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Episode 114: Meet the Silverwolf Caucus! (Part 2)

They are members of the Utah State Legislature and Riverton High School Silverwolves through and through.

On this bonus episode of the Supercast, we take you back inside Riverton High to once again catch up with the “Silverwolf Caucus.” They are Utah State Representatives, all former Riverton High students. Find out what happens when Representatives Candice Pierucci, Ashlee Matthews, and Jordan Teuscher run into some former teachers as they tour the halls of their alma mater, sharing some laughs and lots of memories along the way.


Audio Transcription

Anthony Godfrey:
Welcome to the Supercast. I'm your host, Superintendent Anthony Godfrey. They are members of the Utah State Legislature and Riverton High School Silverwolves through and through. On this bonus episode of the Supercast, we take you back inside Riverton High to once again catch up with the Silverwolf caucus made up of Utah State Representatives who are also former Riverton High students. Find out what happens when Representatives Candice Pierucci, Ashlee Matthews and Jordan Teuscher run into some former teachers as they tour the halls of their alma mater sharing some laughs and lots of memories along the way.

Is there a classroom or area of the building that you want to visit? 

Candice Pierucci:
The newspaper room?

Ashlee Matthews:
I would love to go to the newspaper room!

Anthony Godfrey:
Let's go to the newspaper room.

Ashlee Matthews:
I have fond memories of that room and the newspaper kids were the most fun. 

Anthony Godfrey:
Do you remember where your locker was?

Jordan Reuscher:
It's just the hallway over and I remember it's right by the vending machines, which was kind of a coveted spot because it was there, you know, you had easy access by the cafeteria.

Ashlee Matthews:
Oh, we're just heading down, hoping that the newspaper staff room is where it was when I left. Right around the corner from my old locker.

Jordan Teuscher:
So it changed. So the first year it was Ms. Highmas. She got married and changed her name to Billings. She was there for the first year and a half,  and then when she got married, she left. Eventually they found someone and it was Jenicee Jacobson. Yeah, she was great. It was her first year teaching. She was Debate coach. She probably hated it because I was in there, and vowed never to do it again.

Anthony Godfrey:
Let’s go in here, let’s go in here. You’ve got to feel the energy of the room.

Ashlee Matthews:
Oh my gosh. The desk where we sold ad space was right there.  We made calls and did a lot of ad space. That was all computers. The Life page computer was the second one from the end. It was my computer. It was a green, a green little Mac. Yep. There's always been a captain here. Ours was not that nice. We still have the mini fridge and we had all sorts of snacks and food and stuff. 

Jordan Teuscher:
Yeah. I was in newspaper for like a few weeks.

Ashlee Matthews:
What?

Jordan Teuscher:
I had a friend who was the editor in chief and he really wanted me to do it and they brought me in. It was Mrs. Squires.

Ashlee Matthews:
Was it Joel Ackerman?

Jordan Teuscher:
No, it wasn't. But I remember Joel really well. Yeah. I ran into him like last year at Summit Splash, the new Seven Peaks.

Ashlee Matthews:
Did you buy his book to support him? You should, I’ve got a copy.

Jordan Teuscher:
Okay. But anyway, they assigned me to be like the ad space guy and as I got into it, I'm like, I do not like this. I'm not, not doing it. 

Ashlee Matthews:
I had a best friend in yearbook as well, and she was always trying to recruit me. I just couldn't quite, you either were or you weren't in yearbook and I was not. 

Anthony Godfrey:
So there's the room bringing back memories a little bit even though it’s changed?

Ashlee Matthews:
It does, yes. It’s close enough. It's got the same bones, so yep. 

Anthony Godfrey:
Look out the window, see the view.

Ashlee Matthews:
Spent a lot of time staring out that window seeing what everyone else is doing. 

Laura Taylor:
Hey! How are you doing?

Candice Pierucci:
Good! How are you? We're all legislators who were Silverwolves. I was just talking about your Women in American History class. I have a wall of women in my office in the legislature now, so thank you.

Laura Taylor:
Nice! I remember your goal, your thing was to become president. 

Candice Pierucci:
Oh, I don't even remember that. 

Laura Taylor:
You're like I want to be President of the United States, so you're well on your way. 

Candice Pierucci:
Well, thank you for that. I didn't even remember that. That's really cool. That was awesome. That was a good class. I think we had all women except for Jamin Mikesell who was the only dude in the class. He expected to get a little more mileage out of it I think.

Laura Taylor:
He didn’t get very much. The boys were usually always well outnumbered. 

Candice Pierucci:
Yeah, really great class. Cool, thanks for what you do, obviously it’s working.

Laura Taylor:
Thank you. It's great to see you and all the great things you're doing. 

Candice Pierucci:
Thanks, awesome. So we're good. We were just seeing you Mr. Briggs, and Mrs. Rush are like the three I recognize. Awesome. Well, have a good Halloween this weekend. 

Laura Taylor:
Enjoy your little tour down memory lane.

Anthony Godfrey:
Does the school look about the same? 

Ashlee Matthews:
It does, yeah. It feels really similar.

Anthony Godfrey:
Let’s walk back in here.

Jordan Teuscher:
This was the debate room and I don't know, someone in music has taken it over. 

Anthony Godfrey:
Let’s walk into the debate space. Let’s absorb the energy in here.

Jordan Teuscher:

We had a great time in here. We used these little breakout rooms, you know, to do individual practice rounds and such. I spent a lot of great time in here.

Anthony Godfrey:
It's been a long time since you've been in this room I'm guessing.

Jordan Teuscher:
Yeah, probably 20 years.

Carolyn Gough:
This is one of our student officers, Cameron. 

Jordan Teuscher:
Cameron, nice to meet you. 

Ashlee Matthews:
Nice to meet you.

Cameron:
Nice to meet you guys.

Carolyn Gough:
Cameron is involved currently in choir.

Candice Pierucci:
Oh cool. Are you an acapella or madrigals? 

Cameron:
I’m in madrigals and acapella. 

Candice Pierucci
Very nice. Glided acapella. That's really fun to do. Who's the choir teacher now?

Cameron:
Ulmer. Was it Ulmer back then? 

Candice Pierucci:
I had Willmore. Mrs. Willmore who started like every choir program in the Southwest corner of the valley. So she went to go lead the bell choir at Tabernacle Square. Yeah. So, but that was who I had. So that's really cool though. 

Cameron:
That’s really cool. What was it like being with such an influential teacher? 

Candice Pierucci:
She man, that woman was tough as nails and as she just would flat out tell us when we sucked. She actually didn't even let us finish singing the line. She never said we sucked, let me correct the record. She said, “No, no, no, no, no.” When we would start out and she's like, you're not preparing. And even when I sing now, I think of her voice in my head to prepare for the air that you need to get through it. So she was really influential.

Anthony Godfrey:
That's cool. Let's go to the choir room led by a current student. If you guys could harmonize along the way, that'd be great.

Cameron:
That’s the school musical rehearsing. 

Anthony Godfrey:
Oh great. What’s the musical this year?

Cameron:
We're doing Mamma Mia.

Cameron:
These are the folders filled with crazy music. 

Candice Pierucci:
Totally remember that.

Cameron:
Right in here is the choir room.

Candice Pierucci:
Very cool.

Anthony Godfrey:
Is it smaller than you remember?

Candice Pierucci:
It actually does look smaller than I remember. We had a really massive choir. We had a lot of students in choir and I also did center stage. So this whole area, I felt like I spent a lot of time between acapella and theater. So this is really cool.

Anthony Godfrey:
And what was Center Stage?

Candice Pierucci:
It's just with the theater program. They would have the stage in the middle of the room so you had to act to all sides, kind of like the globe? 

Anthony Godfrey:
Theater in the round kind of thing. 

Cameron:
Theater in the Round.

Candice Pierucci:
Is that what it’s called now? 

Cameron:
Student Directed Plays. 

Candice:
There you go. Yeah. Mr. Eaton was the director, the teacher then. You knew Mr. Eaton too? Did you do theater? 

Ashlee Matthews:
Nope. He was my film studies teacher. Something that does not involve any sort of talent.

Anthony Godfrey:
But it lasts a lifetime. Now Netflix is just that much more enjoyable because you know how to appreciate it .

Ashlee Matthews:
I'm critiquing it all in my head. 

Jordan Teuscher:
He was my drama teacher. I had just a half credit of drama that I had to take, but it was a lot of fun. We went and did like an ensemble at the Shakespeare Festival. That was way fun. 

Candice Pierucci:
Yeah. No, I think everyone should have to take a little bit of theater in their life. You know, it also helps, I would say in elected office, you have to give a lot of speeches and public comments. So it helps you be a little more confident. I feel like theater helps you in high school. Be a little more confident too. 

Anthony Godfrey:
It does build confidence. It puts you out there, but it gives you someone else's words to say. 

Candice Pierucci:
There you go, that’s much easier.

Carolyn Gough:
Right in the middle of a Mamma Mia practice as we're getting ready for a school musical, but we have three former students, current legislators who are in our state legislature. They actually had you as a teacher, so we just wanted to wait. 

Clin Eaton:
What were you in?

Candice Pierucci:
I had Center Stage. So it was one of the student led ones. And then I did acapella, but I had Willmore. Yep. There you go. 

Jordan Teuscher:
I wasn't in any performance, but I just had a class. It was great. It was lasting. Just a drama, like a Drama I I did the Shakespeare Ensemble. I remember that. Yeah. 

Clin Eaton:
With what show?

Jordan Teuscher:
We did Much Ado About Nothing.

Ashlee Matthews:
Film Studies and Theater I.

Candice Pierucci:
Did you get an “A”?

Ashlee Matthews:
Well, of course I did! I had the best teacher.

Clin Eaton:
Thank you so much.

Candice Pierucci:
Thanks for the work you do. Good job, it sounds amazing guys.

Jordan Teuscher:
We’ll come back and see the show. 

Candice Pierucci:
Yeah! When is it showing? 

Carolyn Gough:
November 18-22. Mamma Mia performing at Riverton High School. 

Anthony Godfrey:
When you look in a class like that doesn't seem like a longer time ago or does it seem like it was just yesterday?

Candice:
It made sense to be like just yesterday. And I was just telling Ashlee, I wish I could go back. Cause they're so carefree. There's no bills to pay like no college tuition, no children.

Anthony Godfrey:
No bills to pay no bills to pass. 

Candice:
That’s right! There you go, that's true. But I just wish I could go back and tell myself, like, this is the most carefree you're going to feel your whole life. And you can feel that right? When you hear them all dancing and waving their arms.

Jordan Teuscher:
But they seem so young. I did not look that young when I was in high school.

Candice Pierucci:
I was much older.

Ashlee Matthews:
I feel youngish until I’m around actual young people and I go holy crap I’m old. It's because the legislature makes us feel young. That's what so many people say, ‘you're my grandkids age’. You start feeling young then we realize we're not really that young.

Anthony Godfrey:
Stay with us. More fun with the Silverwolf Caucus as they reminisce about all the good times at Riverton High.

Break:
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Anthony Godfrey:
We're here at the current teachers board with photos of all of our teachers here at Riverton High. See anyone you guys recognize?

Candice Pieruccu:
Yes. Mr. Briggs was my American Government teacher. I'm still friends with him on Facebook. Laura Taylor taught my Women in American History class. Fantastic. And then Patricia Marshall was my AP English teacher. 

Anthony Godfrey:
That's awesome. All right. How about you guys?

Ashlee Matthews:
Mr. Hales was my shop teacher, Jordan Vance was an SBO actually, when I was here I believe. He was a student at least. If he wasn't an SBO he should have been. I remember him that way. Mr. Eaton and Mrs. Rush. She was my AP English teacher as well. 

Candice Pierucci:
We are Facebook friends as well.

Anthony Godfrey:
People are hard on social media, but it is cool to stay connected.

Candice Pierucci:
It’s a cool way to connect for sure. Mr. Briggs!

Joshua Briggs:
I used your example today to show the kids how to do a project. I said, “If you look at this one, you can see that this student put in a lot of effort.” And I always brag on you and your kid Benji. 

Candice Pierucci:
Oh my gosh! You’re so awesome. I'm glad Facebook keeps us connected. So I randomly put a goldfish in your water jug that one year.

Joshua Briggs:
I do remember that and I thought about drinking it.

Candice Pierucci:
You totally read us though. Oh good. How are things going?

Joshua Briggs:
They're going great. 

Candice Pierucci:
Well that's amazing. Oh, it was fun to see your pictures still here. I'm glad you’re still teaching. These are all, well, these three, Ashlee and Jordan are the legislature with me. We are the Silverwolf Caucus now. We make up 4% of the legislature. 

Joshua Briggs:
That’s what I'm talking about. Thanks for the handwritten note. I appreciate it.

Anthony Godfrey:
Oh, you bet. Absolutely. My pleasure.

Joshua Briggs:
I always appreciate how you pick up the phone. You’re awesome.

Anthony Godfrey:
Oh, thank you. Thanks. 

Candice Pierucci:
Can I get a picture with you? To put on social media.

Joshua Briggs:
You know it!

Anthony Godfrey:
It's pretty awesome for you to have this kind of lasting impact come back. We know the impact’s there, but it's fun for people to actually tell you.

Joshua Briggs:
Yeah. And I have your example. If you want to see it.

Candice Pierucci:
I kinda want to. I’m impressed that you have it. Here, let me get a picture with you. 

Joshua Briggs:
Right here Candice.

Candice Pierucci:
Oh my heck. I can’t believe you have this still! Oh my gosh. I remember staying up late to work on this.

Joshua Briggs:
Well, I was trying to tell the kids, you need to have the title written and then you need to throw some color behind it. Write your book and then take some time and effort in the pictures. And today the students were like, ‘that's really good.’

Candice Pierucci:
Yeah. I can't believe you kept it. 

Joshua Briggs:
Did you know that Candice Backus Pierucci is the youngest elected female legislator in the Utah House of Representatives. And they're like, ‘really?’ I said, ‘yes, if you see her signs, it'll have Pierucci on it.’

Candice Pierucci:
Yeah I know, Backus was easier.

Joshua Briggs:
And little Benji is as cute as ever.

Candice Pierucci:
Thank you. I appreciate it. He's two and a half now. I cannot believe you kept this. This means so much to me. The night I stayed up till like 3:00 AM working on this, it made it worth it just because you still use it.

Joshua Briggs:
Guess what, I have some of the other examples too. In my journal process that I have, because I have the kids write journals. I‘ve fine tuned it quite a bit over the years, and for anyone who goes above and beyond, I call it the Candice Backus role.

Candice Pierucci:
Oh my gosh. Wow. Thank you, that is so sweet.

Joshua Briggs:
Cause you, you asked me, you know, ‘how can I even get more out?’ And so you would write it and then you would figure out how to reframe it, rewrite it. And so I have kids regularly going two and three and four times above what the expectations are because they know it'll pay dividends. We reference you all the time. 

Candice Pierucci:
Oh my gosh. Well thank you. I really appreciate it.

Joshua Briggs:
You said ‘hi’ to L.T. right? She’s so excited too because you had her for Women's History.

Candice Pierucci:
I did. Yeah. I told her I have a wall of women in my office now because there are a lot of walls of men all over the legislature. But like Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, all my ladies, they're up on the wall. So, because she had a wall of women.

Joshua Briggs:
Hopefully you can be up there. 

Candice Pierucci:
I’m definitely not up there with Susan B. Anthony. 

Joshua Briggs:
Well, one day you’ll be on a coin. When you were in  my class do you remember you said that one day you're going to be President. 

Candice Pierucci:
You know, apparently I said that. I’m feeling very, very embarrassed today. I was much more confident than I remembered.

Joshua Briggs:
No, you said “I’m going to do it”. Then I watched you and you went and clerked in D.C. and then also in the Honor Flight.

Candice Pierucci:
I did Honor Flight. Yeah, you’re right. 

Joshua Briggs:
That was the coolest thing I ever heard in my whole life.

Candice Pierucci:
Yeah, I was the flight leader board member for him.

Joshua Briggs:
For Mike Johnson.

Candice Pierucci:
Yeah, yeah, and he’s so cool, I can't believe I said that by the way, I feel rather embarrassed. Like I don't have time to be President. I'm just happy to be in the legislature. 

Joshua Briggs:
If you ever do, I’ll vote for you.

Candice Pierucci:
Well, thank you. I do appreciate your vote. I remember especially learning just US history in your class. It was really cool. And I remember following the election cycle because that was when President Obama was running. I remember in class you were really good about keeping the discussion civil, like you always made sure both sides were represented when we watched the debate.

Joshua Briggs:
I believe it's the student's education and not mine. And so I want them to be confident, have your own voice.

Candice Pierucci:
You felt that way in your class, which is why I felt comfortable sharing opinions. So thank you. You're awesome.

Joshua Briggs:
I’m super proud of you. I have more examples by the way.

Candice Pierucci:
I can’t believe you kept them all. It just makes me feel better. That’s so cool. Thank you. I appreciate it. What was the assignment? It was just to create like a little mini book.

Joshua Briggs:
Yeah, yeah. So what I call them is a folded book. The ones that the students are finishing up right now is on World War II. So, I want them to hit with the state core standards are and be able to show their understanding of it, write their own book, drop in vocabulary words, but also illustrate it. And so I have a couple of other ones if you ever want to see them.

Candice Pierucci:
Okay. I can't believe you keep all your students. People really appreciate it.

Anthony Godfrey:
I can't thank you enough for coming to Riverton and reminiscing about the Silverwolf days and giving some advice to our current students and a boost to the teachers who still remember you and cherish that time that they had with you as students. So thank you so much for everything you're doing and for representing Silverwolves all the way up at the State Legislature. 

Candice Pierucci:
Thanks for having us. It's been really fun. 

Jordan Teuscher:
It's been great. Love reminiscing. The nostalgia is awesome. 

Anthony Godfrey:
And you're welcome anywhere here any time. Absolutely.

Thanks for joining us for another episode of the Supercast. Remember education is the most important thing you'll do today. We'll see you out there.

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