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Hard Work and Focus

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Casey Ponti

On Volleyball game days at Timberlake High School in Spirit Lake the team members are supposed to dress-up for the day. As a member of the team Casey Ponti does dress-up and looks very nice. But most other days at school she will be found looking nice in her blue jeans and boots.  The teasing from her peers is okay with her because this is how she is comfortable.

     “Casey works hard and is a good student,” said Mike Anderson, a science teacher at Timberlake. Casey is on the Honor Roll at school, is a Tiger Greeter is  a member of the Volleyball Team and was named student of the month for September 2000.

     For many students that would be enough but not for Casey; 4-H, market steers, and horses are a big part of her life. In 4-H Ponti helped with the community pride project, cleaning yards for the elderly, helping the elderly move and cleaning the cemetery in Rathdrum. This is fun and, “I feel like I’m doing something for people,” she explained.

     Casey has been showing her market steers since she was 14, winning many ribbons in addition to her two blues this year. When she was 14 she was first year showman for her class.

     Training horses is another skill that Casey is developing. Dr. Richard Caldwell, whose horses she has trained said Casey is, “Very hard working and focused no matter what the task.” Dr Caldwell has used Casey to train, ride, and care for his two horses for the last couple of years.

    Another adult fan of Casey’s is Glen Gordon. Gordon owns the arena where Casey does much of her training. Glen calls Casey, “An outstanding horseman and she is a natural roper.” He taught her to rope and she is competing in the Pro West Rodeo Association. Gordon also says Casey is, “a very hard worker whether working in the barn, feeding and foraging cows or working with the horses.”

     Casey has her own quarter horse, Babe, who she uses for breakaway roping when she is competing. She said she has never been thrown but was scared once. She was on a horse she was working when it started to “act up. He was on ice and really sliding around. I pulled up on his head and finally it came up but it took a while. I thought he was going down with me,” she said. There was respect for the situation in her voice and expression.  

     This spring Casey will graduate from Timberlake and next fall she will trade in her jeans and boots for a nurses uniform. Casey plans to enter the nursing program at NIC in the fall. Taking care of and training horses are an important part of her life, but helping people is also important. Her plans right now are to become a flight nurse.

     Living out of town is also a future plan of Casey’s, working with animals when she is not working or on call.  When she was reminded that a flight nurse couldn’t be more than 20 minutes away when on call she has an answer. “My mom is an O. R. nurse and when she is on call she stays in town.”

     Casey Ponti wants to help people and enjoy her animals whether she is training, rodeoing, or just caring for them. It looks like she knows how to get that done and has the potential and focus to do it.

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Author info

Ernie Hawks Ernie Hawks is a former theater director who has branched into the creative fields of writing and photography. He lives in a cabin in Athol with his lovely wife Linda, and feeds the birds in his spare time.

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