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The Adams County Record
Council, Idaho
December 5, 2012     The Adams County Record
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December 5, 2012

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Page 8 Community Spotlight "When the school interviewers asked about my experience with small town living, I laughed and said 'Council is a step up for me;" Brian Joyce shared. In his 3rd year at Council High School, Brian teaches social studies, US History, World Humanities and Spanish. Fortunately for his students, he brings a wealth of dedication and world experience into their classroom every day. Brian grew up on a ranch in tiny Juntura, Oregon, an unincorporated community between Burns and Vale, 72 miles from a grocery store. There is a restaurant, the Oasis Caf6, a hotel, post office, elementary school and a now-closed gas station. The youngest of 5, he worked his parent's cattle ranch, and. like many rancher's kids, held a man's responsibilities by age 12, from 4:30 in the morning until dark. Brian wonders how his dad managed. "Can you imagine having a job completely dependent on a 12 ),ear old;' he reflected. He appreciates his family's . rich ethnic heritage, "We ate Basque food while listening to Irish music" he grinned. His father, Pete, and his mother, Kitsie, both came from sheepherder families. His dad was the son of Irish immigrants. His mother's father emigrated from the Basque province of Spain in the Pyrenees Mountains. The ancient Basque culture and language were completely separate from the Spanish. Mariners, sea trading people, part of the Conquistadores, the Basque also became exceptional sheepherders. Brian shared how the sheep industry in the western US was strong in the 1910s and 1920s when his grandfather came. Impoverished in their own homeland, many Basque came here like indentured servants, contracted to labor for several years by the sheep ranchers who paid for their transport a cross the ocean. Striving to maintain connections with each otherl they formed Basque clubs at boarding houses in Ontario, Boise, Homedale, and Nevada, which still thrive today. On the day of his teacher interview, Brian saw the sign "Eat, drink and be Basque 7 in the window of One Eye lack's, and immediately decided to have lunch there. A tiny two-room schoolhouse introduced him to the world. His teachers, Mr. and Mrs. White, dedicated themselves to ensuring the students not only learned about the world outside, but visited it. The 15 students performed. the janitorial duties at the school before and after classes, and earned the janitor wages. They used the money for amazing Wednesday, December 5, 2012 The Adams County Record Brian Joyce Broad Teaching from a Tiny Town By Deb Wilson cross-country field trips to Washington, DC, Canada, California, and Louisiana. Most of them have succeeded well in life; 75% completed college. "I think a lot about that;' Brian reflected. "Where would I be without that exposure?" When his dad became terminally ill, his family moved to Ontario. Brian reveled in high school football, basketball and track. "I'd never been to a school big enough to have teams before," he said. He begancollege studies at Treasure Valley Community College, and continued for a Bachelor's degree at Oregon State. "I was envious of students who knew who they wanted to be," he remembered. "I had no idea." Fortunately a semester abroad in Spain opened his mind, sparked his academic curiosity, and gravitated his interests toward history. "My family in Spain has lived in the same house for 300 years;' he said. "European traditions go back 500 years. Old takes on a whole new meaning overseas." His earniiags from firefighting employment allowed him to continue traveling in Canada, Mexico and Europe after college. Developing a clearer understanding of cultures, seeing the ravages from world wars in Europe, and better comprehending America's place in the world were just some of the benefits of his travels that he tries to pass on to his students. "History and social science explain everything around you," he related. In 2005 he worked a very stressful year as a financial planner with his Boise cousin, but gained valuable information about bonds and the stock market. Next, environmental consulting work with highway expansion planning in Boise immersed him in fascinating archeological research on the beginnings and growth of the Boise, Nampa and Caldwell area. By 2009 he realized his future lay in teaching, and he was hired by the Council School District. "My first year was a doozie," he shared. "Sometimes I felt like I was drowning." Statistically, on an average day a teacher has to make more decisions than an air traffic controller. He works hard to help his students .learn more than just names and dates. He wants them to grasp the influences and actions that made and changed everyone's lives. "Just think about what would have happened if the British had captured George Washington, and they came close many times. Imagine signing your name on the Declaration of Independence. Those men risked everything y In addition to teaching, Brian laelps coach junior high football, and will coach track this spring. With paper grading and class preparation, he's lucky to finish his day by 10:00 PM. He appreciates the positive impact teachers can have on young lives, and the realities of teaching seven subjects through a very long day. He applauds the 4-day school week because on Fridays he finally has a chance to help struggling students catch up. He and they are under considerable pressure from strict state standards. "It's a good career, but a challenging one," he continued. "You'd better be passionate about it. It's a lifelong learning process" In his spare time he enjoys skiing, hiking, basketball and music, and he works at the McCall airport in the summer. If there's room on the planes, he can fly. The hundreds of backcountry lakes are amazing. "People should be proud of what they have here;' he said. Everyone is so welcoming and it's a beautiful area" Brian helps advise the SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) group who will be campaigning for kindness through Pay It Forward next week. "I didn't know what SADD was until I got here, but this is kind of cool;' he shared. "Kids don't get a lot of positive reinforcement from the media, and these are very positive actions: He supports the students' goal to visit Washington, DC. He hopes to travel more himself in the future, and would like to do the whole family thing someday. Council will be fortunate to keep this bright, enlightened teacher who passes on all of the motivation he once gained from two committed educators in a tiny Oregon schoolhouse. New Meadows Senior News Get your bus seat now! Well we are into December; my gosh it will soon be 2013! I have not even bought one thing for Christmas, but that's okay I know the true" meaning of Christmas! It is my most favorite time of year, and my husband is a bah humbug but that doesn't stop me! Ha! We. have changed our bus trips; we are going down below on the 6th and to McCall on the 13% so we have a better chance of getting some good gifts. We still have our regular events: BINGO the 1st and 3rd Wednesday -- Pinochle every Friday at 3:00 PM. " We are going to have a Christmas Party on December 21, 2012. We are going to have a nice Ham and Turkey Dinner and then a $10 gift exchange and Christmas music by the Jammers plus some oldies It is going to be a great night of good food, good fellowship and g17eat music. Mark your calendars We are going to take the bus to Caldwell on December 18th, leaving at 2:00 PM to go and see the Christmas lights and By Penny Dreyer have dinner. The bus w.ill be $5 a person if I fill it up: Everyone is welcome, but I only have 14 seats and they are filling up fast! Hope you all have a Merry Christmas and may all your wishes come true!