Episode #10 2019-20: Lindy Sommer- FLITTE 2


This week Lindy Sommer, instructor for our FLITTE 2 program, sits down with Mr. Mills and Mr. Salsbery to discuss the great things happening for students who qualify for our 18-21 year old program. The special education students who meet the entrance requirements are working on life skills that will propel them forward after leaving the program.

FLITTE stands for Fostering Learning Independence Through Transitional Experiences. The FLITTE 1 program started a few years ago and the students in that program are working on job skills and training. They work within the district, but also work through job coaching in the community. The students in Hillcrest’s FLITTE 2 program stay at Hillcrest and attend a couple of classes in the building. “The staff and administration at Hillcrest have been supportive of this program. It continues to get better each trimester,” Special Services Director Julian Duffey.

We are extremely proud of the direction Lindy and her team are taking this program. We are grateful for the support of Julian Duffey and Rex Miller in D93’s Special Services/Federal Programs departments. Without their guidance and encouragement to develop student success by design for this population, we would not be where we are today. Heather Gerard’s work in the FLITTE 1 program that built the momentum for FLITTE 2 is also very much appreciated!

Here are a few pictures of the positive classroom environment Lindy and her team create…





2019-20 Episode #9: Last Podcast of 2019 with Assistant Principals Mills and Salsbery


This week Mr. Mills and Mr. Salsbery sit down to recap some things they are grateful for as assistant principals at Hillcrest and highlight some upcoming events in the last five months of the school season they are looking forward to.

Mr. Mills: Appreciates the work our staff does EVERY day. Our teachers work extremely hard in their professional collaboration and work to collectively improve every trimester. He’s looking forward to understanding everything that goes into creating a master schedule that fits the needs of all of our students and staff. He also mentioned the professional development opportunities he and Mr. Miller will attend for the development of our freshman program “THE REALM”.

Mr. Salsbery: Is grateful for the emphasis and commitment of our District Leadership to the PLC process. Having the Solution Tree group come to D93 this summer to kick off the school year has made a HUGE impact. He’s looking forward to staying in the moment with the people at Hillcrest this school season.

As they talked, the conversation came to strategies for goal setting and new year’s resolutions. They strongly believe in the author Jon Gordon /Buzz Williams (basketball coach at Texas A &M) philosophy of choosing ONE WORD. It’s been a game changer for the office staff and teacher discussions. Check out the links above to learn more about this process and how it works. Try it with your students or other family members!

Mr. Mills and Mr. Salsbery feel so fortunate to serve the community as administrators. They wish everyone a relaxing holiday season filled with carefree timelessness with friends and family!

It’s a GREAT day to be a KNIGHT!

2019-20 Episode #8: HOPE Week with the HOPE Squad


This week Mr. Salsbery and Mr. Mills talk with our HOPE Squad advisor, Anna Goodson and some of the students in this year’s HOPE Squad class. This week is our fall “HOPE WEEK” to bring awareness to our HOPE Squad and what they do for HHS.

This is Hillcrest High School’s third year with a class and we’ve seen incredible things from these kids. They work as a team to be the eyes and ears for the school for kids who may be struggling with mental health or contemplating suicide. The curriculum for the program was developed in Utah in a school that experienced a devastating amount of completed suicide over several years.

We are proud to be a part of School District 93’s commitment to this program. D93 was the first school district in Idaho to implement this program. Please click on the links within these notes about the episode to learn more about HOPE squads and their impact on schools in Utah and Idaho.

It’s a GREAT day to be a KNIGHT!

2019-20 Episode #7: The Four Pillars of D93 Culture with Dr. Woolstenhulme


This week Mr. Salsbery and Mr. Mills have a wonderful conversation with Dr. Scott Woolstenhulme. During his short tenure as superintendent of School District #93, Dr. Woolstenhulme has put an emphasis on the four pillars of D93 culture: Integrity, Teamwork, Literacy and Learning, and Positivity. Each month he’s asked schools to try and incorporate the pillar of the month in the classroom. Hillcrest has been featuring students who practice the pillar regularly to share their thoughts on our various social media platforms. We hope to educate and involve the community on the direction of our culture. When you see videos or hear about the word of the month, please have a discussion at home or in the car with your students about the pillar word of the month.

Dr. Woolstenhulme served as an assistant principal for five years in the early 2000s at Hillcrest High School and now has his own children attending Hillcrest. We are excited for you to listen to this 8-minute discussion and hope you enjoy it!

It’s a GREAT day to be a KNIGHT!

2019-20 Episode #6: Students from THE REALM mastery based program share their experiences


This week Mr. Salsbery catches up with five freshmen students who participate in our mastery based learning program called “The Realm”. Mr. Barber, one of their core teachers, discusses the reasons for implementing this unique mastery-based program at Hillcrest High School.

During the conversation, you will hear students share their experiences in developing their own daily learning goals and how that process has impacted their learning. They also discuss the ownership they have for working through the 12 Idaho Skill Competencies established by the Idaho Mastery Education Network’s work in providing a framework for Mastery Education in Idaho.

Here’s a short article from the “Competency Works” publication in 2018

The administration at Hillcrest High School is pleased with the hard work and dedication our core teachers have put into The Realm. Mr. Barber, Mrs. McCracken, Miss Nalazek, and Mr. Webb continue to refine and improve the program through common collaboration and planning. They’ve attended several training sessions for Mastery Based instruction and recently were active participants in the Idaho Mastery Education Network’s state meeting in Boise. The Summit Learning team has visited The Realm and provided a lot of positive feedback to the group as well.

As with any new or unique program, we understand there will be an implementation gap in how successfully things are rolled out to students and parents. But, we would also like to recognize our students and parents for their support and willingness to communicate as we move forward with this style of instruction at Hillcrest High School!

It’s a GREAT day to be a KNIGHT!

2019-20 Episode #5: Corey and Laura Tolliver Featured Conversation


Mr. Salsbery and Mr. Mills sit down with Corey and Laura Tolliver, our new staff members from Alaska. Mr. Tolliver is teaching AP World History, US History and is also the head wrestling coach. Mrs. Tolliver is teaching 9th and 10th grade English classes. She is also working with our National Honors Society with Mrs. Daley.

Throughout the conversation, both Corey and Laura discuss what made Eastern Idaho appealing and reflect fondly on their time in rural, Western Alaska. This 10-minute conversation is amazing and we are confident all listeners will enjoy this staff member feature!

It’s a GREAT day to be a KNIGHT!

2019-20 Episode #4: College Application Week with Jessica Butler and Becca Franco


This week Mr. Salsbery and Mr. Mills are joined by our College and Career Advisors to discuss College Application Week. These wonderful ladies will call all of the seniors to their office this week to walk them through the college application process. Over the last three years, we’ve worked through this process in late October or November, but many regional colleges have moved their application deadlines up, so we are accommodating our students’ needs.

Wednesday night from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in our HHS library, Jessica and Becca are also hosting a FAFSA night. During this time, parents and students will input their information into the program to apply for financial aide. We’ve never heard any parents say they regretted completing this step for college application with the assistance of our college and career advisors.

October 7th from 5:00-9:00 is HHS Parent/Teacher Conference Night. If you are unable to participate in FAFSA night this week, please plan on stopping by the library to discuss any questions you may have with Jessica and Becca.

It’s a GREAT day to be a KNIGHT!