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!

2019-20 Episode #3: Civil War discussion with Larry Belnap and Scott Peterson

This quick discussion with Coach Peterson and Coach Belnap was fun! Both of these educators have been a part of every Civil War that has been played. Their insight to the traditions and rivalry are unique and interesting. Take a listen and good luck to both teams tonight!

Civil War Pic

Mr. Mills and Mr. Salsbery go back to their glory days and discuss the rivalry games they played in and expressed their thoughts on why rivalry games are important for school culture and fostering school spirit. Mr. Salsbery’s Malta Mustang team battled the Glasgow Scotties in Glasgow, Montana year in and year out. Mr. Mills was part of the storied tradition of the Emotion Bowl in D91 between his Idaho Falls Tigers and the Skyline Grizz. Enjoy!

2019-20 Episode #2: Activities Director update with Wendy Johnson

This podcast was recorded on September 13th, 2019. That night the Knights football squad defeated the Shelley Russets 54-14. During the week of September 16-20, the volleyball team defeated South Fremont, boys soccer defeated TRHS, and our school ws buzzing with excitement for the Civil War football game.

Podcast 2 picture

It was awesome getting together to discuss all of the great things happen in our fall activities and reflect on how far we’ve come in implementing our academic eligibility philosophy over the last three years. We really appreciate the support from our Hillcrest parents and students in building our programs. It’s very unique to think about the nine fall activities and the tenure of our coaches. We only have three coaches or directors who have led their programs for more than two years.

At the beginning of the pod, we discuss our amazing numbers for marching band/pep band under the direction of Jacob Andersen. He’s more than doubled his participation and is building some amazing traditions in the program.

7:40- Amanda Wade is in her 2nd year leading the volleyball program. She has a young squad, but continues to be positive to build for a successful 2nd half of the season.

8:55- Girls soccer, led by Danielle Francis, has some low numbers and battled injury. Danielle’s team is competing and working to finish the season strong.

9:45- Boys soccer is coming off a 2nd place finish in the 4A state tournament last season. Ryan Ellis (2nd year) has the team working hard, ranked in the state, and recently avenged an early loss to TRHS.

10:40- The numbers for Cross Country have increased this year, due to the excitement generated by Coach Jon Manby’s involvement in track and field last season. We are optimistic that we can have representation at the state meet this season.

11:47- Tiffany Wheeler is in her first season leading the Knight Cheer Squad. She has the girls excited and has done a wonderful job fundraising and building excitement for a successful season.

13:19- The Knights football team goes into the Civil War on 9/20/19 with a 2-1 record. After winning the state championship in his first year coaching the Knights, Coach Meyer is looking to build an identity and build leadership capacity for the 2019 team.

15:00- Terri Hamelin is the longest tenured coach in our fall lineup. The Ballroom program is already practicing their choreography and prepping for the their winter competitions and tours. Knightline, led by Faith Stibal, did an outstanding job in their first halftime performance at the Rigby football game.

16:30- Our swimming numbers are down a bit this year, but we are hopeful with club season following the fall season, we can get more kids involved for the 2020-21 school year.

The rest of the podcast addresses reffing shortages, fan expectations at events, and the appropriate channels to go through when voicing complaints or working with coaches on different issues. This is a longer podcast, but we tried to address all fall activities and provide an opportunity for Mrs. Johnson to discuss everything in her purview.

It’s a GREAT day to be a KNIGHT!

2019-20 Episode #1: Senior Project with Mrs. Hoffman and Mrs. Monsen


Throughout this podcast Mr. Salsbery and Mr. Mills chat with Mrs. Hoffman and Mrs. Monsen about how senior project prepares our Hillcrest seniors for life after high school. We discuss the history of senior project, thank Mrs. Crabtree for her commitment to the class over almost a decade of creating the content, and the future of the program.

We appreciate the support from the Hillcrest community through judging the projects over the course of the year and from our parents who push their kids to stick with it and finish every year.

It’s a GREAT day to be a KNIGHT!

Women’s Athletics Summer Plans with Coach Wade and Coach Francis

IMG_2205 (4)

This week, we talk with two of the most enthusiastic, energetic teachers/coaches at Hillcrest High School– Miss Wade and Mrs. Francis. They have organized an exciting Women’s Athletics Summer Strength and Conditioning program. This program will allow any female student or athlete participate for a $75 fee for the entire program.

From the conversation with Mr. Barber and Mr. Salsbery, you will see that these two coaches are ready to put in the time to change the culture and build ALL of our women’s athletic programs. If the picture on this post isn’t enough indication of how much school spirit and pride these two have, take a listen to their approach to this summer program. We are excited to see the results throughout the school year!

Location: Hillcrest High School Weight Room
Dates: M, W, F from 6/3/19-8/9/19 (No training 7/1-7/5)
Time: 10:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m.
** 33% of every payment is donated back to each student-athlete’s respective program.

It’s a GREAT day to be a KNIGHT!