Roberts to work for Goessel?s well-being in new role

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JULIE ANDERSON
Chet Roberts, a familiar face in the Goessel school system, hopes to

keep the system competitive as he makes the change from high school

principal to superintendent July 1.



Roberts is looking forward to the new challenges and feels change is

healthy.



?It was just a matter of having done basically all I could do as a

principal,? he said. ?I have enjoyed it thoroughly. I am going to miss

the kids. I think that?s going to be the biggest question mark I have

as a superintendent.?



In his new role, Roberts also will have less direct contact with

teaching staff and more with the school board.



Roberts has set several goals that he wants to pursue as

superintendent.



?One thing I think is extremely important is that we would like to

maintain the great programs we have academically, athletically and

activity-wise,? he said. ?We have a great reputation and we need to

try to encourage those staff and students to keep the expectations

high.?



He said a key task will be to find and keep good staff members.



Roberts is also looking to the capital needs of the school, especially

its buses.



?We have an aging fleet of buses and are going to have to look at

doing some things about that,? he said.



He believes the school has several facility needs, including finishing

the green house and storage facility and adding a running track,

stadium and fencing.



Roberts also wants to improve technology resources at the school.



?I think with technology we are going to do more and more things,? he

said.



Roberts would like Goessel to offer all of the classes a school like

Wichita East or Newton High School offers. He said technology is

probably the answer through ?virtual school,? where classes are

offered over the Internet.



?That is the direction we are starting to move right now,? Roberts

said. ?If we don?t do that, we are going to die.?



Goessel also faces the challenge of a declining enrollment. The number

of students decreased each of the past two or three years and is

projected to drop again this fall and the next.



A smaller student body means less state funding, which directly

affects the school system?s budget.



Roberts said part of his task is to help patrons understand the

challenges the school is facing.



?I think one of the important things is to get out in the community

and talk to people, go to community events and talk to community

groups,? he said.



He said patrons have to understand they can?t afford to have

everything they?d like to have.



?I think communication between administration and teachers and the

community is very important,? Roberts said.



Toward that goal, he wants to produce a budget document for public

distribution that will explain budget needs and issues.



Roberts said Goessel residents need to be aware of the study the state

is doing about school consolidation. He hopes to keep the Goessel

system competitive.



?We need to do this to ensure the school is not going to be in that

study,? Roberts said.



One thing in Goessel?s favor is that students earn good test scores.



?I think we need to sell our community and school,? Roberts said.

?We?ve got a great town and school, and we need to let people know

about it. The only way this community is going to survive is if the

school survives.?



Roberts has worked in the school district since 1970. He started as a

teacher and coach before becoming high school principal in 1989.



He likes Goessel because it is a small town where people really care

about education.



?It?s probably one of the top p

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