Goessel board hears from local foundation


Cindy Wiens, chair of the Goessel Community Foundation, told the Goessel school board at its Aug. 13 meeting how donors can fulfill their charitable wishes and benefit the community.

Wiens, an attorney with expertise in estates and trusts, said wealth in the past stayed in a community after the last parent died, but that does not happen as much any more.

“Now, once the wealth leaves, it won’t come back,” she said, especially if no other family members continue to live in the community.

Through the new Goessel Community Foundation, she said, residents can leave a legacy in the community.

Wiens was accompanied by fellow board members Myron Schmidt, Anita Goertzen, Peggy Jay, Patsy Dirksen, Linda Peters, Karen Dalke and John Fast.

The goal of the foundation, Wiens said, is to enhance the quality of life in Goessel. A permanent endowment is one option.

She mentioned an endowed scholarship or pass-through scholarship as possibilities. Wiens said the foundation would like to establish an education fund. They are also working on a fund for senior adults.

Wiens said donors can designate funds for specific uses, such as grants, scholarships and the park improvement fund.

The foundation wants to serve as a resource for all of the community non-profit organizations.

Wiens said the goal of the foundation is $117,000 by 2017. In order to achieve that goal, the foundation is encouraging community members to set aside 5 percent for the community as “one of the most significant things a community can do to ensure its future.”

Deeper cuts?

In his legislative report to the board, James Wiens said it appears the governor’s priorities will probably come to pass; he warned fellow board members that even deeper cuts in education funding are likely.

The board noted an article in the Hutchinson News that suggested consolidation is a possibility, with increased pressure on rural areas of the state.

Other business

In other business, the board:

• heard that Londell Duerk­sen, full-time elementary school custodian for 30 years, would like to begin working part-time at the end of October. The board approved his request, noting his “tremendous skills in carpentry.”

Donna Spoonmore and Morris Ewert will take on more custodial work.

• offered appreciation to custodians at the junior/senior high school for the work completed during summer. Ben Schmidt, Spoonmore and Norman Schmidt are the custodians at that building.

Scott Boden, junior high and high school principal, said they “have done an excellent job of preparing the building for the start of school.”

Their projects have included painting, waxing floors, landscaping, plumbing and electrical work.

• approved Ann Thiessen as the special education driver. Tim Goertzen had previously been approved as the van driver for the vocational technical students.

• approved Adam Akers for technical assistance for the high school musical production.

• heard from Superintendent John Fast that enrollment is “holding steady” for the 2012-13 school year, with a head count of 267 students, which is “level with last year,” he said, although he acknowledged that is not yet the official count.

• heard that sports practice began Aug. 13, the first day of school would be Aug. 23 and the fall sports preview will be at 5:30 p.m. Aug 24.

• heard from Fast that the elementary school will host an open house at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 27. Each grade level will have about 15 minutes to make a presentation to parents.

• heard from Boden that Nathan Graber and Rob Tierney have been working to update computer hardware and software. He said the computer security system is being improved.

• heard from Boden that time has been added to the schedule to provide additional support for junior high and high school students who struggle with math and reading.

• discussed facility needs for the future. Board chair Dan Miller said, “We’re not talking about something extravagant, just sustainable.”

Board heard about agriculture technology and science lab needs.

• heard from Fast that The Learning Consortium had its annual organizational meeting and elected Chuck Buller president and Keith Becker vice president.

In addition to Goessel, the TLC includes Moundridge, Canton-Galva and Hesston. Fast said Goessel’s financial responsibility is holding steady at $2,000. He said Goessel and Canton-Galva upgraded their TLC equip­ment. Moundridge also is planning to upgrade.

• heard the Marion County Special Education Cooperative report from board member Kelly Booton, who said all MCSEC positions are filled and that director David Sheppard’s contract has been approved through 2014.

Booton expressed appreciation for Sheppard’s work: “He’s definitely an asset.”

• discussed appreciation for all school employees. In past years, the board has hosted an ice cream social before school started. However, this year the board voted instead to purchase a Bluebird shirt for all employees.

• discussed the activity fee, which is $10 per activity, with a cap of $50 per student or $100 per family. The board said the fees are reasonable compared to other schools, noting that some charge $50 to play sports.

• approved the 2012-13 budget of nearly $4.125 million, with a mill rate that is slightly lower than last year.

The rate for 2012-13 will be 56.224 compared to 56.247 for 2011-12.


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