Goessel School Board Hears of Long-Time Secretary’s Retirement

The Goessel school board met on April 8 and accepted the resignation of long-time elementary school office manager/secretary Denise Nickel, who plans to retire in summer. She has worked for the school for 25 years. Superintendent/elementary school principal Dr. John Fast said her service to the school “has been marked by her dedication, hard work, and loyalty.” He mentioned her helpful attitude and caring heart and her commitment to students and staff. He said the school “will miss her deeply,” but she will come back to watch her grandchildren in various school activities.

The board accepted Nickel’s resignation and noted her “awesome job” and her kindness. Board chair Kelly Booton expressed appreciation for her work and dedication.

Fast noted that the elementary school building opened in 1959, consolidating a number of country schools. In those 60 years, Fast said the elementary school has only had two secretaries: Elsie Schmidt for the first 35 years until 1994, and Nickel for the next 25.

The board made plans to advertise immediately for the 10-month position. Applicants need to have strong organizational and computer skills, ability to multi-task and should enjoy working with students and staff and represent the school.

Turning their attention to another matter, the board talked about Career Cruising and Individual Plans of Study. Junior high/high school principal Scott Boden said this information is used to build the course schedule for next year. He said Computer Science will be offered as a new course next year, made possible through the Amazon Future Engineer program.

Fifth-grade teacher Ilona Abrahams attended the meeting and talked about how alumni could fit in with Career Pathways and Career Technical Education. She talked with the board about inviting nine or 10 alumni to talk with students about careers possibilities. Boden said that would “tie in” with what high school teacher Crysta Guhr teaches in project management. Fast said it would also coordinate with school board goals.

In other business, the board:

* accepted the resignation of Megan Voth, junior high volleyball coach. She coached at Goessel for one year. Boden commented, “I appreciate her care for students and efforts to connect” with them.

* heard that the school had earned $4,000 from recent cookie sales. Fast thanked the Parent-Teacher Organization, students, parents, and the community for supporting the fund-raiser.

* heard about the need for a play area for small children. Fast noted that children in the school’s preschool program need play equipment that is more suited to their size.

* assigned board responsibilities for eighth grade and high school graduation.

* discussed a policy for use of the breathalyzer that had been donated to the school by the Marion County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition. The board discussed the possibility of attempting to notify parents prior to testing. Boden said some schools require all students to be tested at events. The board will discuss a breathalyzer policy again next month.

* approved out-of-state travel for FCCLA students who plan to attend the national conference in Los Angeles, California, in summer. “It is exciting to get students to a national convention,” Fast said.

* heard of recent accomplishments in the league art contest at Solomon on April 3.

* approved an eighth grade out-of-state trip to the Steamboat Arabia Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, on May 9. They will also visit the Capitol in Topeka that day.

* listened to a legislative report from board member Kyle Funk. He said the state school finance plan had passed. The board noted that Representative Owens voted against the school finance plan, but Senator Wilborn voted for it, although he had voted against it in the past. It was noted that Owens replaced Don Schroeder in the state legislature.

* noted that June 3 is the deadline for filing for school board positions.

* heard from Fast that about 120 people had attended the Early Child Engagement Night. He noted that “there are a lot of families with young children.” The evening included a free supper. Farm animals and equipment were also part of the evening.

* heard that state assessment tests are underway. Boden expressed appreciation for counselor Janna Duerksen’s work in coordinating the testing.

* heard that all juniors and seniors completed ACT testing and Work Keys testing, which is now free and offered at the school.

* heard of high participation in track and golf.

* heard that representatives from Wonders reading curriculum were scheduled to present a workshop to teachers.

* heard appreciation from Abrahams for the “little things,” such as new curtains and a new door for her classroom.

* heard the Marion County Special Education Cooperative report from board member Bryant Miller. He said the MCSEC had received bids for the flat roof on the building. The MSCEC board had also received some staff resignations.

* approved Kansas Association of School Boards dues of $7,103.07. “It’s nice to have that advice available,” Fast said. Boden added, “I think it’s definitely a huge asset.”

* heard that school board members are invited to the Goessel Community Foundation banquet that is coming up in April.

* noted the Kansas Education Systema Accreditation visit that is scheduled for April 17.

* had previously approved the 2019-2020 school calendar, noting the following dates: enrollment on August 7 and 8, in-service days August 16-21, and the first day of school August 22. There will be no school on September 2 (Labor Day), October 18 (in-service and teacher workday), October 25, November 27-29 (Thanksgiving), December 23 to January 3 (Christmas), February 17, March 6 (teacher in-service and work day), March 16-20 (spring break), April 10 and 13 (Easter).

* approved the monthly financial statements of $59,460.71.