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Principal's Message

Kathy Powers

Kathy Powers




August 7, 2020

Dear Big Horn Elementary Parents/Guardians and Students,

We are going back to school and super excited!!  On behalf of the staff at Big Horn Elementary School, I am excited to welcome you to the 2020-21 school year! There are some changes and options this year due to COVID-19 which are explained below. Know that the staff and I are eager to connect with you and your child(ren) after a long six months! We hope you and your child(ren) have had a safe and healthy spring and summer experience. 

As you are most likely aware from Superintendent Kilbride’s message, there are three learning options this year: 

1) Brick and mortar with your child in school and some modifications

2) On-line learning with your child working at home and completing on-line lessons through a program called Acellus. The regular classroom teacher will be monitoring attendance through hours spent and sending brick and mortar class communications to you.

3) Homeschooling - which is not associated with Big Horn Elementary. Programs can be found from various resources. 

The Cowboy State Virtual Academy (CSVA) that you may have heard about is our district’s virtual learning as well, however open to out-of-district students only. 

I have included our Big Horn Elementary “Return to School Plan in Response to Covid-19” with modifications to our daily school routines. This document is written in response to what we currently know to date. It could change.  Please take a look at it to best guide your decision for the upcoming, right around the corner year. 

Next, there are some new faces at Big Horn Elementary. We welcome them to our outstanding staff; they are Ms. Cherie’ Taylor (Fifth Grade Teacher), Ms. Alexis Walter (KB-4 School Counselor) and Ms. Amanda Kirlin (Speech and Language Teacher). 

Our full faculty and staff are: 


Ms. Lesley Thompson – Pre-Kinder Ms. Alexis Walter – KB-4 Counselor
Ms. Katelyn Swing – KinderBoost Ms. Renee’ Arsenault – 5 – 8 Counselor
Ms. Jenna Butler – Kindergarten Ms. Amanda Kirlin - Speech & Language
Ms. Kayla Martinez - Kindergarten Ms. LaDonna Garneau –Occ Therap.
Ms. Katie Stewart – 1st Grade Ms. LeaAnne Kahler – Paraprofessional
Ms. Caroline Houck -1st Grade Ms. LeAnn Boggs – Paraprofessional
Mr. Adam Healy – 2nd Grade Ms. April Zent - Paraprofessional
Ms. Nan Wallach– 2nd Grade Ms. Danna Babione – Librarian
Mr. Kip Butler - 3rd Grade Ms. Suzanne Prior – Campus Nurse
Ms. Susan Nicholson – 3rd Grade Ms. Kim Maurhoff – Campus Nurse
Mr. Lamont Clabaugh -4th Grade  Ms. Terry Fudge – Day Building & Custodial
Ms. Gabrielle Haefs  – 4th Grade Mr. Bob Aksamit - Grounds Coordinator
MS. Cherie’ Taylor – 5th Grade Ms. Lori Thornburg – Transportation Coor.
Ms. Ashlee Seidel – 5th Grade Ms. Sierra Wegner– Food Service
Ms. Holly Butler – Learning Specialist Ms. Rachael Rudolph – Food Service
Ms. Crystal Lenhart - Reading Specialist Ms. Melanie Meineke – Office Assistant
Ms. Janet Ruleaux - Art & Music Ms. Tammy Scheuber – Office Assistant
Mr. Ty George– K/1 Art  

At Big Horn Elementary we believe we have a duty to help your child be the best that they can be so that they can be successful and productive adults.  This to us means we foster a love of learning, assure a safe environment, create meaningful relationships, implement real and relevant education, and provide differentiated instruction. We will do assessments right away to determine where your child(ren) is academically and begin instruction where your child’s needs are.  Our commitment to these beliefs guides us in all we do. 

We strongly believe that a child is most successful when they have an active support system; parents, elders, family, friends, and community. It is our hope that your child will reach new heights this year through the combined effort of home and school.  All staff emails use the following template:  first initial of the first name, followed by their last name, for example Kathy Powers’ email is If you have any comments or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us by email, phone, note or coming in. 

Again, please take a look at the “Return to School Plan” and if you are doing the on-line or home school learning, please let me know as we are finalizing class lists. We can communicate via email or phone at (307) 672-3497 ext 3. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. 


Here is some more useful information:

RETURN-TO-SCHOOL PLAN IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19  Click here to view separate document


BACK TO SCHOOL CELEBRATION & BBQ –Canceled this year due to Covid-19


FAMILY GOAL SETTING CONFERENCES - Families play an important role in their child’s education and we honor you. We will hold our Family Goal Setting Conferences Thursday, August 20th from 8 AM – 4:00 PM. The purpose of this conference is to get a chance to visit with your child’s teacher about their strengths and achievement goals for the year.  It is also the opportunity for your child to get some one-on-one time to meet their teacher before the first day of school. Also, if you would like to bring in school supplies it will help with the first day of school bulk. If interested, please call the school at 672-3497 ext. 3 or email to schedule a time.


SCHOOL DAY – The first day of school is Monday, August 24th.  School/seat time begins at 8:00 A.M. Monday through Thursday. Students can enter their classroom at 7:55 A.M. School dismisses at 3:55 P.M with staggering times this year. Please see the “Return to School” handout for details on times and entrances. The buses leave at 4:05 P.M.  The good attendance, study habits, and behavior that your child develops in elementary school can set a strong foundation that can prevail through a lifetime.  Therefore, it is very important that your child arrives at school in a timely manner.  


SCHOOL LUNCH AND BREAKFAST – Students may bring a cold lunch or purchase a school breakfast/lunch. We will begin serving breakfast at 7:45 A.M. The cost for breakfast is $1.65. The cost for lunch is $3.10 and milk is $ .50.  Applications for free and reduced lunch and breakfast are available at the school office or


SCHOOL SPIRIT DAY – Thursday is our Spirit Day.  On Thursdays, we celebrate our school by wearing our school colors, maroon and gold or school spirit clothing line. Spirit wear clothing will be available from an order form coming home the first day of school.  Clothing is also available from the HS Parent Group and various places around town. 


HOME AND SCHOOL COMMUNICATIONS – Our school bulletin called the “Monday Folder” will be sent via email and printed every Monday as one way to ensure our families are aware of opportunities for involvement and all the great things happening at BHE. It is also posted on our website at If you would like to make sure we have the correct contact information, please give our front office folks a call or an email.  Also, as a way to reduce paper waste, we will send paper copies home with the oldest child in your family. If for some reason this reduces the communication, please let us know and we will send paper copies home with everyone in your family. Postings will also be available on our social media sites at Lastly, teachers send home newsletters with specific information for classes. 

Again, we are looking forward to our school year ahead, and thank you in advance for your support and involvement.  The staff and I are honored to partner with you in the education of your child.



Kathy Powers, Principal


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