Long-Time Goessel School Employee Retires


The Goessel school board met on December 12 and accepted the retirement resignation of Londell Duerksen, a long-time maintenance employee. He worked at the school for over 40 years. According to superintendent/K-5 principal Mark Crawford, “Mr. Londell Duerksen is an amazing man. His smile, his work ethic, and his many years of experience will be greatly missed.” Duerksen’s carpentry skills were mentioned, also his grounds work and many other skills. According to Crawford, Duerksen’s “craftsmanship on countless district projects has literally touched the lives of students, staff and community members.” A come-and-go breakfast reception was planned for Duerksen.

The board also accepted the resignation of Pam Abrahams, who has been the gardening teacher for a number of years. Crawford commended her work for this “unique program.” He said, “Pam did an excellent job.” Board members expressed appreciation for the garden project and what it teaches the students. Crawford also mentioned Abrahams’ involvement with the OWLS project.

Turning their attention to another matter, the board heard from junior high/high school principal Scott Boden about community service day. He talked about the positive impact on students and those they helped. Boden said the day had been organized by STUCO, FCCLA, and FFA with the help of social science teacher Gerard Dunne, family and consumer science teacher Brittany Hiebert, and ag teacher Alicia Cox.

Boden said students helped with grounds and maintenance projects at the grade school and high school. They raked leaves in the community and did some farm clean-up projects. They helped with projects at Bethesda Home. Students organized a food pantry and storage room at New Hope Shelter in Newton. They also took food to the shelter.

According to Boden, “Students and staff did a great job.”

* voted to hire Kaleigh Guhr for the preschool teacher assistant position.

* heard from Crawford that school was canceled an extra day before Thanksgiving because of the large number of students who were sick.

* heard from Boden about the Bluebird Classic basketball tournament. He expressed gratitude for staff and volunteers. He said admission had been increased by a dollar to help meet rising official costs.

* talked about at-risk funding, noting that the number of students who qualify for free and reduced-price lunches has increased in recent years.

* heard from board member Patrick Flaming that the state law regarding non-resident students will change in 2024-2025.

* heard from Crawford about Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund money. Crawford said the application for ESSER money would be due soon and explained some of the restrictions. He talked about interventions and using some of the money for the school nurse and someone from Prairie View.

* heard from board member Maynard Knepp that “everything is going well” with the Marion County Special Education Cooperative. He said the board is spending a large portion of time working to hire a new executive director.

* briefly discussed the “Every Child Can Read” act.

* approved Knudsen Monroe and Company LLC to continue as financial auditors for the 2022-2023 school year.

* approved the month’s expenditures which amounted to $123,289.52.

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