The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Articles written by Erik Sietsema

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 By Erik Sietsema    News    October 14, 2020 

Darlington has worn many hats teaching in Big Sandy

Last year, my fifth grader came home and told us about how his teacher had create a point system for students to earn privileges. Many of the requirements of the students, like that they call her...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    October 14, 2020 

Patching Cracks

One day, James and John, two of Jesus’ disciples, came to him and asked for a place of honor in Heaven. It was a lofty request that Jesus denied by explaining that the Father decides who will be where in eternity. When the rest of the disciples...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    News    October 7, 2020

Mrs. Weaver shaping young minds in Big Sandy

"It's an adventure every day. You learn something new whether you plan for it or not," Samantha Burns Weaver said, explaining her love for teaching kindergarten. "There's a lot of growth from the...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    News    October 7, 2020

Giving Respect to Deputy Jeremy Echols

"It all started with my dad being in the Air Force," Deputy Jeremy Echols explained in response to my question about why he got into law enforcement. "As we were growing up, he kinda raised me and my...

 

Chili feed Cancelled for the first time in 65 years

The Big Sandy Fire Department Annual Chili Feed, complete with rides in fire engines and ambulances, has been a Big Sandy staple for 65 years. However, what should have been a celebration of a landmark anniversary has been canceled. Due to the...

 

Calista Worrall teaches 6th grade

Calista Worrall teaches 6th grade at FE Miley Elementary School with a unique mix of extroverted enthusiasm, compassion, and a love for engaging the kids where they are at. She is in her fifth year of...

 

Patching Cracks

In 1884, George Eastman founded the Kodak company and patented the first roll of film. This invention revolutionized photography. In 1900, Kodak released the Brownie camera, the first camera aimed at mass ownership. It cost $1, was easy to use, and...

 

Sheri Otto Moore home town girl still teaching

Big Sandy's own Sheri Otto Moore brings a wide range of talents, interests, and genuine care for her students to her work educating third graders at FE Miley Elementary School. Sheri is on her 8th...

 

Yanci Phillips, celebrates her fifth birthday--Miracle

Yanci Phillips celebrated her 5th birthday last Wednesday, September 15th. Her mother, Karli Phillips explains: "It's a HUGE deal because before she was born, we were prepped that she might live an...

 

Patching Cracks

A couple months ago, my Facebook feed showed me a handful of videos of of baby skunks wandering around town. I’m sure I didn’t see all of them, but I’ve heard stories of folks filming themselves feeding the babies and heard all sorts of...

 

Mrs. Hanson, enlightening the first graders of Big Sandy for 5 years

For the past five years, Big Sandy's first grade students have been taught by the energetic and cheerful Mrs. Katie Hanson. Mrs. Hanson was born and raised here in Big Sandy. She cites a long term...

 

Big Sandy Street Names and Why

Since I moved to Big Sandy, I have always called the road that runs through the middle of downtown "Main Street." I have heard quite a few other people refer to it by the same name. It wasn't until I...

 

Patching Cracks

“Wealth should be like a light coat on a cool day. It should bring us comfort while we have it, but it can throw off at any moment without worry.” I read this line years ago in school, but I can’t find the name of the speaker. At the time, it...

 

Amy Terry: A new and special position

In a year with an unusually small number of staffing changes for Big Sandy schools, one major change isn't a new face. It's a well-loved teacher in a new role: Ms. Amy Terry has shifted to a...

 

Teaching music has it's challenges too

Running the school year safely during the COVID pandemic has been challenging and required significant precautions be taken. One of the courses that faces the biggest challenges in meeting safely is...

 

Patching Cracks

For the past 3 years, I have maintained a fairly rigid morning routine that began at 4 AM, when I would get out of bed, read for an hour, walk to the gym, and exercise. 6 months ago, the Covid lockdowns began and my carefully established routine fell...

 

F.E.Miley has a new 2nd Grade teacher, Desmond Parker

The newest face at FE Miley Elementary School is actually a returning personality. Mr. Desmond Parker is the new 2nd Grade teacher. He is taking over from Amy Terry, who will be shifting to focus...

 

Patching Cracks

I love Johnny Cash. I think my all time favorite Cash song is “A Boy Named Sue.” The song was a huge hit for Cash, but was actually written by Shel Silverstein, who is famous for writing books of children’s poetry. In the song, a young man is n...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    News    August 26, 2020

First week of school in Big Sandy is in the books

The first week of school is in the books, and Principal Heather Wolery is pleased with how smoothly things have gone so far. Though many things are different about the school day due to the new...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    News    August 26, 2020

Big Sandy Medical Center Keeping Morale High

As the pandemic continues to change our day to day lives, the Big Sandy Medical Center has been hit extra hard by the quarantine. Because the residents are so vulnerable to the virus, the home has...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    News    August 19, 2020

Big Bud Comes Home to Big Sandy in September

The Big Sandy Homecoming 2020 was postponed until next year due to Covid, but this year we will be celebrating a different sort of homecoming. This September the world's largest tractor will be...

 

Patching Cracks

My brother lives in Northern California. For the last 6 months, he and his family have been living with some of the strictest lockdown regulations in the country. My little brother is very active and a bit of a gym nut. The lockdown has eliminated...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    News    August 12, 2020

Great Cycle Challenge

This September, I will be riding to raise money to fight Children's Cancer in the Great Cycle Challenge. The Great Cycle Challenge was founded in 2015 and is one of the biggest cycling events in the...

 

The Big Sandy Barracudas' 2020

The Big Sandy Barracudas’ 2020 swim season came to an end in late July with a final meet in Shelby on the 25th. This season was unlike every other year for Big Sandy because of the challenges posed by the Covid shutdowns. Fewer meets, many towns...

 

Patching Cracks

In his fictional book, The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis wrote a collection of letters from a senior demon to a novice tempter. The book explores the various ways people are led astray, tempted, tricked, and manipulated from their faith in God. The o...

 

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