and sewer improvements are under contract. Weak utility poles are being identified and replaced.
I believe we need to explore more ways of retaining our young adults and give them more reasons to return to Winner and raise their families. I believe that this can be accomplished in part by fostering working relationships with our area business owners and major employers so that community and business are working together to accomplish common goals.

Kind of Councilman: I have only survived 25 years of business ownership because of supportive family, the Grace of God, and some common core values: honesty, integrity, and the will to persevere.

If elected to be your Councilman, I will only be there because of the people of Ward 1 who exercised their right to vote….(OF & BY the People). I will then be responsible to the residents to ensure my actions represent their WILL….(FOR the People)!

Thank you for your time and support,
Clint Woods, candidate for Winner City Council – Ward 1

Isaiah Curtis, City Council Candidate

Occupation: Part owner of Rob Curtis Landscaping and Design

Family: Wife, Kelli and Daughter Hallie, we are also expecting our 2nd child in November 2016  Parents: Rob and Laurie Curtis Brothers: Nathan and Josh Curtis and Ben Curtis (deceased)

Why are you running for a seat on the Winner City Council? I view running for Winner City Council as an opportunity that will serve not only as a learning experience, but also enable me to be a voice for our younger generations.

What do you see as the biggest challenges or the biggest issues facing the city of Winner? I truly believe the biggest challenges for our City of Winner revolve around the low number of young adults attracted to moving to Winner or returning to Winner after college to plant their roots, build a successful career, raise their families, and be positive contributors to our town.

What kind of city councilman would you be? A young, ambitious conservative.

Dave Baker, City Council Incumbent

Baker, Dave '12

Occupation: State Trooper, SD Highway Patrol

Family: Wife-Kristi; Daughter-Bailey; and son-Dalton

Why are your running for a seat on the Winner City Council? I’ve been fortunate to have served as the Ward 1 City Councilman for the last four years. During this period of time the City of Winner has continued to experience improvements to its infrastructure and recreational facilities, while maintaining financial stability. During the last four years, I have also increased my knowledge regarding the inner-workings of city government and the details involved in day-to-day operations, as well as the foresight required to set future goals for maintenance/improvements, and growth/development. Additionally, I have had the opportunity to serve on several committees, expanding my knowledge of various departments within our city.

What do you see as the biggest challenges or the biggest issues facing the city of Winner? Our city continues to face numerous challenges, to include continuation of improvements in our aging infrastructure and developing growth in our businesses and recreational facilities, all while maintaining a strong financial status. Although situations can often become quite complex and have opposing views, I believe personnel issues are an on-going process that involves prudent review, in-depth discussion, and at times, difficult decisions.

What kind our city councilman would you be? If re-elected to continue serving as your Ward 1 City Councilman, I offer my continued commitment to listen to the concerns of our citizens and maintain open communication, working for the people, with the Mayor and other elected officials, to maintain the positive direction of our city government.

Frank Finney, Mayor Candidate


Occupation: Retired School Administrator

Family: Jeriann wife of 57 years, 3 sons, Jeff, John and Joel

Why are you running for Mayor of Winner? I am running for the office of mayor because it is very important that the mayor and city council have a good working relationship. For the past 13 years I have been involved in city government. As a councilman, I serve on six different committees. This has been a learning experience while working with some very capable people. At this time we have a very knowledgeable council and I can provide the proper atmosphere for the mayor and council to work together.

The job of mayor requires a lot of time to meet with the staff and various committees that serve the public. This takes the time that I am willing to provide. I believe that the office of mayor is an important job that deserves the experience of a trained leader in staff and finance management.

What do you see as the biggest challenges or the biggest issues facing the City of Winner? The biggest challenges and issues are one and the same. Finding and spending the funding to run our city is the biggest challenge that the mayor and council must deal with on a day-to-day basis. Developing and managing the yearly budget is the responsibility of the mayor and council. All the department heads have a part in this process. The two departments that help support the rest of the city are the light department and the combined law enforcement center. They generate income that is used to support the police, parks, streets, sewer, and water department.

The city of Winner is over one hundred years old. Its streets, plumbing, and water lines are old and in need of constant repair and replacement. There are miles of old cast iron water lines and red clay sewer lines in the older part of town. Every year a different street is scheduled to be replaced. The water and sewer ones under that street must be replaced at the same time. New equipment and modern technology have enabled the city to reduce staff and still provide the services that make Winner a great place where people enjoy living and raising their families. Taking care of our city is a task that is on going and will never end.

What experience and qualities do you bring to the table to serve as mayor of Winner? My years as a school administrator and business manager, plus 13 yard in local city government, have given me the necessary experience in staff management and finance to help guide the council and staff to make the best use of the resources that are available to the city. The ability to listen and learn from your co-workers is what makes a good leader. It is important to be available at public events that take place in the community. I have spent many years working with parents, teachers, members of the planning committee, council members, and various other committees in the task of solving common problems. We must be willing to meet and work with the schools, county government, and the public in order to make our city and community a better place to live and work.

Roger Farley, Mayor Candidate

roger farley
Occupation: Sales/After Market Consultant at Frontier Motors

Family: Wife, Mary; Daughter, Andrea, Son-In-Law Cliff, Granddaughter Bailey, Son, Jamie

Why are you running for Mayor of Winner? As a life-long resident, I would love to see Winner grow. I would relish the opportunity to work with our city council and concerned citizens to address current issues and develop a strategy for growth and development.

What do you see as the biggest challenges or the biggest issues facing the City of Winner? There are many challenges facing the community currently. Our city infrastructure is aging and is in need of repair. This is easy to talk about but difficult to address as there are checks that must be written. We must work together to develop a plan and budget to upgrade our systems. Economic growth is another challenge. We must find ways to promote new business as well as to protect the businesses that have made our community great for so long. We must find ways to keep our youth in the area, and economic growth and opportunity is an avenue we should pursue as a community. these are not easy fixes, but they are issues that must be prioritized moving forward.

What experience and qualities do you bring to the table to serve as mayor of Winner? I have been fortunate to have served Winner as council member for 17 years. I have experience both success and failure, and while things haven’t always been perfect, I have always kept the best interests of our community in mind. I have learned that working together is our only option to move Winner forward, and I am prepared to do everything necessary to bring together to meet our objectives. I would appreciate your vote on April 12th.