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Elmwood, Nebraska, Community E-News

"Growing Together"

November 07, 2007



Meet Diane Willadsen, that’s “Mrs. Willadsen” to her students, has been teaching at Elmwood Murdock for twenty nine of her thirty years of teaching. Most of that time has been teaching 4th & 5th graders. Even though she has been teaching a long time every day is different. That is one of her favorite things about teaching. Plus she loves to continue to learn. She decided to become a teacher because she loved school herself and she loves kids.

Diane lives with her husband, Ellis, on an acreage near Greenwood. They have been married 31 years and have one daughter. Amy is a Lancaster County Deputy Sheriff. You may have heard of her adventure recently. Along with the help of another motorist, Amy saved a driver pinned inside of a wrecked vehicle. He had hit a horse in the middle of the road and the horse landed on the roof of his car and crushed it. The car caught on fire and the door stuck but they were finally able to get him out. I’m sure the Willadsen’s are very proud of their daughter.

When Diane isn’t teaching she loves to travel. She has been to 48 states and is looking forward to a trip to South Carolina and Hawaii someday to make it complete. When she travels she always keeps in mind that she is a teacher and will use what she has seen in her lessons. It’s always so much more fun to learn about something if the person who is teaching it has been there themselves. During the school year her hobby is grading papers, watching TV, and reading.

Mrs. Willadsen’s students would be surprised to know how much she cares about them. She is passionate about teaching and is dedicated to helping her students be successful not only in the fourth grade but in their future, too. A favorite for Mrs. Willadsen are those moments when the entire class is really listening and interested. Before you know it they are asking questions…the kind that lead to the famous “bird walk” lesson that is better than any planned lesson. A “bird walk” is what happens when students are asking great questions and Mrs. Willadsen sees the opportunity to teach something that isn’t in the lesson plan but the students are interested in learning. Sometimes this is the best type of learning because they will easily remember it.

Diane grew up in the Havelock neighborhood in Lincoln. Her favorite teacher wasn’t a real teacher at all. Her favorite teacher was her mother. She didn’t step foot in the classroom but her life lessons have guided Diane’s life. I think Diane has modeled her teaching style after her mother’s. She is firm yet makes learning fun. She teaches and mothers at the same time. Fourth grade is a magical time in life…you are just old enough to know that there is more to life than you know but still young enough to enjoy being a kid and leave the serious stuff to the adults. Fourth grade is where you start learning that you have to be responsible for yourself, and your books, and your pencils. Mrs. Willadsen helps teach the fourth graders not only the basic lessons a fourth grader should know but also how to be responsible for themselves. And that can’t be easy!

One thing Mrs. Willadsen is looking forward to is hearing from former students to see how they are doing. So if you are a former student of Mrs. Willadsen, please contact her and let her know what you’ve been up to! You may be surprised to find out that she still cares about you!


Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why. Eddie Cantor


01Free for Customers of the American Exchange Bank02
26th Annual Christmas Movie

American Exchange Bank of Elmwood and Eagle invites their customers to their 26th Annual Christmas movie.

Tuesday, Nov 20th, 2007
Doors open @ 6:15 p.m.
Movie starts @ 7:00 p.m.
Edgewood Theater
56th & Hwy 2
Lincoln, NE

No tickets needed. You will be greeted at the door.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from the American Exchange Bank

Elmwood-Murdock FBLA sends “Treats for Troops”
Committed to performing heroic acts, EM FBLA is granting eight wishes for community members. One was completed when members staffed games at Elmurfest in September, and they have also committed to help the Elmwood Rescue Squad earn enough money for a Stair Chair. Now, a third project is underway. Lisa Schmidt, a social studies and math teacher in the Elmwood-Murdock Junior High, is married to Marcus Schmidt, a member of the Army National Guard. He was deployed in August with the 600th Transportation Company and will be in Iraq for a year. As the chapter’s third heroic act, members decided to honor his platoon and initiate a project entitled, “Treats for Troops.”
Each of the servicemen and women in Marcus Schmidt’s platoon will receive a care package filled with “treats.” FBLA members collaborated with Mrs. Schmidt to make a Wish List from which to fill these boxes. Items from duct tape to peanuts, chapstick to Christmas cards, and playing cards to phone cards are included in this list. Individual members sign up to fill the boxes. They can purchase items themselves or ask for donations from local residents and businesses. The goal of the project is to deliver “Treats for Troops” to service personnel as Christmas gifts! Chapter members could think of no better way to become a hero than to honor America’s heroes in the armed services. Anyone interested in contributing to the project can contact Elmwood-Murdock High School at (402) 867-2341.

Christmas comes to the Internet!



Christmas is coming up very quickly! Here is a website to help us get ready for it. There is something for everyone here, kids, parents, and teachers. There are letters to Santa, cookie recipes, Naughty or Nice list, Santa Tracker, Christmas Karaoke, and more! I’m interested in the Chore Chart for Joe. If you are stumped for a new holiday recipe this is the place to go! Check out the cookie selection!



A tip from a reader might save someone a lot of pain. Have you ever used the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers to take marks off your walls? Did you know these contain acid that will burn your skin? Some kids and parents have learned the hard way that these are not for kids. There are other brands just like them, too. The labels to not adequate precautions so beware if you have these in your home! Don’t let your kids use them or they could end up with terrible burns! Thanks for the tip, Gina!




HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL- C2-2 District Final (Friday)- Aquinas Catholic defeated Elmwood-Murdock08 23-25 25-21 13-25 25-22 15-11. Elmwood-Murdock finishes the year at 28-4.

The whole town was behind the volleyball girls last week but it just wasn’t enough. I’m sorry to report that there will be school next Friday. The sad part is the volleyball girls did not make it to the next round of tournaments. If they had won they would have played again on Friday and school would have been called off so everyone could attend. Everyone was looking forward not only to a day off but we all wanted to see the girls win. But they ended the year with a record to be proud of. They did an awesome job! Let’s hope they are already looking forward to next year!


Have you reserved your table yet for the Indoor Garage Sale? It is on Saturday, November 24th at the Fire Station in Elmwood. I have filled out the paperwork and am ready to send it in to reserve my table. Hopefully they fill up all of the spaces to make it more inviting to shoppers. We’ll be pulling out all of our good junk and bringing it up. Surely you have some things you don’t need anymore? Check that cupboard or closet you only open to shove things in to or look in that box that has been sitting in the attic for the last 10 years…whatever is inside you probably don’t need anymore. Are you tired of tripping over your daughter’s pile of clothes? Then she has too many clothes. Pick them up, wash them, please wash them…and bring them down. Don’t tell Millie, but that’s what I’m doing!

Contact Kurk Shrader via email at or via phone, 402-867-2341 for more details or a registration form. Forms may also be found at various sites around town. The event is sponsored by the FBLA and the proceeds go to the purchase of a lift chair for the Elmwood Rescue Squad.

Did you see these Trick or Treaters Wednesday night? They were just too cute!

Julie Anderson

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Village of Elmwood, NE, 2006- 2007