The Ophir School Newspaper is a joint production of the Big Sky Weekly, which is generously donating space, design time and production, and the aspiring Middle-School Journalists of Ophir School, who are self-assigning the content, reporting and photographing of the stories you see here. The Ophir School Newspaper will appear on two pages of the Big Sky Weekly and on explorebigsky.com throughout the school year. -Barbara Rowley, Ophir School Newspaper advisor

Interview with Steve Bullock

By Abi Hogan
Are you worried about paying for college? I met with Attorney General Steve Bullock who is running for Governor of Montana. He told me that in the past, the state has paid for two thirds of college education and students only had to pay for one third, but now that has been reversed. He wants to help turn that back around so that kids don’t have to graduate with tens of thousands of dollars of debt.

Here’s what else you need to know about Attorney General Steve Bullock:
1. He’s been working on a program to catch scam artists who hit and hurt small businesses and individuals. He’s stopped a lot of businesses that did unfair things to consumers (like big late fees on small debts consumers didn’t even know about). His advice: If something sounds too good to be true it probably is.

2. Bullock says he wants to preserve and protect land so people can go hunting and fishing and also responsibly develop our resources.
3. He believes building the internet is crucial for Montanans, and he wants to work with our federal partners to let them know how critical this is for businesses in Montana.
4. He went to law school in New York, but he wants to be governor of Montana because he was born and raised here and is now raising his three kids here.

“I learned a lot about myself and how a person from Montana can compete in a place like that,” Bullock said about New York. “But I also learned that the most important place for me was always here. I enjoyed my time there, but I didn’t want to stay there forever. I knew that my heart was in Montana.”

New technology teacher for Ophir

By Helena Sacchi
Would you like to take a computer part and put it back together—and have it still work? If so, you might want to enroll in Mr. Dehn’s Multi-Media class.

Mr. Dehn is the new technology teacher at Ophir and Lone Peak High School. He is teaching multi-media, film and video production and website design. In the future, Mr. Dehn would like to teach more about the technology that’s used in transportation, construction, manufacturing and bio-related industries. Currently, the school is only teaching us about communication-related technologies.

“Teaching kids the large variety of things you can do and discover using technology, that’s my job,” Mr. Dehn says.

Mr. Dehn grew up in Montana. This is his first full time teaching at the public level. The Ophir district needed a qualified person to teach technology. He studied engineering before becoming a teacher and owned a construction business.

If you’re interested in architecture or engineering you’ll be happy to know Mr. Dehn’s area of expertise is computer aided drafting, because he had been involved in construction before coming to Ophir.

“I want to have an area where students can go and we’d call it a shop,” he says. “There’s no place where students can go get messy with computers. It would be like a regular shop, where we could do things like building a hydrogen cell using technology, or tear apart a computer and put it back together to see how it works.”

Mr. Dehn says you might even be able to design technology that people in Big Sky use all the time, like design a new type of ski.

“We might not actually design and produce a ski, as it is hard to come by materials in small portions. But kids will see the process.”

Review: New runs at Big Sky are great alternatives for tree skiing

By Kate Middleton
Five new runs were cut this summer on Andesite Mountain, at Big Sky Resort. I’ve skied all of them, and my favorite is Congoline. If you like skiing the wide open trees of Congo, you’ll love Congoline. It is right below Congo, across Safari.
Near Congoline, and similar to it, is a new run called Madagascar. You can remember where it is because it is at the bottom of Africa—just like the real island of Madagascar.

When you’re on your way to Tippy’s Tumble, look to the skiers right and you’ll see a sign for Wolf’s Den. This new tree run dumps you out at Elk Park Meadows. Right below the entrance to Elk Park Ridge, is Wolverine, another tree run that gets you off a groomer and into the trees.

Finally, right past the Wolverine entrance is the sign for Shady Chute, a tree run that takes you down to the War Dance road and back to the Thunderwolf lift.

It’s awesome that Big Sky can grow and have new runs. If you are an intermediate or advanced skier you’ll love these new blue and black runs.

New Program at Big Sky Resort: LPHS Students Become SnowSports Instructors

By Katie Hoffman

There’s a new opportunity for high school students in Big Sky who want to learn the life skill of becoming a PSIA certified ski instructor, earn a free season’s pass and get a pay check. LPHS students now have a chance to become an apprentice ski instructor at Big Sky Resort.
This program aims to create a relationship between the school and the resort by offering opportunities to students in the community. There will be five positions aavailable for next season, according to Troy Nedved, Big Sky’s snowsports director. The students will be hired at a minimum wage hourly base and are required to be available to work 21 days. Four of those will be training days (during school time in December), and six of them will be instructing in the Ophir School Ski Friday program.

This year, two LPHS students, Micah Robin and Anna Middleton, are instructors in the program. The best part of teaching younger kids to ski is, “watching them improve,” Middleton says.

Nedved is looking for students who are passionate about mountain sports, have a positive can-do attitude, and really want to become ski instructors. Students must be at least 16-years-old, have advanced skiing or riding skills, and be an honor roll student with no disciplinary record in the previous year.

LPHS will select interested and eligible students based on these requirements and submit the list to Nedved. These students must then apply online and write a 250-word essay of what ‘exceptional guest service’ means to them and how they would contribute to this culture. Big Sky SnowSports school will then interview the applicants before Oct. 1 and make their final selection on Oct. 15. After one year as an apprentice, students will be eligible to be regular part-time instructors the following year.