Category Archives: Yerington Schools

Yerington High School Mining Club Advisors, Science Teachers, Joanna Kuzia and Keith Slator

Yerington High School Mining Club Advisors, Science Teachers, Joanna Kuzia and Keith Sluyter

Left to right is Yerington High School Science Teachers  Mining Club Advisors,  Joanna Kuzia and Keith Slater, Nevada Coppers Community Relations Coordinator, Rita Kay Menesini and Mining Club member and student,

Left to right is Yerington High School Science Teachers & Mining Club Advisors, Joanna Kuzia and Keith Sluyter, Nevada Copper’s Community Relations Coordinator, Rita Kay Menesini and Mining Club member and Yerington High School 12th grade student, Max McCandless.

SCHOOL HAS STARTED FOR THE 2015-16 YEAR ! A time for clubs and organizations to recruit and sign up new members.

Yerington High School students learn about the different clubs & organizations & what may interest them for becoming a member.

Yerington High School students learn about the different clubs & what may interest them in becoming a member.

For the fourth year now, Nevada Copper is teaming up with Yerington High School to organize the Mining Club.  With all of the potential mining activity in Mason Valley, it is an incredible opportunity for high school students to learn about the industry.  Pumpkin Hollow provides a real life mine project in their backyard to see all the facets of the mining industry and the potential careers.  Yerington High School Science Teachers Joanna Kuzia and Keith Sluyter have agreed to be advisors for the Mining Club supported by Nevada Copper Community Relations Coordinator Rita Menesini and other company staff.  Past activities include field trips to the Pumpkin Hollow Project, a visit to a major mining convention (American Exploration & Mining Association’s (AEMA) Annual meeting and symposium), University of Nevada Reno Mackay School of Engineering and Earth Sciences, visiting speakers, weekly meetings and links to internet websites with information on mining.

The following information on the importance of the Yerington High School Mining Club was posted at the AEMA website:  

“The Yerington High School (YHS) Mining Club, a group of students from Yerington, Nevada with a shared interest in the mining industry, is unique. They’re one of the only high school mining clubs in the United States. Seriously. I think that needs to change. There need to be more opportunities for high school students to get involved with mining through clubs like YHS’s. Why? I’ll give you five reasons:

  1. It’s fun: For students interested in mining, what could be better than getting together to explore and learn about minerals, metals, and the mining industry with like-minded peers? Being part of a mining club can also provide unique experiences that build on and enhance in-class learning about subjects like geology, minerals, and natural resources. This brings me to my next point …
  2. It’s hands-on: Nevada Copper’s community relations coordinator Rita Menesini helped start the YHS mining club and Nevada Copper, along with other local mining companies like Entrée Gold, has given presentations and tours to the group. Nevada Copper has also hosted the club at the AEMA’s Annual Meeting, the second-biggest mining convention in the U.S., the past few years (read more about their experience in the Reno Gazette here). These activities provide plenty of physical and hands-on interaction with minerals, metals, and the professionals that mine them.
  3. There’s a need for more mining education:The opportunity to teach high school students and others about minerals, metals, and mining can’t be missed. According to a recent article by Mining Engineers, “Two-thirds of the professionals entering the minerals industry who graduated within the past 40 years graduated prior to 1985.” There’s a great need to connect and engage students and young professionals with the mining industry in order to build up the next generation of mining professionals.
  4. A chance to interact with real-world mining professionals: One of the YHS Mining Club members had this to say about AEMA’s Annual Meeting: “What I found to be very helpful is the way vendors at the exhibit were willing to take the time to talk with me, even though I was only a high school student.” Chances like these to connect and interact with established professionals in the mining industry are a great way to start giving students and young people a practical look at the mining industry. It’s one thing to learn about mining concepts in a school setting, it’s another to be able to experience the practical realities of mining via interaction with real-world miners. Clubs like YHS’s are a great way to offer these kinds of opportunities.
  5. It’s a fantastic learning experience:One YHS club member, again speaking about the AEMA Annual Meeting, said, “I have learned much about the mining community … There are a wide range of jobs that are involved in the mining industry that I did not know about.” Learning about the mining industry and the various opportunities available through activities like the YHS Mining Club is a great way expand students’ horizons.

We need more clubs like Yerington High School’s. The fact they are one of the only high school mining clubs in the country is an epic missed opportunity. With mining clubs like YHS’s, we can help the next generation take advantage of all the amazing hands-on opportunities to learn about minerals, metals, mining, and the professional opportunities available to them in related industries.”


Left to right is Mackay School of Mines Graduate, Timothy Kiley of the UNR Metallurgical Engineering Department, Yerington High School Club Members, Stephani Pena, Fransisco Leyva, YHS Club Advisor and Science Teacher Crystal Mattice, members Max McCandless, Cierra Sullivan, Melissa Pursel, Marlena Smith and Lilliana Sanchez.


Standing next to the hoist drums are Yerington High School Mining Club members from left to right, Melissa Pursel, Marlena Smith, YHS Advisor & Science Teacher, Crystal Mattice, Stephani Pena, (crouching) Lilliana Sanchez, Fransisco Leyva, Cierra Sullivan, Max McCandless and UNR Mackay School of Mines, Metallurgy graduate Timothy Kiley.

The Yerington High School Mining Club of 2015 came to visit the Pumpkin Hollow Mine for their school year tour.  This is YHS Mining Club’s 2nd tour since they started the club in 2013.  Not all club members were able to attend because of the end-of-the-school year activities, but we were glad to have those who could.  Pumpkin Hollow also was fortunate to have a UNR Mackay School of Mines graduate from the Metallurgical Department, Mr. Timothy Kiley come join us.   Tim Kiley was beneficial in answering questions and giving valuable information on metallurgy.  After a safety briefing given by Community Relations Coordinator, Rita Menesini, and getting geared-up with their PPE (personal protective equipment), the club members, club advisor and Tim Kiley went on their guided tour by Rita Menesini and Cementation’s Project Manager, Murph Miniely.  The group experienced the hoist in operation,  waste rock pouring out the headframe dump chutes and the many drill rigs operating at Pumpkin Hollow.  After the tour, an overview and Q&A session was given by Tim Dyhr, VP of Environmental & External Relations and VP of Operations, Tim Arnold during a pizza lunch.

Thank you Yerington High School Club Members for your hard work & effort.  Keep rocking!!



Several tons of scrap steel has accumulated in the last couple years here at Pumpkin Hollow.  This is material from miscellaneous fabrication that is not suitable for construction but too good to throw in the scrap container.  Nevada Copper has donated this scrap metal to Yerington High School’s welding class for use by the industrial arts department welding program.  Welding teacher, Cody Neville said inventory of scrap metal was low and Nevada Copper’s donation helped supply for future classes.  The Pumpkin Hollow team is more than happy to help out future welders.



This is one of four trailer loads Nevada Copper donates to the Yerington High School Industrial Arts Welding Program.


Welding teacher, Coach Cody Neville help his students unload Nevada Copper's donation of scrap metal.

Welding teacher, Coach Cody Neville helps his students unload Nevada Copper’s donation of scrap metal.





The philosophy of the welding program is to provide students the opportunity to learn about welding as an occupation and as a possible career choice. This will be accomplished through various types of metal welding, brazing, flame cutting, blueprint reading, electrical principles, welding symbols, mechanical drawing while emphasizing applied academics, leadership, organizational skills and professional development.

Metal fabrication involves cutting, altering and shaping steel or other materials through the use of different tools, techniques and processes. Welding is then used to fuse or join the metals parts together. Fabrication and welding projects can involve simple, basic techniques, or they can be highly specialized and complex. In this welding program, students develop skills in interpreting blueprints; creating the exact shape of a part for cutting, fabrication and welding; and producing quality parts through the use of different techniques and materials. They learn the basic skills necessary to program and operate computer-controlled press brakes and shears, plasma arc cutting machines and micro-processor-based power sources. The emphasis is placed on welding techniques and joining methods.   This program prepares students for jobs such as fabricator, laser operator, welder/press operator or welder.

Many opportunities exist internationally for welding professionals in the mining industry. Professions like that of a fabrication engineer, a professional welder, a boiler maker or a sheet metal worker, all involve a knowledge of welding. The mining industry in particular requires individuals who specialize as welding professionals.

Being a welder involves the construction and repairing of metal products. The class of the welder is directly proportional to the complexity of the tasks performed. For instance, a first class welder will use qualified procedures which determine the welding methods to use, joint preparations, the choice of consumables, level of preheat and nature of any post weld heat treatment. Related professions include that of boiler makers and sheet metal workers who can also follow a career in mining.


A hallway full of little snowflake dancers and ballerinas.  The Studio Dancers waiting their turn to perform.



Mackenzie Lemos poses before her next performance “Dazzle Dazzle”.


Nevada Copper along with many other businesses and organizations help support "Through a Child's Eyes Foundation".

Nevada Copper along with many other businesses and organizations help support “Through a Child’s Eyes Foundation”.


The Winter Wonderland Production presented at the Yerington Intermediate School gym Saturday, January 24 was enjoyed tremendously by a packed house (sold out).  The stage was filled with winter beauty and a very talented group of performers.

The community showcase featured performances by The Studio Academy of Dance and Music dancers, professional musicians and singers, including violin, choirs and a competition team debut, partnering with the University of Nevada-Reno Fraternity of Musical Performers and Reno Dance Company.  The show also featured a dessert buffet by Yerington’s  local bakery – The Bakery Gallery.


Mason Frey, a local performer entertained the audience during costume changes.


  “To share the magic of the theater as seen through a child’s eyes….

It is the mission of our foundation to give children both young and old the opportunity to experience the magic of the theater through participation as either a performer or audience member.  We recognize that the arts opens doors, minds, and hearts in ways that no other experience can, and it is the goal of our foundation to support a child’s dream of one day becoming a ballerina, conductor, singer, actor, or audient participant through the magic of the stage, as seen through a child’s eyes.   Through a Child’s Eyes Foundation is a 5013-c non-profit organization established in 2007 by Cathe Faretto as she followed her dream of bringing magic to our community.