Friday, February 23, 2018

Wyola community and more lauded for efforts toward new classroom construction

Letter to the Editor
Thank you for reporting the story about the new building being placed on the Wyola Public School grounds. I am fortunate to be a part of a process that is involving many fine Wyola people.
Maggie Yellowtail, art teacher, first introduced me to Wyola Public School when she asked me to teach kite building to the kids. She introduced me to Linda Pease, then principal of Wyola School and Crow culture teacher Janice Wilson.
Linda and Jim Scott were on the hunt for another good project to benefit the kids. The Scott family’s Foundation for Community Vitality has been involved with the school in many helpful ways for many years.
When I mentioned to friend Ryan Willett how great the children were, he asked me to figure out where $20,000 would do the most good for the kids. I went to Bill and Maggie Yellowtail and Linda Pease and Jim and Chris Scott, and a concept emerged. Every detail about the 40-by-75-foot building, adding three much needed classrooms to the school, was discussed.
Many Crow people gave thoughtful comments, sharing ideas about possibilities. The Wyola School Board; Crow educators, elders and historians; and parents, teachers and children spoke up – all thought this was a good thing to build. So we are doing just that!
Bill Yellowtail and I were co-chairs of the project when Christy Wright became principal and they have been a pleasure to work with these last five months. Their wise and calm demeanors guide us through the challenges that pop up.
The H.L. Willett Foundation and the extended Scott family foundations have provided the generous core funding and many other people have chipped in to help this idea become real. The building will arrive mid to late December and there will be a wonderful grand opening celebration.
Fundraising is still going on. Jill and Putt Thompson, of the Custer Battlefield Trading Post, donated beautiful coffee mugs for the fundraising effort. Designed by Jill and Maggie Yellowtail, the cups have lovely Crow bead designs on them. They can be purchased at the school or trading post.
with 100 percent of the purchase price going to the building fund. Donations may be sent to the Billings Community Foundation at P.O. Box 1255, Billings, MT 59103 with Wyola in the memo line.
I am honored to help with this community effort, creating something special for the Wyola children. I have become so fond of them. See you all at the opening celebration.
Terry Zee Lee
President, SkyWindWorld Inc.