Goessel board reflects on Miller’s tenure

The Goessel school board expressed sadness during its May 8 meeting at the sudden passing of board president Dan Miller April 23.

John Fast, superintendent and elementary school principal, had issued a statement soon after Miller died. Fast said the board is saddened by the loss.

“Our sympathy and prayers are extended to his wife and family,” he said.

Miller had been on the school board for 17 years. Fast said Miller was proud of the achievements of the students and staff and was an ardent supporter of the Goessel community. He worked at Hesston College.

The board held a special meeting at 7 a.m. on May 1 to remember Miller’s life and the legacy he left for the Goessel school and community. The board also reorganized at that meeting and appointed Kelly Booton as board chairman.

PAT report

Susie Kliewer presented a Parents As Teachers presentation. PAT works with young children, from birth to age 3. Kliewer said Goessel currently has nine families (but 10 children) participating in PAT, which is 15.38 percent of children that age in the county. That percentage compares to Goessel’s 15.31 percent of the school-age students in Marion County.

Kliewer demonstrated inexpensive activities that parents can do with their young children. She showed the school board items that had been made from common household recycled items and how they are used to teach young children by playing with them. There­fore, expensive toys are not necessary for a child’s learning experience.

Kliewer said funding has changed, and now there are 19 “qualifiers” for prospective participants. Families need to meet at least one qualifier.

In the past, the PAT program has received more state and federal funding than it does now. PAT has become increasingly more dependent on local school districts for financial support.

The board approved the school district’s $5,331 assessment for the PAT program. The board noted the importance of the program. Fast commended PAT for helping to get children ready for kindergarten.

Other business

In other business, the board:

• accepted a Backpack Food program donation from Countryside Feed in Hillsboro. Bryon Noeth is the manager of Countryside Feed. He wants schools to know they are supported.

Fast noted the need for Backpack Food: “We have a lot of kids who use this program…. It is a huge help to families over the weekend.”

He said the school psychologist works in a quiet, low-key manner so it is not noticeable who receives the backpacks. He showed the board a backpack of food. Fast and the board expressed appreciation to Noeth and Countryside Feed.

• approved the resignation of Sherri Sells as forensics coach.

• heard that Sandra Duerksen will be the food service director.

• voted to hire Kyle Hux­man as assistant high school football coach.

• heard that the school has been advertising for a custodian position.

• heard from Scott Boden, junior high and high school principal, about possible Kansas State High School Activities Associa­tion changes regarding football. He said a proposal has been sent to schools for a vote, but the impact for Goessel would be minimal.

• voted to accept a state-mandated memo of understanding between the school and local law enforcement, as required by the safe schools act that the state passed last year.

Fast said the schools in the county wrote the document with the sheriff’s department and the county attorney. He said the sheriff felt like the county already has this type of cooperation, but now it is in writing.

• heard from Booton and Boden about some personnel changes in the Marion County Special Education Cooperative and the OASIS school.

• heard a legislative report from board member James Wiens. He said, “They have scrutinized the K-12 plan.” It is in a committee at this point.

• approved a recommendation of IdeaTek for the school’s internet provider.

• heard from board member Darla Meysing that she had no news regarding The Learning Consortium.

• heard that the art fair April 28 had been a success. Fast said two guest artists had been invited to the show, Conrad Snider and Erin Schmidt. The silent auction at the art show raised $700.

• heard from Boden that Goessel had hosted several track meets.

• heard that the junior high trip to Worlds of Fun had been a good incentive for behavior and grades.

• heard the last day of school would be May 11, with eighth-grade recognition on May 12.

• heard regional golf was scheduled for May 15 and regional track May 19.

• heard that state golf is scheduled for May 22 and state track May 26-27.

• approved new social studies digital curriculum for eight years.

• talked about wet carpet in the music room.

• heard that state forensics and high school commencement were scheduled on the same day, May 6.

• talked about summer projects at the grade school.

• talked about kitchen equipment that needs to be replaced.

• decided that the next meeting will be at 7 p.m. June 20 instead of the usual second Tuesday of the month.