Forensic Science Class 2021-22

The inaugural year of Forensic Science at Fort Calhoun High School was full of inquiry, labs, and fun!  During the first semester, students learned the ins and outs of the investigative process, types of evidence, crime scene processing, and the role of forensic science in the courtroom.  The second semester was spent digging deeper into various analysis techniques used when investigating blood, ballistics, arson, toxicology, decomposition, entomology, and anthropology.  To top it off, the Forensic Science class welcomed an Omaha Forensic Technician to come to talk about real-world forensic science experiences.

Welcome Back Mr. Wagner

What a surprise!
Students and Staff gathered in the Elementary gym Thursday morning thinking they were going to have a Zoom call with Mr. Wagner to wish him safe travels back home. Little did they know that Mr. Wagner would be surprising them by walking through the doors instead. Mr. Wagner has been serving our country abroad the last serveral months in the United Arab Emerates. He was able to greet the students and answer several burning questions including “what animals did you see?”, “were there sand storms?” and “how is your day?” He has earned some time off and will be rejoining our staff next Fall. Welcome Back Drew!

Teammates Mentors Needed

Please consider becoming a Mentor for the Fort Calhoun Chapter. Male Mentors are especially needed right now. Go to and fill out an application.

The Mission of TeamMates is to positively impact the world by inspiring youth to reach their full potential through mentoring. Established in 1991 by Tom and Nancy Osborne, TeamMates was formed in an effort to provide support and encouragement to all school-aged youth. The goal is to see young people graduate from high school and pursue a post-secondary education. TeamMates has touched the lives of thousands of youth and mentors across the Midwest. Right now, more than 10,200 matches are meeting in schools across Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Wyoming, and South Dakota.

The impact of the TeamMates match on the mentee and mentor is profound.

Percentages for our Fort Calhoun Chapter:

 54% of mentees showed improved academic achievement after being matched with their mentor.

 85% of mentors report they feel more hopeful after meeting with their mentee.

 98% of mentees say they trust their mentor.

 More than 95% of mentees report that they are happy when they meet with their mentor, that their mentor talks to them about what they do well, they feel important when they are with their mentor and that they trust their mentor.

 Attendance amongst mentees has improved by 67%

 Reported Behavioral Problems with mentees has dropped 90%

TeamMates has been recognized as a “Best Practice” mentoring organization which means the structure, policy and procedures are in place for a safe and consistent program. TeamMates adheres to the Elements of Effective Practice which were developed by the National Mentoring Partnership as the national standards for running a quality mentoring program.

The National Mentoring Partnership reports 1 in 3 children will go through life without a mentor. TeamMates believes all children, no matter their life experience, can benefit from a relationship with a safe, caring adult. You don’t have to be an expert. You just have to be there.

It truly is a rewarding experience for both mentor and mentee. “I don’t do this for the accolades, but when my mentee says ‘thank you’ or ‘good to see you’, it touches me to my core,” Mentor Teri Zavadil said.

The Fort Calhoun Chapter currently has 29 matches and our goal is 45. There are children waiting to be matched within our school district, so mentors are in high demand right now. You need to meet with your mentee once a week during the school year for 20 minutes to an hour depending on their schedule. You have to be at least 18 years old and you will need to pass a background check.

Please consider becoming a Mentor for the Fort Calhoun Chapter. Go to and fill out an application.

If you have any questions, please call 877-531-8326 to speak to a member of the Teammates Team or 402-237-9558 to talk to the Fort Calhoun Coordinator, Teri.

Thank you!


Elementary HAL Students Present Rube Goldberg Machines

The HAL presentations on Friday, May 6th was their final step in a project centered around the creation of a Rube Goldberg Machine.  These Rube Goldberg Machines originated from some of the ideas of the famous newspaper cartoonist, Rube Goldberg, and his silly machines.   A Rube Goldberg machine is a chain reaction machine that completes a simple task but does so in the wackiest of fashion.  The project’s task was to design and construct a Rube Goldberg Machine using at least three simple machines, use at least two energy transfers, and have a minimum of five working steps all while contained in an area of four square yards.  During the project the students used the Engineering Process to identify the problem, brainstorm ideas, make models, test their machines, and finally reflect on their work.


The students were presented with the project and were asked to first start by researching about the six different types of simple machines and what is an energy transfer along with the different types.  This was followed by the students working with others in their class to design different sketches of machines based on completing different final tasks such as pouring water into a cup, popping a balloon, and ringing a bell but were not limited to just these.  They then took one of these sketches and started to bring them to life by bringing items from home and tried putting their machine together.  “Other peoples’ ‘trash’ is becoming our treasure!” is what some of the students started to say during this process.  After many trials and errors, the students got to the point of having a final machine that worked, some of the time. Then, they started to prepare for their presentation.  Mr. Mallette, Mr. Green, and Mr. Wagner were the Rube Goldberg “judges” who provided detailed feedback for each of the groups.  We also invited the entirety of the Elementary School as well as guardians of the HAL students to attend.  Some of the project tasks included painting abstract art, pouring liquids, taking selfies, and turning a page in a magazine.


I am very proud of each of the HAL students throughout this entire process of this project.  We spent about eight class periods working on these machines and they worked their tails off in each of these classes from start to finish.  Countless conversations, sketches of ideas, and trial & errors were completed during these times.  It was amazing to see these students build on their 21st century skills through collaborating with peers, communicating ideas, thinking outside the box, and persevering through “failures” with a growth mindset!  Hearing the kids’ comments of “this is the best project ever!”  “whoa, I can’t believe it worked!” with so much excitement and ownership in their work reassured me that they enjoyed the project at a high level!  It was gratifying to also see the confidence and excitement these HAL students portrayed while presenting their machines to all of these individuals on their presentation day!  I wanted to say thank you to all of the elementary students, staff, and guardians who visited and provided excitement and positive feedback to all of the HAL students, who I now can call official “Rubers” for designing and completing a Rube Goldberg Machine.

Sixth Grade Learned about Teamwork

Sixth Grade learned about teamwork and cooperation. The students had to work together to stack a cup in a tower only using one rubber band and string to pick it up and place it on the tower. The students could not use their hands at all unless pulling the string. This helped them to work on communication and come up with a strategy to complete the task. 

FCHS Students Strike Gold at State Skills USA Competition

Participating for Fort Calhoun High School 
Courtney Smith- 1st Place (GOLD MEDAL) – Diesel Equipment Construction/Ag
She is a junior and is the daughter of Matt & Vicki Smith
FCHS students participating for Metropolitan Community College in the HS Division 
Jack Doyle- 1st Place- (GOLD MEDAL) –  Metal Fabrication
He is the son of Andrew & Bobbie Doyle
Also earning medals were-
Jacob Rupp- 2nd Place- Fire Fighting 
Ethan Shaner- 3rd Place- Auto Collision 
On April 7th-9th, more than 1,300 students from across the state met in Grand Island at the Heartland Events Center and Fonner Park to compete in the 2022 SkillsUSA Nebraska Championships.  
SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. Students compete in over 100 career and technical competitions including architecture & construction, arts, audio/video technology, business management & administration, education, health science, public safety, hospitality & tourism, leadership, manufacturing, science, technology, engineering & math, information technology, transportation and more! 
Each year the state competition is a showcase of students who have worked throughout the year improving their skills and exploring their future careers in the technical trades. The state championships showcase the best career and technical students in Nebraska. All contests run with the help of industry, trade associations and labor organizations, and test competencies set by national industry standards.  Top students earn prizes and scholarships from community colleges, businesses and industry. First place winners can go on to the national championships in Atlanta,Georgia, held on June 20-24, 2022, for the 58th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference. 
The skills gap in the United States is a growing crisis for our nation. Hundreds of thousands of the highly skilled technical jobs our economy increasingly depend on are available right now, and industry is desperate to fill them. Unfortunately, workers equipped with the necessary skills are in short supply. SkillsUSA is a talent pipeline and a solution provider considered vital to solving America’s growing skills gap. SkillsUSA’s framework complements technical skill training with instruction in the employability skills that make a well-rounded worker and citizen. Our program emphasizes high ethical standards, superior work skills, lifelong education and pride. 

Honor’s/Athletic Banquet Night 2022

Dear Parent/Guardian and Students,

Fort Calhoun High School will be hosting Honor’s/Athletic Banquet Night for grades 9-12 on Thursday, April 28th.  The ceremony will begin at 6:30 pm.  This is a great event in which we will recognize both academics as well as activities and athletics.  Students should dress appropriately for receiving an award in business casual attire.  We will NOT be serving a meal, however, there will be ice cream following the program.  

All students in grades 9-12 are invited to attend along with their parents. During the ceremony, we will recognize academic success, program participants, scholarship winners, academic pins, National Honor Society, class officers, and many other celebrations.  There will be an athletic portion of the program recognizing outstanding accomplishments in athletics.  

We hope that you will decide to join us for this celebration of our student’s successes.  There are many students and athletes who are doing amazing things every day and this night is designed to recognize their accomplishments.    

Thank you for your continued support of our students at the FORT!

Mr. Wemhoff                                   Mr. Christensen

Secondary Principal                       Assistant Principal / Athletic Director

PLC Visits Autumn Pointe With Baby Chicks

The PLC students have enjoyed incubating eggs during the month of April. The eggs started hatching on April 13th.  During their visit to Autumn Pointe this week the PLC students surprised the residents with the new chicks.  Special thank you to Adam Bannister and his family for donating the eggs.

Outstanding High School Leader Award 2022

Midland University and Pinnacle Bank recognized 52 high school juniors at the 16th annual Pinnacle Bank Outstanding High School Leader Awards event Friday, April 1st at 11:30 a.m. at the Kimmel Theatre on Midland’s campus.
Schools from around the Fremont area participate in the Pinnacle Bank Leadership Awards each year. Students must be nominated and then apply to be considered for an award.
A panel of leaders from Midland University, Pinnacle Bank, and the Fremont community review applications and select recipients based on involvement, leadership roles, and attributes.
Recipients who are accepted, and decide to attend Midland University, will receive a $25,000 renewable scholarship for a total scholarship value of $100,000.