Unrau steps down for Goessel school board after 24 years

The Goessel school board recognized board chairman Lynel Unrau for his 24 years of service during its June 16 meeting.

Unrau chose not to run for election again. Since this was the last meeting of the fiscal year, it was Unrau?s last meeting. He served on the board with five superintendents: Sam Ulsaker, Bob Van Arsdale, Carl Thiessen, Chet Roberts and John Fast.

Unrau expressed appreciation to the community, school district and school board. He also thanked his family, wife, parents and siblings.

?My brothers are busy harvesting wheat south of here without me,? he said.

Unrau commended the school: ?This district is great…. I?ve lived here my whole life…. I started in this building in first grade.?

His children all attended school at Goessel.

This was also the last meeting for Dewayne Voth, who also chose not to run for re-election.

?I appreciated being on the board the last eight years,? he said. ?We have a good school system.?

Voth expressed gratitude that his children had the opportunity to attend school at Goessel.

Unrau has served as board chairman for a number of years, and Voth has been the USD 411 representative for The Learning Consortium.

The board thanked both Unrau and Voth for their service to the district. James Wiens and Kelly Booton were voted in as the new board members at the last election. They both attended the meeting and will officially begin their duties in July.

On another matter, the board approved two resignations: Greg Bontrager and David Graham. Bontrager, who has accepted a teaching position in Buhler, has taught vocal music at Goessel for 19 years, beginning in 1990, when he finished his student teaching.

He first taught all students, grades K-12. More recently, he taught grades 4-12. He also coached cross country and golf.

Superintendent John Fast mentioned Bontrager?s ?passion for teaching,? commented how much the students enjoyed him, and emphasized how much he did for the music department.

Unrau said: ?I want to thank Mr. Bontrager for his 19 years of service here. His record speaks for itself…. He put Goessel on the map…. I wish him the best.?

Graham taught agriculture education at Goessel for three years. He was also the FFA sponsor and assistant high school Scholars Bowl coach. He had also been an assistant track coach.

Unrau thanked Graham for his years of service, saying, ?He never missed a beat. The awards speak for themselves. I wish him the best.?

Graham is planning to teach at Marysville, which is closer to his parents.

Computer proposal

The board discussed proposed computer purchases with Lee Buller. He said the junior high does not have enough computers. Twenty are available, and there is not enough lab space for more.

He showed the board a small laptop computer, which costs $324, compared to $1,490 that the school spent on regular-sized laptops three years ago. He said the smaller laptops can do what the big ones can; they are just a smaller size.

He proposed purchasing 20 such computers for the junior high and six for the grade school to be used in third, fourth and fifth grades. The computers would stay in school; students would not take them home.

Board member Lynnette Duerksen wondered if every student has a computer at home.

Fast answered, ?I know there are some who don?t.?

Buller said he surveyed junior high and high school students and found that 86 percent of them had a computer at home.

Other business

In other business, the board:

? approved a half-time contract for Renae Peters as grades six through 12 vocal music teacher. Peters is a graduate of Goessel High School and Bethel College. She has been teaching in Newton for five years.

Marcia Brubaker will continue as elementary vocal music teacher. However, her contract will now be half-time. She will teach grades K-5, which will be all the classes in the elementary school building. She had been teaching K-3.

? approved a full-time contract for Derrick Birdsell for the junior high language arts teaching position. He will also coach cross country. He is a graduate of Hesston High School and Kansas University. Previously, he taught and coached at Conway Springs.

? approved additional supplemental contracts: Susan Saunders as head junior high volleyball coach and Deryll Amstutz as assistant; Justin Coup as head golf coach; Sheri Janzen as head forensics coach, she had been assistant.

? noted supplemental positions that are still open: sophomore and junior class sponsors, FFA sponsor, assistant forensics coach, assistant high school Scholars Bowl coach, robotics coach and assistant high school boys? basketball coach.

According to Marc Grout, junior/senior high school principal, ?We may have well over 30 kids? in boys? basketball.

? approved a contract for Tony Martinez as junior high/high school custodian. Norman Schmidt retired from that position but agreed to continue working part-time.

? heard Fast report that enrollment projections show a possibility of 21 kindergarten students in fall. Eighteen seniors graduated this year.

Fast said he is cautiously optimistic: ?Next year we could actually have a slight increase in enrollment.?

n approved an increase in lunch prices. Elementary student lunches will now cost $1.80 each (up from $1.50), high school lunches will cost $2 (up from $1.70), and staff and visitor lunches will cost $2.85 (up from $2.50).

? heard board member Darla Meysing report that the Marion County Special Education Cooperative has already moved some things to the new special education building in Marion.

?Everything is moving along on schedule,? she said.

She said Goessel still needs a junior high special education teacher for the coming school year.

? heard Chet Roberts report that the school district is adequately covered financially, although, ?The state is holding up everything.?

? rescheduled the next board meeting for 4 p.m. July 13, not 7 p.m. as usual. Some board members cannot meet at the regular time that day.

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