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Drayton drama cast wins first place in theater competition

Members of the Drayton, N.D., High School drama group are (front row, from left) Madison Hermanson, Ariah McClintic, Kelsey Woinarowicz, Aliyah Bartles; (middle row, from left) Madison Phillips Bischoff, Emma Barta, Kasey Stegman, Gaven Prigge, Taylor Stegman, Joseph Larson and Jaden Prigge. Director Wayne Stegman is standing in back. (Submitted photo)

The Drayton, N.D., High School drama group placed first out of nine competing schools at the Region Three one-act play competition, held recently in Larimore, and will advance to the state competition this week in Jamestown.

The students performed "Help Wanted," a one-act play by James Rayfield, under the direction of Wayne Stegman, drama director and a teacher and coach at Drayton High School.

"The students did a really good job," Stegman said. "Their performance had a lot of zip, keeping the upbeat tempo and pace of the play throughout."

The entire ensemble received the All Regional Honorable Mention, and Madison Hermanson was named outstanding crewmember. The highest individual award, All Region Superior Performer, was given to Taylor Stegman.

A drama group from Hatton Northwood high schools, directed by Wendy Holkesvig, also qualified to compete at the state competition with a performance of "Nightfall with Edgar Allan Poe," by Eric Coble, Stegman said.

The Grand Forks Foundation for Education and Alumni Network has launched a campaign to raise funds for the Summer Performing Arts to celebrate the program's receipt of a national award and its 30th anniversary.

SPA recently received a $10,000 grant from the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies as part of its award for being named one of 12 recipients of the 2017 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program.

The grant, which was matched by private donors, inspired SPA leaders and Emilia Hodgson, foundation director, to launch an effort to raise another $10,000, bringing the total of $30,000 to mark SPA's 30th season this year.

One of the giving options is $30, to mark SPA's 30th year in operation, Hodgson said, noting that gifts at any level are appreciated.

Donations will be used for general support for SPA programming and activities. In the past, donated funds have been used for such things as buying equipment and bringing in guest artists to work with and teach SPA students, Hodgson said.

"It's always good to have a nice savings of funds to have access to," Hodgson said, "and for SPA to be in a position to make an impact for years to come."

A reception to celebrate the NAHYP award and thank parents, SPA alumni, supporters and corporate sponsors is planned for Dec. 7, prior to the performance of "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" at Red River High School Performance Hall. The NAHYP Award will be on display.

All are welcome to attend that event, Hodgson said.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the campaign for SPA is asked to visit or contact Hodgson at (701) 787-4866.

The East Grand Forks School District has equipped six of its buses with camera equipment, Superintendent Mike Kolness told members of the East Grand Forks School Board at its regular meeting recently.

"There's been an interest in putting more cameras in the busses, (so) the goal is eventually to have camera in all buses," he said. "We'll probably put in more this year. They are good for the drivers, good for the kids, and good for safety."

At the meeting, Kolness also reported that district employees found there was a problem with the security cameras that were approved for use at the elementary schools.

There was "a glitch in the software. The (camera) system must work with Apple software," he said, adding that he hopes the problem can be fixed and the cameras can be installed "this fall or before Christmas."

Security cameras at the high school were updated as part of the $20.6 million building and renovation project completed this past summer.

The middle school also has security cameras but they need to be updated, Kolness said.

"Next will be the middle school, to update their older cameras," he said.