Spearfish Lake High School

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Spearfish Lake High School is located in the town of Spearfish Lake and many residents attended. The team mascot is the Marlins, a wordplay on Spearfish.

In the 1952 to 1956 seasons, Harold Hekkinan "and Bud Ellsberg and Frank Matson and Harry Masterfield had been some strong parts of a team that in three years had only been beaten once, back in 1956."AF33

"The only playoff-determined state championship in any sport that they'd ever won" came from Brandy Evachevski leading the girl's team in the 1983 state softball finals.AF27   Brandy and Anissa Hodges were "the first two girl twelve-letter athletes"AC8

A Gibson's Water Snake was identified by students in John Pacobel's advance biology class in 1987.BAR719

In 1989, Bruce O'Conner retired as the principal and Harold Hekkinan, who had been teaching social studies and political science and coaching football, took the job.AF33

"Spearfish Lake High School may have been the only school in the lower forty-eight to have a row of doghouses next to the student parking lot all winter" as a result of Tiffany Langenderfer-McMahon entering the school in 1991.RM17 "She did, however, get the first and only varsity letter for dogsled racing that Spearfish Lake High School has ever awarded" when she became the high school state champion in 1995FtS2

A bullying incident in 1997 was covered by Brenda Hodunk in the book Andromeda Chained .

The story of the transformation of the Lady Marlins basketball program by Brandy Wine (nee Evachevski) is a prominent part of the book Facing the Storm .

In 1999, Mrs. Foxbender was one of the administrators, who the kids had all called the "Dragon Lady" over the way she grilled them over absence slips and stuff.DW65

In July 2004 Glenn Aho, president of the school board, had pushed the appointment of Earl Gingrich as superintendent. Gingrich rescinded the previous agreement for Susan Langenderfer-McMahon to take her Junior year out and return as a Senior, saying she needed to take two more years before she could graduate.SU6 This became the trigger for Susan and the Record-Herald to investigate both Gingrich and the appointment process leading to the firing of Gingrich and the removal of Aho from the school board. Harold Hekkinan, principal, was asked to be interim superintendent until a permanent appointment could be made.SU24

Around 2005, Charles DeRidder was elected the Superintendent of Spearfish Lake Schools.SU27 After Harold Hekkinan retired as principal before school restarted in the fall of 2008, DeRidder got Bryson Payne named as his replacement.BITH26. By the fall of 2010, both DeRidder and Payne were both gone. DeRidder was forced out after a school board electionSK39 while Payne suddenly resigned as principal from the high school on August 5, 2010.BITH45   There were other reasons, but a new DWISK39 revealed that he had two prior DWIs that he had failed to disclose when hired and the school board was getting set to use the morals clause in his contract to fire him.BOF2   Plus there was the mysterious death of John Ordway, the sophomore English teacher.BITH45

With departure of DeRidder in August 2010, Harold Hekkinan took over once more as interim superintendent. To replace Payne he offered the job as the principal to Brandy Wine.BOF2

Significant parts of the action in the books Bird on the Field and Reaching for Wings take place at the High School.

Principal Brandy Wine told Frenchy LeDroit he wouldn't be able to graduate in 2011 because he hadn't kept up with classes while in jail. He wouldn't be able to play football the following year as he'd be too old. He decided it wasn't worth returning to school and he could get a GED through the Community Improvement Agency.OC4