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Sidney Herald
Sidney , Montana
March 10, 2019     Sidney Herald
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March 10, 2019

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SUNDAY, MARCH I0, 20I9 BY NICOLE LUCINA SIDNEY HERALD Most everyone in town who listens to the radio knows Kent “Maverick” Simonis from Power 95. What most people don’t know is that he was in VA and Navy health care for 22 years. He worked in seven VA medical centers and ultimately became the Director of Health Administration for the entire country. During his time in health care, he was required to travel a lot which landed him at 172 different hospitals and overseeing more than 1,000 outpatient clinics. After retiring, he started working at a consulting firm in Washington DC. Simonis went on to tell the incredible story of the work he did helping people after an earth- quake hit southern California while he was working there. “It was a 7.1 on the richter scale,” he explained. Over the span of three days, Simonis was charged with 34 counts of grand theft auto, as- sault and battery as well as kidnapping. “I took over a bus to get patients evacuated to other hos— pitals and to transport oxygen. I did what I had to do to be able to help the folks that were stuck in the hospital,” he said proudly. With all of the charges dropped after the inci- dent, Simonis was actu- ally given a Secretary of VAcommendation award from the Department of Veterans Affairs for the work that he did during the aftermath of the earthquake. The award states, “In grateful recognition of truly heroic deeds in risking your life to assist in the evacuation of all veteran patients to neighboring VA facilities in the immediate after- ’Last year I was talking to the young man who had the bee hive at the fair and all of a sudden there were bees buzzing all ’around.’ Kent ’Maveridr’ Simonis Radio announcer math of the 1994 North- ridge Earthquake.” While living in’D.C. af- ter retirementand work ing in his consulting business, Simonis was working with Fortune 50 companies. “When my mom turned 80, I moved back here to Sidney. That was about 10 years ago,” Simonis explained. When first mov- ing back to Sidney, he worked for Boss Office & Computer Products. “I moved 3.5 tons of paper in one single day,” Simonis said smiling. Wanting to find another job, Simonis went to job services where he spoke with Jackie Dam in Sidney. After finding that Eagle 93 radio sta- tion was hiring a sales person, Simonis applied for the job. “My second week I was co-hosting the morning show and by my third week I was doing the ‘Munchin lunch with Mav’ show,” he said happily. Not long after starting at Eagle 93, Simonis took over as station manager. “I also managed the Hotel Albert in Fairview. I had to break up a few fights there,” he said laughing. While at Power 95, Si— monis noted that he was the first Cherry Creek Progress Media sales person to go on air. “The audience had grown. I love that we get younger people listening to the show. I had a little girl come up to me at the store and tell me that she loves lis- tening to my show with her mom,” Simonis said proudly. He went on to add that one of his favorite parts about the job is when he has the opportunity to talk to the first graders on career day. “I really enjoy what I do,” he said smiling. “I’m very much in— volved. I feel a sense of civic pride in our small town,” Simonis added. Simonis noted that 'he also enjoys that he has the chance to be a part of the homecoming activities. “I like that I get to interview the homecoming royalty,” he added. “I love that what I get to do is all ad lib from the hip.” Simonis told the Herald, “It’s always fun when I get to do a photo op with the cheerlead- ers too. And the Sidney Eagle mascot.” He went on to talk about the loss of local radio legend Arch Ell- wein who passed away Last October. “He held a high standard of excel- lence. We were broadcast brothers and it’s just not the same without him,” Simonis said somberly. He added that his first pregame show of the District 2C tournament he dedicated to Ellwein, as well as a star quilt from Brockton was given to Ellwein’s mom in honor of Arch. “That guy was a leg- end,” Simonis said with a smile. Simonis is invOlved in so many events around town, he’s more than just the voice of the radio. He takes part in many of the Chamber of Com- merce events, the Parade of Lights, the Jaycees’ N0 MORE STAMPS, N0 MORE CHECKS, N0 MORE HASSELS ® Switch to EZpay, Get a 510 Reynolds Gift Card Plus when you sign up for EZ Pay you get your ALL ACCESS PASS! That is print and digital for the low monthly rate of $6.00 (minimum 3 months) R52 gamma Di 9212 T50 £49. —.u..~» ncllua. &m cc V2 THEM. tbeina active atSidnoy "when Fall 406-433-2403 today! gaining 1321'th SIDNEY HERALD Local radio announcer displays love for community NICOLE LUCINA SIDNEY HERALD Kent "Maverick" Simonis in the booth at Power 95 Radio in Sidney. Demolition Derby, the Richland County Fair and so much more. “I always do my pink mohawk for Tough Enough to Wear Pink night at the fair,” Simo- nis said with a smile. He went on to talk about how he gets the chance to talk with the 4-H participants about their animals and work. “Last year I was talk- ing to a 43H young man who had the bee hive at the fair and all of a sudden there were bees buzzing all around. They had found a way out, so I was standing there trying to hold it together while he found a way to put it back together,” Simonis said laughing. “The sense of com- munity here is just exceptional. And the kids all have such great manners. That’s a testa- ment to their parents,” he added. SUBMITIED A young "Maverick." l Sidney High School drama coach wins state award ’ as BILL VANDER WEELE I SIDNEY HERALD Christy Pierce earned the award for Class A Drama Coach of the Year. BY BILL VANDER WEELE SIDNEY HERALD Christy Pierce has been making a difference in the lives of Sidney’s youth for the past eight years and she recently was awarded for her commit- ment. . Pierce was selected as the winner of the Montana Forensics Education Association’s Class A Drama Coach of the Year award. “I was shocked,” Pierce said of the honor. “I won it back in 2014, but this year I didn’t expect it at all. It’s an honor.” She explained the award is decided by a vote of Class A coaches through- out the state. Pierce laughs that she has learned a lot since she started being Gail Staffan- son’s assistant coach in 2012. . “Gail was looking for an assistant, and I applied,” Pierce said. “It was completely learning the first year. I was used to college studies not high school. It was refreshing.” Her experience includes earning a degree in theatre arts with a focus on stage management and directing. “Awards justify my degree to my father,” Pierce laughed. She then worked as a stage manager in Lansing, Mich., before moving back to Sidney. “The economy hit hard there, and it wasn’t hitting hard here,” Pierce explained. During her timeas drama coach, she has guided two state champion- ship winning classical theater teams — Sarah Turek and Camden Berka in 2016 and Shoua Vang and Daniel Schneider this year. Asa team, Sidney placed third in state for drama in 2016 and fourth this year. “For some reason, we do well in clas- sical theater. It’s the most structured theater event,” Pierce said. She thanks Staffanson and debate coach Hunter Gordon for their sup- port. “I appreciate both of them. We’re like a team.” In addition to her coaching duties, Pierce is the director for Sidney High School’s plays. This year’s performanc- es of “Get Smart” are scheduled for the first weekend of April. “I try to focus on who, my actors are,” Pierce said of how she selects a play. “This is for my seniors to have 'fun.” This year, she is also directing a middle school play. “Farmageddon” will be performed during the second week of April. > i “I do it for the kids,” Pierce said of her involvement. “We have'such an amazing group of kids.” Bl Sll >—«~+.—+ (t burr-{LA a f\‘.