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Overseas Teacher comes to Lignite
Derek Simonsen was raised in Barnesville, MN and graduated from Rothsay Public School in Rothsay, MN. He earned a BA degree from Trinity Bible College ‘08, MA Degree from Liberty University ‘12, MEd Degree from Grand Canyon University ‘15 (expected).

He is married to Chelsey Simonsen and they have a 2-year-old daughter named Nora.

Simonsen is instructing K-12 Physical Education and Health at Burke Central School.

Simonsen has taught in Oklahoma Christian Schools, Bismarck R-V Public Schools in Missouri, Trinity Bible College (traditional and distance education), American School at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in China.

“Moving from Guangzhou, China to Lignite, North Dakota is going from one extreme to another. Guangzhou is hot all year and has over 11 million people. Lignite is obviously much smaller and is going to be much colder but we are excited to be back in North Dakota and really have enjoyed the community and the great people here,” stated Simonsen.

“My family is very appreciative to all the people in Burke County who have made us feel so welcome to the community. This is a great community and we hope to be here for a long time,” said Simonsen.

He also shared that he is glad to be stateside for special holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Powers Lake FFA Named Chapter of the Day
By Harley Eckert
The Powers Lake FFA sent 22 members to the District Leadership Contest at the Mountrail County Fair Building in Stanley on Tuesday, Sept. 29.

Powers Lake was awarded Chapter of the Day.

There were three state qualifiers: Kaylee B. took second place in the Creed, Brianna H. took second place in the Job Interview contest, and Robert E. placed first in the Demonstration Speech category.

On the Senior Officer team, the President, Daniel B. received a gold, the rest of the officer team including Vice President, Grace H., Secretary, Delaney C., Treasurer, Allison G., Reporter, Harley E., and Sentinel, Logan K., all received silvers.

The Senior Quiz team received a silver overall.

The Freshman Quiz team received a gold.

Delaney C. participated in the Prepared Public Speaking event and received a silver.

Grace H. received a gold in the Extemporaneous Public Speaking event.


The Powers Lake Ranchers rolled to another victory, Thursday, Oct. 1 on homecourt, defeating District foe, the Kenmare Honkers 3-0. Game scores were 25-15, 25-20, 25-9.

The Ranchers totaled 11 ace serves, Kylie Gunderson 3, Brianna Honrud 3, Grace Hove 2, Kinzi Grubb 2 and Delaney Clark 1.

Sydney Titus racked up 9 kills, Clark 7, Gunderson 6, Sadie Maruskie 3, Honrud 2 and Hove 2. Maruskie tallied 18 assists and Hove 2.

The Ranchers blockers excelled at the net, Hove made 5 blocks, Titus 3 and Maruskie 2.

Clark led the team with 12 digs, Honrud 8, Maruskie 8, Hove 7, Grubb 6, Allison Grote 3 and Gunderson 1.


The Powers Lake Ranchers hosted the Tioga Pirates in District 16 volleyball action Tuesday, Sept. 29. The Ranchers claimed a 3-0 victory with scores of 25-6, 25-14, 25-15.

The Ranchers had a solid performance with middle hitters, Kylie Gunderson and Sydney Titus knocking in 8 kills, Brianna Honrud 7, Delaney Clark 6, Grace Hove 5 and Sadie Maruskie 1. Maruskie tallied 27 assists and Allison Grote 1.

Defensively, Gunderson made 1 block. Team members credited with digs were Kinzi Grubb 8, Hove 6, Honrud 5, Clark 4, Gunderson 1 and Grote 1.

Clark led the team with 4 ace serves, Grote 2, Honrud 1 and Grubb 1.

Beth Aufforth, Bowbells, is among several Mayville State University alumni and friends who will be honored during Mayville State University’s 2015 homecoming festivities scheduled for Oct. 16-18 in Mayville.

Aufforth will be inducted into the Mayville State University Performing Arts Hall of Fame at the traditional MSU Music Department homecoming concert on Sunday, Oct. 18. The concert will begin at 2 p.m. in the MSU Classroom Building Auditorium.

A social to honor the 2015 inductees will be the guests of honor at a social that will follow the concert and be held in the MSU Campus Center Luckasen Room. All are welcome.

Beth Aufforth has earned statewide recognition as a successful speech and drama coach, whose teams and casts have won many North Dakota Class B regional and state speech honors and one-act play awards.

She was honored to be given the Service to the Profession Award from the Communication, Speech, and Theatre Association of North Dakota (CSTAND) and has been a CSTAND board member and president, and is a member of its hall of fame.

“People need to talk” to communicate, she says, and in her tenure since the 1980s, she has enjoyed a high level of enthusiastic participation from students from 7th grade through12th grade. She has retired from teaching at Bowbells Public School.

Beth graduated from Mayville State in 1974, earning a Bachelor of Science in Education degree, with majors in English and mathematics.

Outdoor Tales


There is just something about a fire. It just sort of draws you in and makes you feel good.

There are so many things you can do around a fire. You can have a beverage with your friends on a warm summer night, you can just sit in the warmth and be drawn into the motion of the flames and daydream.

You can also build a fire for a five-year-old to have a party of sorts.

All summer long Braden has been asking for a fire at the lake. We did have a couple but not very many as it gets dark later than bed time. So now that it gets dark around 8:00 p.m. it is time to get the boy his fire.

He has to be involved at all times from the collecting wood to the lighting and tending of the fire.

He thinks finding the small sticks to get everything going is the best. He even finds things to throw in that he maybe shouldn’t.

Once we get it lit he just stands there like me for a few moments and takes it all in before, “Dad, I need to get some sticks so we can roast marshmallows.”

He then dashes to the woods to find the perfect sticks for us.

He now cooks his own marshmallows by sticking them in the fire until they are engulfed in flame before blowing them out and eating the black mass at the end of the stick.

This is where the process is repeated and sometimes one makes way to the chocolate for a smore.

So once you admire the fire and eat by the fire what else is there to do?

Well some of us just continue to sit and quietly enjoy but nope not my guy. He throws in color packets to make the flames jump in blues and greens. Then my guy goes to the garage to dig out a cushion from a deck chair and proceeds to race in the house for his stuffed animals.

“This fire is so nice that Teddy and Leopard want to watch it too.”

So with that there are more of us watching the fire as we are joined by furry friends.

I guess the imagination of a five-year-old is something to cherish and he has to enjoy it because he only gets to be five once.

He can turn these fires into spectacles of Ooo and Ahh for even his stuffed friends.

I have always enjoyed a fire as well just not quite like the Fire Boy does.

We are heading back to the lake or possibly a buddy’s hunting shack over the next few weekends. I am sure there will be many fires, many burnt marshmallows and many laughs in the weeks to come.

Until next time get outside and make some memories.


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