Stucky adds spice to Goessel life, friends say

brian Stucky has been sharing his knowledge of art, photography and history with students and adults alike during the 20 years he has lived in Goessel.

?He?s an extremely creative person,? said Chet Roberts, Goessel High School principal. ?He has a passion for the odd or eccentric. The things people wouldn?t think about.?

Roberts describes Stucky as a unique individual and a person who gets involved in a lot of things.

Stucky has taught at the local elementary and high schools since moving to town. He teaches art to grades kindergarten through 12 and photography in the high school.

Stucky said he has enjoyed living and teaching in a small town because it gives him the opportunity to follow kids all the way through school and see them get married. He?s also had the pleasure of teaching the children of some of his previous high school students.

?You see the fruits of your work a lot more when you live in a small town,? Stucky said. ?I?m a strong believer of the ?it takes a village? philosophy.?

He also serves as head track coach for the high school and was a basketball coach for 16 years and a volleyball coach for 10 years.

During his time in Goessel, Stucky has tried to make people aware of accomplishments of individuals from there.

One of his projects involves displaying the pictures of state champions from Goessel at the high school. Stucky said when he arrived at Goessel, only one picture was on display. Now, through research and help from others, 65 pictures hang on the wall in the high school.

In 1994, Stucky started the Emil Kym (Kim) Memorial Art Gallery in the high school. In it, he displays students? work, as well as outside exhibits.

Stucky started another project last summer to raise money for the art department: a local movie theater, of sorts.

He shows old movies?made before 1965?at the high school. Stucky said a lot of older people, as well as youth, come to see the movies because they did not see them when they were first released.

Stucky also is involved in the Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church, which he serves as chairman. In that role he leads council meetings and quarterly congregational meetings. Stucky also helps church committees with their work.

?I really enjoy being active in things,? Stucky said.

As a way to share his knowledge of history with others, Stucky serves as a tour guide at the Goessel Heritage Museum and the Alexanderwohl Church.

Stucky became interested in history during the 1974 Mennonite centennial. He said he was the only person his age involved in activities.

?I decided to keep my eyes open and listen to the old-timers,? he said.

The following year he took a trip to Europe, where he saw a variety of historical sites. As a result, Stucky said he developed an interest in the genealogy of his family and the town.

?He just adds a dimension that nobody else can add,? Roberts said of Stucky. ?He adds a sense of purpose.?

Stucky said he once read an article that said people choose one of two paths in life, money or meaning.

He said he has chosen meaning.

?My mind-set is to seek out what?s meaningful and important in life and how I can communicate that,? he said.

Stucky has a mission statement hanging in his classroom: to raise the image of Goessel for people outside and inside the community.

In his spare time, Stucky works on his other projects.

Several years ago, he began compiling information on vintage basketball gyms in Kansas. To add interest, he is including a profile of a previous coach or player with each gym.

Stucky came up with the idea to document the old gyms when Goessel began remodeling its own. He also knew of other schools tearing down old gyms.

?I thought, well, isn?t that a shame,? he said.

After two years, he has documented around 35 gyms. He is about a fourth of the way through with the project. Once completed, he hopes to have it made into a book.

Other work of Stucky?s will appear in Kansas Magazine this summer. He completed a photography project on the Mennonite Heritage Museum to accompany a story about it.

Stucky lives in Goessel with his wife, Nancy, and their daughter, Melinda, who is a freshman in high school. Their son, Alan, attends Bethel College.

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