SHERIDAN — Mick Wiest and Linda Bilyeu were recognized at last night’s business meeting of Sheridan County School District 2 as the certified and classified staff member of the year, respectively.
Wiest teaches English and drama at Fort Mackenzie High School and received his award from Terry Burgess, SCSD2 assistant superintendent.
“Our language arts scores on the state PAWS assessment have been extremely high while Mick has been there,” Burgess told The Press, about why Wiest was recognized with the honor. “He has also started drama productions which gives those kids an experience that has been real rich for them.”
Burgess said Wiest is now in the running for state Teacher of the Year and is in the pool of the top 10 candidates.
“Mick is just a phenomenal teacher,” added SCSD 2 Superintendent Craig Dougherty in his report to the board. “Those kids just thrive.”
Bilyeu is the principal’s secretary at Meadowlark Elementary School. Principal Brent Leibach presented her award, for which she received a standing ovation from a standing-room-only crowd.
“She’s the face, the heart and the soul of Highland Park,” Leibach said, explaining how integral Bilyeu is to keeping the school running smoothly. “She has forgotten more about how to run a school than I will ever know.”
The board then heard from Ed Fessler who works in the student planning office at Sheridan High School. He said the school had received notice earlier in the day that two SHS seniors, Gretchen Dougherty and Aaron Campbell, are National Merit Scholar semi-finalists.
“You need to realize the enormity of this program,” Fessler said, explaining that out of 1.5 million students nationally who took the test last year, the semi-finalists have been whittled down to just 16,000, of which Dougherty and Campbell are two. Dougherty and Campbell will find out in February if they are selected as National Merit Scholars.
Fessler also noted that 24 current and former students who took Advanced Placement (AP) tests last school year have been awarded AP Scholar status for particularly high achievement on multiple AP tests.