Category: Schools

Marion seeking up to $250,000 through KDOT?s ?Safe Routes to School?

The City of Marion may receive notice of up to $250,000 in grant funding by January to encourage more children to walk to school, a consultant told the city council Monday.

David Johnson said that under Phase 1 of a companion grant for $15,000 already received, he discovered from a survey that only 10 percent of Marion children walk to school.

He said the Kansas Depart?ment of Transportation hopes to raise such percentages under its Safe Routes to Schools program to combat such issues as child obesity. Among other things, the grant might fund construction of new sidewalks on North Cedar and from Cedar to Lawrence.

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Three county musicians to participate in Masonic band camp

Three high school musicians from Marion County will be among the 214 scheduled to comprise the 24th annual Kansas Masonic All-State High School Marching Band Camp at Fort Hays State University, July 24-28. KimberLea Spencer, from Hillsboro High, and Kimber Hardey and Jessica Vogel, from Marion High, have been selected to participate. Spencer plays clarinet, Hardey plays horns and Vogel […]

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USD 410 Board approves bids for two out of tour projects

AMPI building and new athletic facility on hold for time being?

Unified School District 410 approved bids Monday for civil engineering and geotechnical services for two projects authorized in the June bond election.

That vote, which excluded approving those services for the transportation facility and central office at the former AMPI building, came after the board met in executive session with architects Kevin Helmer and David Riffel to discussion property acquisition.

?We need to discuss engineering bids,? Helmer said prior to the executive session. ?Otherwise it will slow everything down.?

Civil engineers determine the infrastructure for utilities while geotechnical services include recommendations for building foundations, Helmer said.

The firm Howard & Helmer does not provide those services, but will coordinate the work. The agreement is through USD 410 and must be approved by the board.

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Individual attention key for USD 398 superintendent
Individual attention key for USD 398 superintendent

Individual attention key for USD 398 superintendent

Rex Watson

We need to educate the whole child, and we need to take into consideration their individuality when we do that.?
?Rex Watson, USD 398 superintendent

Click image to enlarge.

At least one thread connects Rex Watson?s vocational commitment as the new superintendent of the Peabody-Burn school district with his otherwise unique avocation of building hot rods.

Watson, whose customizing talents have been featured in hot-rod publications, is convinced that whether it?s kids or cars, individual attention can turn a clunker into a classic.

?I?m a proponent of individualizing,? said Watson, who began his first superintendency July 1.

?The model we currently use in K-12 education is about 150 years old,? said the St. John native. ?It was built about the same time we were doing the Industrial Revolution. It looks, feels and tastes a whole lot like an assembly line.

?That was probably an excellent model 150 years ago, but we?re in the technology age now, and it?s time that we embrace change.

?It?s time where we individualize for students, and we take talents into consideration, we take interests into consideration, we take abilities into consideration and we take disabilities into consideration.?

Watson?s conviction applies to the behavioral development of children as well as their academic development.

?I don?t know if, in 2007-2008, it?s fair to expect all kids to behave in the same time and the same way to meet our cookie-cutter mold,? Watson said. ?We need to educate the whole child, and we need to take into consideration their individuality when we do that.?

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HHS band booster meeting rescheduled; camp set for July 23-25

The Hillsboro High School Band Booster meeting has been rescheduled from July 23, to 7:30 p.m., Aug. 6, according to Gregg Walker, director of bands. Walker is inviting all band students from grades eight through 12 to participate in the annual band camp from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., July 23-25. The camp will culminate with the march-through at the […]

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From competitor to collaborator
From competitor to collaborator

From competitor to collaborator

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?With kids, we have plenty of emphasis on competition. We don?t need our leaders being great competitors. We need our leaders being collaborators, people who understand the underprivileged, the ?losers.???Gordon Mohn at the conclusion of his 15-year stint as USD 410 superintendent. Click image to enlarge.

The headline for a retrospective story on Gordon Mohn?s 15-year tenure as Unified School District 410 superintendent could read: ?Local boy does good.?

Then again, Mohn probably would be the first to suggest a clarifying subhead: ?No one is more surprised than those who knew him as a youth.?

?People who would know me from high school would say I was kind of a bully,? the Hillsboro High School grad admitted Friday, his last day on the job after announcing his retirement earlier this spring.

In the days of youth, being the stereotypical rip-their-heads-off football jock was the role Mohn had cast for himself.

?I got in to fights, I liked to intimidate people,? he said. ?I was always bigger than kids in my class. I don?t know what happened. That?s all changed.?

Radically so, for those who know Mohn today as a thoughtful, soft-spoken, consensus-building advocate for kids?especially kids who are underdogs in the system because of economic or family background.

?With kids, we have plenty of emphasis on competition,? Mohn said. ?We don?t need our leaders being great competitors. We need our leaders being collaborators, people who understand the underprivileged, the ?losers.??

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Date of college loans determines impact of July 1 interest increase

If you?re borrowing money to pay for college?whether as a student or
a parent of a student?you are likely being swamped with direct-mail and
telemarketing enticements to consolidate before interest rates increase
on July 1.

Should you be paying attention to those enticements?

Only if you have loans that were taken out prior to July 1, 2006, say those who have worked with financial aid at Tabor College.

On
Sunday, July 1, interest rates will increase to 7.22 percent for
subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford Loans for students and to 8.02
percent for PLUS loans.

In all three cases, that?s an increase of
only 0.08 percent from the current fixed interest rate for loans that
were made after July 1, 2006.

?For any loans taken after July 1
of 2006, there isn?t a lot of advantage to consolidate because they
already have the fixed interest rate,? said Grant Brubacher, director
of financial aid at Tabor College.

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Graves resigns as principal

Following and executive session, the Goessel school board voted at
its June 18 meeting to accept the resignation of Curt Graves as
junior/senior high school principal.

Graves wrote that he and his family have enjoyed the challenges and
accomplishments of the community and school system the past three
years, but are moving to Parsons, where he will be principal at the
community?s Class 4A high school.

?I do want to thank the
staff, students, parents and community for welcoming us and allowing us
the privilege to work with each person,? Graves added. ?Goessel is a
tremendous community and has a school system with staff that truly care
about students? futures.?

Board chairman Lynel Unrau expressed
appreciation to Graves for his years of service: ?He came to us three
years ago with a lot of enthusiasm as a young administrator and brought
new energy to the school district.?

Unrau noted that under
Graves? leadership, programs in all areas continued a tradition of
excellence. ?He will do well wherever he goes; we were glad to have him
here,? he added.

Unrau also acknowledged the contribution that
Graves? wife, Val, has made to the community as director of Joyful
Noise Community Child Care Center.

Unrau presented retiring board
member Richard Drake with a plaque for his eight years on the board.
Drake has been Goessel?s representative to the Marion County Special
Education Cooperative six of those years, the last two as president of
the co-op.

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Tabor releases Dean?s List for spring

The Tabor College Office of Academic Affairs has released the Spring
2007 semester Dean?s List, naming students who qualified for honors
based on their academic performances.

Highest Honors is assigned to
students achieving a 3.85 to 4.0 grade-point average, while those with
a 3.70 to 3.849 GPA received High Honors. Students earning a 3.50 to
3.699 GPA received Honors.

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HHS performers win two Jester Awards for ?Shenandoah?
HHS performers win two Jester Awards for ?Shenandoah?

HHS performers win two Jester Awards for ?Shenandoah?

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Click image to enlarge.

Aaron Stepanek, David Vogel, Darren Enns and Alex Jost pose with the Jester Award they received May 26 from the Music Theatre of Wichita for ?Outstanding Production Number.? The foursome performed the number during the HHS fall production of ?Shenan?doah,? directed by Lynn Just, as well as at the awards ceremony in Wichita. Enns is holding the Jester Award he received as ?Outstand?ing Lead Male? from the same production. He and Audrey Weinbrenner, who was nominated for ?Outstanding Lead Female,? also performed during the awards ceremony.

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