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Philip students study leap year with four local citizens born on February 29th

From left: Roger Williams with 13 calendar birthdays, Cheryl Hook who is only nine birthdays old, Gay Logan with 19 birthdays and Carson Daly celebrating his first February 29th birthday.

"The students were so worried that Carson has never really had a birthday before now," said Philip third grade instructor Karen Rembold. Carson Daly, son of Steve and Julie Daly of Midland, celebrated his first calendar birthday on February 29th. He is actually four years old.

He and three others, Roger Williams, Cheryl Hook and Gay Logan, visited the classroom to culminate the third grade studies of leap year.

While grasping the idea of an extra day every four years, the students studied the history of different calendars. They learned about the rotation of the planets and the seasons on earth. They used math by adding and subtracting years and in using time measurements of years, months, days, hours and minutes.

Speaking for the class, Riley Heltzel stated without help, "A year has 365 days, five hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds."

Rembold said, "There are not many people around who really understand everything about leap year. Until now, I was a bit unclear on it. I learned something from my students. They are quick enough to ask questions, and it was interesting how they got on the Internet for the answers. They brought in books they have found (on the subject). Through the process, they have taught me a lot, too."

Williams told the class, "I was the first leap year baby born in Philip. I was born at 12:06 a.m. Dr. George Mangulis offered to put back the clock, but my parents said no. I started driving when I was only four and I became a fireman when I was six."

Williams continued, "My other birthdays were okay, but the 28th was just the end of the month, not my birthday, but March 1st was another month. On the leap year birthdays I always got something a little special."

Hook is originally from Kadoka, but married a Philip man and they have children presently enrolled in the Philip schools. She said that her being born on February 29th was actually pretty "blah." She celebrated birthdays on February 28th when it wasn't a leap year. "It has been nice not to have that 29th birthday. It's good to skip that one," she said. Hook was amazed that the third grade students had learned a true year's length down to the minute.

Hook works at the hospital in Philip. With Williams and Logan living on the same block, the three have met together on past February 29ths at Logan's for coffee and a small birthday party.

Logan's birth was a little bit more interesting than most. Her family lived in the Grindstone area and she was born on a sled while her parents were trying to get to Wall before the delivery.

As a young person, when her February 29th birthday did come around, the whole community, the church and everything, came out for the birthday celebration. She now has some grandchildren who have had more correctly-dated birthdays than she has.

Daly's mother, Julie (Kroetch), was a previous student of Rembold's. She said that Carson was delivered a month early. His projected birth date was April Fool's Day, but he was born on February 29th instead. Since he was born after 9:00 p.m., they have celebrated his first three birthdays on March 1st, which happens to also be his Grandpa Mickey Daly's birthday. She and her husband want to do something kind of special for his every fourth year birthday, the one on February 29th. Last week he went roller skating for the first time.

The third grade students talked with their guests, related some of what they learned about leap year and had cupcakes to celebrate the four birthdays.