Nancy Althoff’s friends and family members will gather at 2 p.m. tomorrow, Feb. 15, in the Payson High School Auditorium to celebrate the life of the former Payson Unified School District teacher and counselor. Nancy died Jan. 19 at 76 years of age.
Following the celebration, a reception with refreshments will be held in the Tonto Apache gymnasium.
During her many years at PHS, Nancy built a reputation as an exceptional teacher and counselor who always kept the best interests of her students at heart.
She was also a huge supporter of extracurricular activities, especially sports, and as a counselor was known to work tirelessly helping students implement educational and career plans and face teenage challenges head on.
“She was the first counselor we had to help deal with the multitude of teenage problems,” remembers former PHS teacher and vice principal Tim Fruth. “She provided a place where kids could go and talk with someone they trusted.”
Before moving to Payson she was a classroom teacher at Connolly Junior High in Tempe where she was considered, by both students and fellow teachers, one of the finest educators on staff.
Her dedication to PUSD students, including many from Pine and Strawberry, helped hundreds transition successfully from school to the workforce or collegiate life.
Nancy once told a Roundup reporter that the biggest reward of being a school counselor was watching students achieve, “It’s wonderful to see someone attain a goal… they feel better about themselves.”
She was also a voracious reader and served stints as the president of the Rim Country Literacy Board.
As president, she co-hosted several free parenting classes that focused on teaching children to read.
Her interest in the welfare of children and families led her to start in 1992 the Court Appointed Special Advocate program in Northern Gila County.
She left the program for a few years, then in 2001 returned as a volunteer.
The last case she worked on lasted four-and-one-half years, but ended with the reunification of the family.
The children, who eventually grew to be well-adjusted adults stayed for years in touch with Nancy. Eventually, Nancy accepted an invitation to mentor new CASA organizations springing up around Gila County.
At Payson High, Nancy teamed with fellow counselors Barry Smith and Judy Michel to jump-start the highly successful peer counselor group that today is a big part of the school.
She was also an active member of the Women of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and its Altar Guild.
When not at work, Nancy enjoyed golf, was a member of the Payson Women’s Golf Association and was a regular in the adult aerobics summer program at Taylor Pool.
She and her husband, Ken, once won the championship of the “Buck and Doe” formatted tournament at Payson Golf Course.
After retirement from PUSD, she continued her counseling work with the Tonto Apache Tribe.
Spirit week at Pine-Strawberry School culminates today, Friday, Feb. 14, with a middle school dance to be held 3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Each day of the past week, the students have showcased their school spirit by dressing in various themes.
The student council hosted spirit week and today’s dance.
Also at the school, there will be no classes on Monday, Feb. 17 in celebration of President’s Day.
From 12:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 21 in the school gym, the annual talent show is sure to be a big hit with students, teachers and parents.
During the monthly flag ceremony, which is scheduled for 8:15 a.m., Friday, Feb. 28, principal/superintendent Cody Barlow will honor the students of the month and Character Counts recipients. Parents are invited to attend.
Classes will be released that day at 1:30 p.m.
Fuel meeting tomorrow
Pine Strawberry Fuel Reductions Board Secretary Jack Malloy is urging locals to attend, at 2 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 15, in the Cultural Center, a special informational meeting regarding the progress of the effort to bring back a brush pick-up program.
Also on the agenda will be an update on the committee’s fuel break progress trails.
“Along with full-time residents, this will give those who are in Pine or Strawberry only on weekends, the opportunity to attend and be part of the discussion on these two topics,” said Malloy.
Also upcoming, committee members will continue work on the Bearfoot Trail: Saturday, Feb. 15, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 23; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., this will be a major work event on the trail. Lunch and snacks will be courtesy of the Mountain Bike Association of Arizona (MBAA). Bring your own lunch, snacks and water on Feb. 15.
Volunteers should meet on the east side of Beeline Highway at mile marker 270. Additional parking can be found across the highway at Strawberry Trailhead. In case of inclement weather, the sessions will be rescheduled.
Meatballs at the library
With Pine-Strawberry School students scheduled to be released at 11:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 26, the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library will on that day — which has been designated “February Movie Madness” — show free of charge “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.”
The showing begins at 1 p.m. No lunch will be served at school that day.
Inventor Flint Lockwood thought he saved the world when he destroyed his most infamous invention — a machine that turned water into food causing cheeseburger rain and spaghetti tornadoes. But Flint soon learns that his invention survived and is now creating food-animals — “foodimals.” Flint and his friends embark on a dangerously delicious mission to battle hungry tacodiles, shrimpanzees, hippotatomuses, cheespiders and other foodimals to save the world — again.
Refreshments will be provided by the library and moviegoers should bring their own pillow to be comfortable on the floor.
Celebrate Dr. Seuss
The mantra of Read Across America is, “You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.”
Among those who will take the advice to heart are Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library Director Becky Waer and her staff. They will do so by hosting, March 2 to 8, a celebration of Dr. Seuss’s Birthday.
Dr. Seuss’s birthday is March 2 and organizations across the country, including the National Education Association and the local library, urge citizens to participate in the second annual Read Across America program by reading to a child.
RAA officials say it’s a natural to celebrate Dr. Seuss because he epitomizes a love of children and learning.
It is widely accepted in educational circles that his rhymes make his books effective tools for teaching young people the basic skills they need to be successful.
During the local library’s celebration, Waer has set up a display of all Dr. Seuss books available locally. After leafing through the books on display at the library, children will have the opportunity to complete an activity sheet and turn it in for a raffle ticket for drawings for Dr. Seuss books and matching stuffed animals.
The drawings will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, March 8. Students do not need to be present to win.