Dix Site Wins 'Small Towns Matter' Contest
October 15, 2020
While working in the kitchen at the Potter-Dix Elementary School, cook Shirley Skaja heard about the Small Towns Matter contest. She and her associate Teresa Loghry both filled out nomination forms. Shirley's nomination was the winning entry, which was announced at the ceremony.
Shirley is originally from Denver and has only been in the Panhandle a few years, but she loves the area's small towns.
"I went to a really big school," she said. "I now just love the small town atmosphere."
She also said she "believes in bike safety and wanted to spread the safety idea."
Skaja said the kids were so excited as Wednesday approached and the award presentation became a reality.
According to News Channel Nebraska, over 800 schools had been entered into the contest but Potter-Dix Elementary School was the lucky winner.
Each elementary student, 89 of them, received a bicycle helmet and then the school received a $5,000 check from United Health Care, which can be used however they decide. The consensus among the students was "new playground equipment," but no concrete decision has been made yet.
Sixth graders Trenton Hickman and Veronica Loghry both spoke at the award ceremony and described why small towns are good. They said small towns are "peaceful, not a lot of bad things happen and people look out for us when we are in town."
Potter-Dix Superintendent Adam Patrick said he got a call about a month ago with news of the award and it "was a great surprise."