Goessel school board hears of student achievements

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CYNTHIA GOERZEN
Goessel Elementary School Principal John Fast told the Goessel School Board at its March 11 meeting that the sixth-grade Goessel Gizmos robotics students came home from the Wichita State University competition with several trophies made out of Legos, placing second overall.

Twelve students attended. They competed with the Lego robotics they had built and programmed ahead of time. Fast teaches the robotics class, which meets twice a week.

Fast also reported that Goessel students had a “clean sweep” of the Marion County soil conservation poster awards-winning first, second and third place in both age categories, grades one through three and grades four through six.

Stuart Holmes, junior/senior high school principal, also highlighted recent honors. He commended the junior high music students and teachers for their performance at the league music contest.

Both the band and the choir received two I+ ratings and a I rating. Holmes said these were the top ratings given for large groups. He said individuals also rated well. Bud Meisel is the band director, and Greg Bontrager directs the choir.

Board Chair Lynel Unrau said the junior high band played a piece that the state high school Kansas Music Educators Association band had played a few years ago. The junior high choir also performed a difficult piece.

Holmes said that four high school students had been selected to perform at the state KMEA convention in Wichita.

“We had outstanding representation,” Holmes said.

Board member Lynnette Duerksen commended the Elbiata singing group for the Valentine’s Day performance that she heard.

Other honors were earned in a League of Municipalities writing contest and an FCCLA entrepreneurship project. The three seniors who competed in the entrepreneurship project received a gold at the district level and will advance to state competition in April.

Students participating in Goessel’s charter-school classes will have plants available for the public to purchase in April, according to Holmes. The plants were started in the school’s greenhouse as part of class requirements.

“I appreciate Mr. Schrag and the students for getting that started,” Holmes said.

High school science teacher Don Dailey showed the board the water sampling and testing equipment his class uses in a new program started as part of the charter school.

The board accepted the retirement of Verda Wedel, an aide for kindergarten through sixth grade, and the resignations of Norma Duerksen, Title I reading teacher, and Lisa Unruh, cheerleading coach. The board expressed appreciation for their service.

In other business:

Holmes expressed appreciation to the student organizations, businesses and booster club for contributing the money for new trophy cases that have been installed by the high school gym.

The board approved the 2002-03 school calendar, which was described at last month’s meeting.

The board discussed purchasing a new bus. Superintendent Chet Roberts reported that a new 66-passenger bus would cost about $60,000. He said one 48-passenger bus in operation has 160,000 miles on it.

“That’s too many miles for a route bus,” he said.

Roberts was authorized to obtain bids for one more large bus. He said the turning radius is like that of a 48- passenger bus.

The board discussed The Learning Consortium. Roberts said the school’s studio equipment is obsolete. New technology will probably cost $15,000. Hutchinson Junior College is in the process of writing a grant that would help cover part of the cost.

“We have plenty of students to justify using it,” Roberts said.

Fast reported that grades four through six will present a musical March 25. The musical has an ancient Egypt theme.

Fast said he has been accepted into Wichita State University’s doctoral program. The board agreed to send a letter of support.

Holmes reported on the Heart of America League meeting he had attended.

Unrau and Roberts reported on legislative meetings they had attended. Duerksen asked about consolidation. “I think we’re safe,” Roberts assured her.

Unrau added that it helps to be a progressive school with good assessment scores.

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