Welcome to our series, #WHYoming.
We are highlighting people from around our communities and asking them a few questions. We want to learn a little about them and see why they chose this great state to raise their families, start their businesses, or simply to ask — Why Wyoming?
For this week’s #WHYoming, I had a chance to talk with Nancy Rider, a substitute teacher at Green River High School. Not only does she spend time in the classroom, but Nancy also spends a lot of time filming and taking photos for the graduating classes at GRHS to document their final year of high school.
With this year’s graduation ceremony taking place virtually, Nancy is even busier than usual making sure the graduation video is a memorable one for the Class of 2020. Nancy is someone who cares deeply for the community’s youth and she dedicates a lot of energy into ensuring the kids feel appreciated and cared for as they prepare to take their next steps in life.
Nancy has lived in Green River since 1989 and she loves it here. Wyoming is her home and she can’t really see herself living anywhere else. She’s raised her family here and now her children are raising their own families here. Nancy is a great example of the amazing people who live in Sweetwater County.
Nancy, what do you do for a living?
I am a substitute teacher at Green River High School and have been for 25 years. At the high school, you will find me either in a classroom teaching, roaming the halls finding the students in the senior class, or in my office working.
I help administer the WYTOPP three times a year and the AP testing in the spring. I work directly with the Inductees in the Hall of Fame. Once they have been chosen by the Hall of Fame committee I will contact them and begin working with them to create a video to introduce them in the fall at the banquet. I also help organize the Hall of Fame weekend and help decorate the banquet. I begin this in the spring and work through the summer and finalize it before the banquet.
I work a lot with our senior class, collecting their senior portraits and grade school pictures for the yearbook and senior send off. These pictures are also burned on DVD’s to send to the media outlets for their senior addition in the spring. We feel this takes a little pressure off the students and parents sending in their portraits numerous times.
I also take pictures of seniors in classrooms, at sporting events, assemblies, or any place that our seniors may be to use in the senior send off. The senior send off is an assembly centered around our seniors. We have prizes that are drawn for the seniors and a video is displayed for all to watch. The video consists of the pictures that are taken throughout the year, pictures that seniors send in of themselves and senior friends, vacation pictures, work pictures, the video challenge, and the ending is each senior in alphabetical order starting with a grade school picture fading into their senior portrait.
The video challenge is something we try to change up every year. In the past we have had dancing videos, puppets where one senior is the head and feet while another is the hands, etc. This year we had begun taping the seniors lip syncing to different songs they grew up with.
I also audio tape the seniors for their senior night activities and help the Athletic Department in the fall for scheduling of sports held in Casper. I have also, in the past, created videos for the Athletic Director of the year held at the Athletic Directors convention in Casper.
Are you making the video for this year’s graduation? What does that process look like?
I am in the process of creating the video for graduation with the help of numerous employees of Sweetwater County School District 2. This is a year long process with hours spent taking pictures and videos. With the change with graduation, I have worked numerous hours a day behind my computer and will until we finalize “the walk” for our seniors.
This has become a very large process as we want to make our seniors feel special. We are combining a virtual graduation with the senior send off. We are videotaping speakers that would have normally spoken at this year’s graduation along with Senator Barrasso.
We will add what pictures I had taken, pictures from students that were sent in, most recently some of the seniors sent in pictures of what they were doing while in quarantine, the grade school and senior portrait portion, and we will end with our seniors and families in their caps and gowns receiving their diplomas.
This is not how anyone envisioned or wanted the Class of 2020’s senior year to come to an end. My heart goes out to all seniors not just from GRHS but all seniors graduating this year. They will be the class we will always remember.
What have you had to do differently with the senior videos this year?
The seniors and I were getting ready for the second taping out of four for the video challenge (lip sync), and therefore this portion will not be finished. Most of the seniors look forward to this portion of the send off but because of the COVID-19 restrictions we are unable to film. The first taping the seniors did amazing and they had so much fun doing it, and this is what it is all about. I will place this into the graduation video somehow but have not decided what it will look like as of yet.
How did you end up in Green River?
We moved to Green River in the fall of 1989 when my husband was transferred to Rock Springs from Sterling, Colorado.
What is something unique about you?
I also work with the Green River Fire Department. For about seven years I have followed the firefighters around when they are paged, and I take pictures and videos of them on a call or during training. I use these to produce a video and a yearbook for them each year. We display the video at their banquet in December and they receive their yearbooks. I also have created a calendar for their training schedules in the past years.
Most recently, I have taken on the role of updating their Facebook profile/page. I do this because I thoroughly enjoy and respect these men and women. They constantly put their lives on hold and risk their lives for others like you and me. These firefighters are amazing and have a big place in my heart. I always say that I don’t just have two sons that are firefighters but I have 30+ that I call my own.
What do you appreciate most about our community?
I absolutely love the community we live in. Everyone is friendly and we stick together when times are rough. I’ve seen that more recently with the situation we are in with the COVID-19. I love the open spaces around Green River, as I love the outdoors.
What are your some of your hobbies?
I love spending time with my family, camping, gardening and crafting.
If you could give one brief piece of advice, what would it be?
I guess my advice would be that there are so many people that say things about others before they know what that person might have gone through or is going through. They use places like social media to rant, and what is said may hurt and cannot be taken back. Just be nice, put a smile on someone’s face instead of tearing them down. Like the saying goes, “If you don’t have something good to say, don’t say anything at all.”
Where is your favorite place to hang out in Sweetwater County?
I love anywhere that my family may be or hanging with my students at the high school or with my firefighters.
What would you sing at karaoke night?
Sing? Sing karaoke? That will never happen.
What is one of your proudest accomplishments?
My children are my proudest accomplishments. I have three children and they are truly amazing, they each have a heart of gold and will do anything for anyone. They all knew what they wanted in life and did what they needed to do to get there. This is not saying that they did not have setbacks but they always seemed to pick themselves up and move forward.
Why do you choose to continue living in Wyoming?
I love living in Wyoming because my family is here and there is so much to do. Things I love to do like camping with no one around, going on a rides with ATV’s, hunting, fishing, Wyoming has it all without all the people.
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