Goessel board accepts resignations, hires new faculty

The Goessel school board met April 7 and listened to a teacher presentation by Donna O?Neill, high school science teacher. This is her first year at Goessel.

?I really enjoy my job,? she said. ?I appreciate this opportunity.?

O?Neill shared her enthusiasm for the science fair that her students recently completed. She said the students conducted individual research and were also assigned to groups. Research papers were eight to 10 pages long. Groups designed experiments, with a total of 22 projects.

Eight groups qualified for regional competition, and one group placed second at the state science fair, competing against students from Class 6A schools.

According to O?Neill, it was an ?awesome experience.? She said a fourth- through eighth-grade science fair is available also. She said she is excited about next year.

O?Neill received a fellowship for a national science teachers conference in Boston. The board commended her for her work.

Staff resignations

The board then turned its attention to the matter of teacher resignations.

Superintendent John Fast presented the resignation of Brian Holloway, kindergarten through sixth-grade physical education/health teacher and head junior high girls? volleyball coach.

Fast said that Holloway has taught at Goessel for 13 years and ?has done a tremendous job.? Fast also said he has been a ?strong asset? in the area of technology and taught kids to appreciate it.

The board accepted the resignation.

Holloway has accepted a position in the Moundridge school district.

The board also accepted the resignation of Ruth Goertzen, who has taught family and consumer science at Goessel High School for seven years. She is also the Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America sponsor and worked with concessions. Fast said she also worked with students on special skills and worked on Perkins funding.

The board accepted a third resignation: Christy Pickerell, high school math and computer science teacher and junior class sponsor. Fast said she is ?conscientious and a hard worker.? This is her first year at Goessel.

New contracts

The board then approved contracts for three new teachers: Joe Biggs, Tonya Bartel and Claire Overstake.

Biggs will fill the elementary P.E. position vacated by Holloway. Biggs was a student teacher under Holloway and junior/senior high school P.E. teacher Curtis Guhr in the fall of 2006. He also had student teaching experience with the computer curriculum.

According to Fast, he ?did an outstanding job? and is eager to come back to Goessel. He grew up near Barnard and graduated from McPherson College. He was an elementary school substitute teacher after graduation.

Currently, he is working as a case manager for Prairie View in McPherson.

Bartel will fill the junior high language arts position vacated by Joel Hesed. She will also coach forensics. She is a 2001 graduate of Bethel College, with K-9 certification.

Currently, she is a Parents-as-Teachers instructor for Marion County, working in the Goessel community.

She has also taught the language arts elementary education core as an adjunct instructor at Bethel College.

She taught in the Blue Valley school district for four years and has written materials for fifth-grade Bible curriculum for Mennonite elementary schools. She recently performed in ?The Upside-Down Kingdom? musical. Bartel and her husband have a 3-year-old daughter.

Clara Overstake will fill the junior high math/science position; Bruce Stucky?s retirement from that position was accepted at last month's meeting.

Overstake currently teaches fifth grade in Hillsboro. She is a Kansas University graduate and has done graduate work at Friends and Baker University. She is experienced in using hands-on and kinesthetic learning. She has also coached sports.

Board chairman Lynel Unrau expressed appreciation to the administrators for their efforts at finding new teachers.

Junior/senior high principal Marc Grout said, ?I was very impressed with the number of quality applicants.?

Other business

In other business, the board:

  • heard that high school band and choir students had received 24 ?I? ratings at the regional solo/ensemble festival and six ?II? ratings.

  • heard from Grout that Goessel hosted the 21st Heart of America League art festival April 2. Twelve schools participated. Grout commended art teacher Brian Stucky for organizing the event.

  • heard that the eighth-grade quiz bowl team had won the league tournament.

  • heard Fast announce that the elementary school will have a carnival April 25.

  • heard Fast say that 16 kindergarten students are expected in fall.

  • heard that elementary school students will go roller skating in Hutchinson for their annual boxtop trip.

  • received thanks from four FCCLA students who attended national ?cluster? meetings in Minneapolis, Minn., in November.

    Kristin Unruh, president of the Goessel chapter, said the theme was ?Making a Difference Everywhere.? She said the students were challenged to not judge other people and not to worry what others think.

    Rochelle Webb said they were told that in order to make a difference in the world, they have to start locally.

    Sierra Dirksen described the excitement level at the meetings as being comparable to a state basketball game.

    Chrystiana Voth said the group went to the Mall of America and saw the aquarium, where they touched sting rays and sharks.

    The school board helped with some of the costs of the trip, and students brought cookies for the board as a way of thanking them.

  • heard that 17 students are participating in golf, 31 in high school track and 36 in junior high track.

    ?We have a lot of kids active in spring sports,? Grout said.

  • heard from Grout that two boys and six girls have signed up for cheerleading tryouts, which are scheduled for April 23.

  • heard that Fast has been accepted to the Leadership Academy, which will study facilities, curriculum, and finances, among other topics.

  • heard Grout report that the junior high gym bleachers have been moved out.

    ?The floor people came this afternoon,? he said, adding that they would start sanding that week.?

    New scoreboards were purchased. Grout said the old ones were ?quite old,? and it was not safe for the custodians to change the light bulbs in them.

  • reviewed bids that coach Justin Coup had obtained for high school boys? basketball uniforms. The board approved his recommendation of plain Nike Speedline uniforms for a total cost of just over $5,000 for 15 uniforms. He said 30 boys participated in high school basketball this year.

  • heard Fast say the driveway construction at the high school will begin May 22.

More from Hillsboro Free Press
Acreage reports due June 1 for small grains
Accurate and timely acreage reports must be filed by participating program producers...
Read More