Courtesy photo Governor Brian Sandoval visits Mrs. Hafen’s fourth grade class at Pioche Elementary School Oct. 1. He made a surprise visit to the school as he was on a tour of the state parks in Lincoln County. He also had dinner with students at C.O. Bastian School in Caliente. On Friday, he visited with teachers and Principal Cherry Florence at Caliente Elementary and stopped for lunch at Windmill Ridge in Alamo.

Courtesy photo
Governor Brian Sandoval visits Mrs. Hafen’s fourth grade class at Pioche Elementary School Oct. 1. He made a surprise visit to the school as he was on a tour of the state parks in Lincoln County. He also had dinner with students at C.O. Bastian School in Caliente. On Friday, he visited with teachers and Principal Cherry Florence at Caliente Elementary and stopped for lunch at Windmill Ridge in Alamo.

Many had the unexpected opportunity to meet Nevada’s governor as he visited various parts of Lincoln County on Thursday and Friday last week.

“It wasn’t expected at all,” said Principal Pam Teel after Governor Brian Sandoval made a surprise visit to Pioche Elementary school Oct. 1. “We had very little notice, but were delighted to host him and two members of his staff, plus Cody Tingey of the Nevada State Parks.”

His visit to Lincoln County is part of his own personal plan to visit all the state parks in Nevada and have his Passport Booklet stamped. The booklet is a promotional tool Nevada State Parks provides to encourage people to visit all of the parks in the state. Once passport holders have their booklets stamped at 15 of the parks, they will earn one free annual pass to all Nevada State Parks. Lincoln County is home to five of Nevada’s 23 state parks, and governor visited all of them.

On his Twitter account, the governor praised Lincoln County’s state parks, calling Kershaw-Ryan “the perfect getaway for all ages,” Cathedral Gorge “a photographer’s dream” and Beaver Dam “one of Nevada’s best kept secrets,” among other positive comments.

During his Pioche visit, the governor visited all of the classrooms, the school grounds, had a picture taken with each class, gave each student a governor’s coin and answered lots of questions. “We were honored that he chose to tour Pioche Elementary,” Teel said.

Coincidentally, Sandoval had proclaimed the week of September 28 as the ‘week of respect.’ Thus on Monday, students wore blue to represent trustworthiness, green on Tuesday to represent responsibility, red on Wednesday to represent caring and yellow on Thursday to represent Respect.

To conclude the week, each student painted a rock, wrote a positive character trait on it, and placed it along the walking path up to the baseball field. The rocks can be seen around the school grounds at the school. Teel said the 5th grade class is working on letters about their day meeting the governor.

Sandoval later visited both Eagle Valley and Spring Valley State Park, then moved on to Caliente and had dinner with students at C.O. Bastian School.

On Friday, he was visiting the Caliente Linear Park, and it was suggested he meet with Principal Cherry Florence and her staff at Caliente Elementary, who were at the school for a CPR training session.

She said Sandoval asked, “What do I need to do for you? It’s nice to be able to hear from the educators what I can do.”

Florence said the half-hour Q and A session brought out a lot of points of concern as well as positive points. “He listened to us,” she said. “It’s nice to know that somebody is listening to us.”

People having a quiet lunch at Windmill Ridge in Alamo that afternoon were surprised to see the governor come through the door. He took pictures, shook hands and talked with several people there. He sat down for lunch with his two staff members before heading south to continue his state park visits.