Even with budget challenges, students still achieved

Reductions in state aid were the primary opponent of the six public school districts within the Free Press distribution area during 2010. Even with cuts and schedule changes, students excelled in a variety of disciplines and forums.

Meanwhile, in privated education, Tabor College got a boost in revenue with another year of record enrollment.

January

USD 410 Superintendent Steve Noble said if a projected reduction in state aid for education fulfills the projection of being 22 percent below the amount passed into law in 2008, ?the system will implode.?

Tabor College welcomed its first scholar in residence, Jaya?kar Delavi, a business professor and management expert from India. He will teach classes in his field during the college?s January interterm.

Shortening the number of classroom days, freezing salaries or cutting staff are only some of the tough choices area school districts are making to deal with the state?s ongoing economic crisis and resulting shortfalls in school finance.

A group of recent Marion High School graduates, home for the holidays, performed three one-act plays as a way to give back to the community. The students were Brent Billings, Isaac Gutersloh, Lucy Collett, Tiley Ross, Luke Bowers, Casey Legg, T.C. Edwards and Emily Svoboda.

USD 410 has decided to go ?paperless,? which means electronic communication will be the norm rather than hardcopy reports. The move is a way to reduce costs.

The Goessel school board agreed to name the junior high gym the ?Lynel J. Unrau Gymnasium? in honor of the longtime board chairman.

February

Bud Luckey, the Pixar animator credited with creating the character of Woody in the ?Toy Story? movies, made a guest presentation in the art class at Goessel High School Feb. 2. Luckey was in town visiting friends.

Hillsboro Middle School seventh-grader Claire Heyen won the Marion County Spelling Bee by correctly spelling ?psychoanalysis.? Tylor Baker of Pea?body-Burns Junior High was second and Bradli Nowak of HMS was third.

Goessel Superintendent John Fast encouraged patrons to write letters, call or e-mail state legislators on behalf of funding for the district and public schools in general.

The Peabody-Burns Board of Education approved a petition requesting the Kansas Board of Education to allow the district to withdraw from the Marion County Special Education Coop?erative.

Eighteen Marion County students in the Extended Learning Program participated Feb. 19-20 at the annual University of Kansas Expo.

March

An all-time record number of students for a spring semester, 621, are enrolled at Tabor College. That compares to 590 students last spring. Total full-time equivalency is 561, compared to 543 students in 2009.

The Hillsboro Chess Guild?s second Kansas Scholastic Chess Association K-12 chess tournament in the Middle School Gym raised the number of USD 410 state qualifiers to 21.

USD 410 Superintendent Steve Noble told school board members that the district will have to reduce its budget by $475,000. Part of the reduction can be accomplished by using $175,000 of operating reserves. The remaining $300,000 needs to come in the form of cuts.

Members of the public attended the March meeting of the USD 410 board to express concerns about potential cuts, identified as reductions in instructional materials and equipment purchases, technology support, transportation and personnel positions, as well as up to six athletic programs.

Tabor College Provost Lawrence Ressler announced he will be leaving the college at semester?s end to accept a faculty position at Taylor Univer?sity in Upland, Ind. He has been at Tabor for five years.

The Peabody-Burns board is prepared to raise taxes next year in order to retain a quality education for its students, according to information presented March 11 at a ?State of the District? address by Superintendent Rex Watson.

April

Instead of more than a $1 million deficit at the end of this year, the Marion County Special Education Cooperative Board is looking at a cash carryover of more than $325,000, according to information presented at a special meeting in Hills?boro. In light of the perceived debt, MCSEC board members had been considering selling its building in Marion and cutting more than $700,000 in salaries for the 2010-11 school year.

Most of the 100 chairs were filled Thursday evening at the ?Community Conversation? with the USD 410 board and Superintendent Steve Noble at Hillsboro Elementary School. At the meeting, patrons asked questions and offered feedback regarding cuts being consideration to offset a $300,000 budget deficit.

The USD 410 board approved its budget cuts totaling $279,100 at its April meeting. Among the casualties were reductions in professional development funding, purchases of instructional materials and technology support. Athletic programs were spared.

Centre Elementary School received the Kansas Green School of the Year Award, which is given to schools showing innovation, leadership and outstanding environmental stewardship, in addition to incorporating environmental education into their school curriculum. The award was sponsored by the Kansas Association for Conser?va?tion and Environ?mental Edu?cation.

USD 398 will be offering preschool at Peabody-Burns Elementary during the 2010-11 school year.

Jerri Kemble, superintendent of USD 397-Centre, was selected as one of 400 educational leaders in North America to attend the Apple Leadership Summit in Dallas, April 20-23.

May

More than 220 students will take part in commencement ceremonies at the six school districts in the Free Press distribution area. Marion will graduate 65 seniors, Hillsboro 49, Peabody-Burns 35, Goessel 30, Canton-Galva 24 and Centre 16.

When the school year officially ends for Centre, the doors of the building in Lost Spring that houses the elementary school will be locked for the final time as a classroom facility. It will mark the first time since the building was constructed in 1925 that the voices of children and teachers will not echo through its hallways when fall rolls around.

For many years, parents, alumni, educators and students have crowded into the Tabor College gym to sweat out graduation ceremonies. This year, for the first time in 47 years, the ceremonies will take place outdoors at the new Joel H. Wiens Stadium, completed last fall.

Three members of the Marion-Florence FFA chapter were among the 650 teenage FFA and 4-H members who competed in the 59th annual National Land and Range Judging Contest near El Reno, Okla. Jessie Taylor, Nick Klenda and Eric Vogel qualified to compete in the national contest by winning the state contest last October.

Frank E. Johnson will assume the role of chief academic officer at Tabor College beginning July 1. He comes to Tabor from Goshen (Ind.) College, where he has been employed as special assistant to the president.

Jerri Kemble, Centre superintendent, recently returned from a trip to Washing?ton, D.C., seeking to improve digital services to rural schools. She was among 10 superintendents from across the country, plus one from Guam, who were invited to the White House for a roundtable discussion with Vice President Joe Biden?s senior education advisers, as well as to meet with senators on Capitol Hill..

Kent Duerksen, of the Goessel FFA chapter, was recognized during the state convention tion as the 2010 state winner of the Specialty Animal Production Proficiency Award. He has kidded more than 300 goats since staring his operation, 165 of them during his FFA career.

July

David Sheppard took the helm July 1 as director of Marion County Special Educa?tion Cooperative. He succeeds Chris Cezar, who resigned from the position in April and completed his last day June 30.

August

With the intent of making the area safer for children, Unified School District 410, in partnership with the city of Hillsboro, has developed new rules for drivers who approach the elementary school during a school day.

The USD 410 board decided to withdraw from Fair Funding for Schools. In a 7-0 decision, the board voted to discontinue its membership with FFFS, which filed a school finance lawsuit in June contending the legislature violated the Kansas Constitution by failing to provide sufficient funding for public education as mandated in Montoy v. Kansas.

For the third year in a row, Tabor College seems headed for a record number of students. This time, the turnout on the local campus is pushing the school?s capacity to house them, according to Eric Codding, vice president of student life.

Tabor College has again earned a national Tier 1 ranking in the 2011 edition of Best Colleges by U.S. News Media Group. The school is ranked 40th in the division of regional colleges in the Midwest.

September

Terry Wise has been selected as the new vice president of Adult and Graduate Studies at Tabor College Wichita. Prior to coming to Tabor, he was a pastor while working to complete his law degree.

Superintendent Steve Noble reported USD 410 enrollment has a net loss of 19 students compared to this time last year.

Centre Superintendent Jerri Kemble participated in a breakfast discussion on education with former Florida governor Jeb Bush and high-ranking Kansas education officials at Johnson Community College. Organized as part of gubernatorial candidate Sam Brown?back?s ?Road Map for Kansas,? the event drew about 100 people.

USD 410 patrons will continue to be able to read the high school student newspaper within the pages of the Hillsboro Free Press, thanks to the efforts of two Hillsboro businessmen. Funding for the Oracle was eliminated for the 2010-11 school year as part of budget cuts. But thanks to Joel Klaassen, Free Press publisher, and Lyle Ediger, Midway Motors general sales manager, the Oracle lives on.

Kevin and Kathy Wray of Wray Roofing Inc. presented the Goessel school board with a $12,000 check for a new football scoreboard during the board?s Sept. 13 meeting. The current scoreboard had been damaged by hail.

The 20th-day enrollment figures for Tabor College confirm the record-setting trend has stretched to three consecutive years. When combining all student programs, both graduate and undergraduate, 669 students are pursuing degrees through Tabor College.

October

The ?Scary Larry, Howling Hap, Jack-O-Lantern Jobe?s Haunted Spook House? will open in the east wing of the Marion County Special Educa?tion Cooperative building in Marion as a fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Marion County. The brain trust behind the operation are a trio of Marion Elemen?tary School fourth-graders: Larry Zieammermann, Hap Waddell and Joeb Corona.

News that student numbers for 2010-11 are down by nearly 30 from last year reframed the district?s financial picture as the board discussed the proposed $250,000 remodeling project of the former car dealership facility on West D Street that will house the USD 410 central offices and transportation center.

Kent D. Duerksen, member of the Goessel FFA Chapter, competed as a national finalist in the Specialty Animal Production-Entrepreneurship/Placement Proficiency award program at the national FFA conven?tion in Indianapolis, Ind.

Darren Mueller, a member of the Hillsboro FFA chapter, was one of 29 students who competed in the Dairy Cattle Handlers Activity during the national FFA convention in Indianapolis.

November

TV news anchor Susan Peters, representing the EMC-Kakeland Reading Program, stopped at Goessel Nov. 4 to honor the efforts of elementary school librarian Russell Pauls.

Goessel Elementary School received notice that is a recipient of a certificate of recognition from the Confidence in Kansas Public Education Task Force as part of the eighth annual Challenge Awards. The award s based on student performance in state assessments.

December

USD 410 Superintendent Steve Noble said the district has established a presence on Facebook.

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