Kelso Sch. Dist.
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News Release
Last year’s Extreme Team doing the Three Person Pole.  The girls lifting themselves up do a somersault around the pole while the other three are cycling.
Last year’s Extreme Team doing the Three Person Pole.  The girls lifting themselves up do a somersault around the pole while the other three are cycling.
Beacon Hill Elementary in 21st Year of Growing Student Leaders Using Juggling and Unicycles (Photo) - 01/29/18

There are many paths to leadership. At this Kelso elementary school, one such path is traveled by riding unicycles, juggling clubs and knives, tumbling, and jumping double Dutch. The Beacon Hill Elementary Extreme Team teaches students so more than fine motor skills.

"Being part of the Extreme Team, kids turn their behavior around," said Coach Scott Sims. "They become leaders. They're not afraid to get in front a class to give presentations."

In addition to practicing the skills needed to do challenging tricks, the team members build the confidence to perform, ten times, in front of live audiences. And they learn about taking initiative and having the courage to ask for help. Every team member takes an active role in raising needed funds for uniforms, equipment and transportation to the shows they'll give this year.

The young students also learn a really valuable life lesson: it's ok to make mistakes. "We teach them that mistakes will happen during a performance. It's ok. Just keep going," affirmed Sims.

While most performances are in the Kelso/Longview area, every year they go somewhere farther away. Often to places some of the students have never been before. This year, the long-distance trip is to Tillamook, Oregon, to perform for South Prairie and Liberty Elementary Schools.

Beacon Hill's Extreme Team, started in the 1996-1997 school year by Scott Sims, is also coached by Sue Junnikkala, Robbin Treadway, Tasha Settle and Katie Watkins. The current team is made up of 32 students from 1st through 5th grade. They practice a few times each week and will give ten performances in February and March, most at other schools.

Two of the 32 students run the music and video camera for all shows and are involved in the comedic aspect, as well.  All other team members participate in at least two portions of the show, which consists of juggling, double Dutch, tumbling and unicycling. 

Two performances are open to the public: 
* February 14th - Boosters Dinner Show, 6:30 pm in the Beacon Hill Gymnasium
* March 27th - Sponsor Show, 6:30 pm in the Beacon Hill Gymnasium

The team is holding a garage sale on Saturday, February 3rd from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm at Beacon Hill to help raise funds. They're accepting donations of gently-used, sellable items on Friday the 2nd from 4:00 to 7:00 pm at Beacon Hill.