Geil Elementary hosts annual Back to School Bash

DJ, William and Karlie Clymer touch a snake as they learn about the Riverside Discovery Center’s animals during the Geil Back to School Bash, Monday, Sept. 16. Karlie was scared of the snake and William said it felt cold.

Students and their families enjoyed a fun evening of activities at Geil Elementary Monday, Sept. 16 during the annual Back to School Bash, sponsored by the Geil Booster Club. This year’s event concluded with principal Angela Morris doing a ping pong drop.

Morris enjoys the annual event because it brings families and the community together at the school.

“It’s all about family fun together,” Morris said. “It gets our community together and seeing each other.”

Morris added students are excited to be back at school and look forward to the Back to School Bash.

“Kids love it,” she said. “It’s a good break after a couple weeks back at school.”

The Back to School Bash is organized by the Geil Booster Club as a fundraiser for the school.

The cake walk is a popular activity for students and families throughout the evening. Booster club member Kim Nowatzke said the cake walk costs 25 cents and goes back into the school. “Essentially, this helps replenish our funds, so we’ll wait for the middle of the year to figure out what they need in the classrooms or other big projects we need to do,” Nowatzke said.

In previous years, the Geil Elementary Booster Club has used funds to redo the soccer fields, replaced bin cues and purchased Chromebooks to go 1-to-1 in the classrooms. As they build up those funds, the booster club has raised between $200 to $300 on the cake walk.

“It’s one of our biggest fundraisers,” Nowatzke said. “The kids enjoy it and we ask for donations for cakes from parents and teachers. All of the cakes are either purchased or homemade.”

Gering High School art club students set up a face-painting station, which the elementary students enjoyed coming up with designs. Fifth grader Lillianna Rahmig sported her Bulldog pride as she had a paw printed painted on her cheek.

“It was the first thing that came to my mind,” Rahmig said.

Out of all the stations, Rahmig said her favorite is the bouncy houses.

“The bouncy houses because the one where you run and you get jerked back is fun,” she said.

For fourth grader Kooper Wyne, the Lego room is his favorite activity at the Back to School Bash. As he constructed his boat, car and airplane contraption, Wyne searched through the table full of Lego pieces to complete his design.

“I like the bash. The Lego part is my favorite,” Wyne said. “I like that you can create whatever. The hardest part is finding the wheels.”

The Riverside Discovery Center brought Ralph the opossum and Alberta the snake to educate the students about them and allow them to pet them. Siblings Karli, William and DJ Clymer had mixed feeling about seeing the snake.

“It was scary,” Karli said. “I’m not used to seeing a snake.”

William said the snake is soft.

Kindergartner Kenzi Gade had fun using a leaf blower to push plastic balls along the floor into a bucket.

“It was fun,” Kenzi said. “It was cool. I like playing.”

Kenzi’s mother Kristal likes the event Geil organized for students.

“I think it’s awesome,” Kristal said. “There are lots of things to do and she is having fun with all her new friends.”

Aubrey Hight and Hope Mitchell enjoyed competing against each other on the inflatable rope run set up outside. The girls wore a harness with a rope attached to the inflatable and ran forward. When they pulled as far away from the wall as they could, they jumped and flew backward.

“It was awesome,” Aubrey said. “The hardest part was trying to get farther than you and not falling.”

Aubrey had a technique to beat Hope.

“I kept telling her to go back and tell her to jump,” she said.

As the girls jumped into the air, Hope said. “My stomach went up. It was fun.”

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Lauren Brant is a reporter with the Star-Herald and the Gering Courier. Contact her at 308-632-9043 or by email at

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